Of course liberals are up in arms because congressional Democrats are considering immunity for telecommunication companies that partook in President Bush's domestic wiretapping program. Once again, liberals are wrong: incorrect about global warming, the profits of "big oil," the Iraq War, etc, and now this (Bush's wiretapping program).
It's interesting, and almost, sadly, comical, to hear liberals weigh in on how Bush, the neocons, the Republicans, Jesus Christ, etc, usurped the 4th Amendment of the Constitution. Furthermore, it demonstrates how liberals, despite overtures stating their collective genius, really are nothing more than sheeple, simply regurgitating talking points propagated through liberal outlets like the Daily Kos and the Huffington Post.
"Spying on its citizens"
I've heard this claim made, ad nauseum by liberals, whether it's in user posts around the web in conversations with liberal colleagues at work. We've heard that Bush has stripped us of our "inalienable" rights. First of all, IF this was the course, the United States government has often "suspended" certain rights of its citizens during wartime. Note the Sedition Act of 1918, at the urging of President Woodrow Wilson that, "made it a crime to utter, print, write or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the United States' form of government." Second, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, through Executive Order 9066, interned first-generation Japanese and their children during World War II.
Second, and perhaps this question is simplistic in nature, but...does anyone know someone that was "spied upon" by the government?
I didn't think so...what liberals cannot grasp is that perhaps the United States government in fact is monitoring the conversations of young Muslim men, either in this country or in other countries? Of course liberals, in their infinite wisdom, simply cannot fathom.
You see, liberals are infatuated with the notion of civil liberties; it's an affront to their "civil liberties" if the government is involved in certain aspects of their lives. Ironically and perhaps hypocritically, liberals almost stereotypically so, believe in the concept of "Big Government." In other words, they really do want government involved in their lives, whether it's through the regulating of EVERYTHING, universal health care, entitlements, activist judicial rulings, etc.
Limitations of FISA
Lastly, the bottom provides a review of the limitations of the FISA. In a perfect world, liberals would understand that in TIMES OF WAR, the government is allowed to take extraordinary measures to ensure the safety of its populace. From the FISA wikipedia entry:
"K. A. Taipale of the World Policy Institute, James Jay Carafano of the Heritage Foundation, and Philip Bobbitt of the University of Texas Law School, among others, have argued that FISA may need to be amended (to include, among other things, procedures for programmatic approvals) as it may no longer be adequate to address certain foreign intelligence needs and technology developments, including: the transition from circuit-based communications to packet-based communications; the globalization of communications infrastructure; and the development of automated monitoring techniques, including data mining and traffic analysis.FISA was concocted in an age when land-line telephone systems resided at the forefront of our communication systems. What it didn't account for, in 1978, were email, text messaging, cell phones, PDA's, etc.
The need for programmatic approval of technology-enabled surveillance programs is particularly crucial in foreign intelligence. See, for example, John R. Schmidt, the associate attorney general (1994–1997) in the Justice Department under President Bill Clinton, recalling early arguments made by then-Attorney General Edward Levi to the Church Committee that foreign intelligence surveillance legislation should include provisions for programmatically authorizing surveillance programs because of the particular needs of foreign intelligence where "virtually continuous surveillance, which by its nature does not have specifically predetermined targets" may be required. In these situations, "the efficiency of a warrant requirement would be minimal."
And, in a recent essay, Judge Richard A. Posner opined that FISA “retains value as a framework for monitoring the communications of known terrorists, but it is hopeless as a framework for detecting terrorists. [FISA] requires that surveillance be conducted pursuant to warrants based on probable cause to believe that the target of surveillance is a terrorist, when the desperate need is to find out who is a terrorist.”"
It will be a sad day if Telecom companies are punished simply ensuring that young Muslim men weren't hatching various plots to kill us.