Sunday, October 01, 2006

Where's the outrage?

I'm wondering if perhaps I'm making too big a deal out of the House passing H.R.5825. Maybe we don't have to worry as much as I am, because the Senate did adjourn without passing their own version -- although S.3876 gives even broader powers to the executive branch.

Forgive me if I've missed yours, but from time to time this weekend, I've checked around the blogs on my sidebar, and even the most die-hard libertarians aren't talking about this. I do see "Jihadist behind every rock" conservatives claiming that it's a bad bill because it restricts the President's ability on wiretaps, but in fact the bill does the opposite! They're so concerned about Section 12, when Section 3 lays out the real powers. When in doubt, read the full text:
SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE AND OTHER ACQUISITIONS FOR FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE PURPOSES.
(a) In General- The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) is further amended by striking section 102 and inserting the following:
`AUTHORIZATION FOR ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE FOR FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE PURPOSES
`Sec. 102. (a) In General- Notwithstanding any other law, the President, acting through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this title to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year if the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that--
`(1) the electronic surveillance is directed at--
`(A) the acquisition of the contents of communications of foreign powers, as defined in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of section 101(a), or an agent of a foreign power, as defined in subparagraph (A) or (B) of section 101(b)(1); or

`(B) the acquisition of technical intelligence, other than the spoken communications of individuals, from property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power, as defined in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of section 101(a); and
`(2) the proposed minimization procedures with respect to such surveillance meet the definition of minimization procedures under section 101(h);
if the Attorney General reports such minimization procedures and any changes thereto to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate at least 30 days prior to the effective date of such minimization procedures, unless the Attorney General determines immediate action is required and notifies the committees immediately of such minimization procedures and the reason for their becoming effective immediately....
I don't see any requirement that a terrorist attack need have occurred, do you? This bill doesn't limit those powers; it's quite the contrary.

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