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What the Hell are The Republicans Doing on National Security?

***Updated***

Note: I probably should have titled this post "What the Hell are Some Republicans Doing on National Security?"

Congress is working on bills that would square the Terrorist Surveillance program with FISA Court Rules. However, one bill sponsored by Republican Congresswoman Heather Wilson of New Mexico would require that we be hit with a terrorist attack before we are legally allowed to surveil. Yes, you read that correctly. Republicans are proposing a bill that says we can't initiate surveillance until after we've been struck by a terrorist attack. What would be the point of surveillance then? The attack will have already taken place; innocent Americans will have already died. From CNN:

Bush's surveillance plan faces a difficult fight in Congress, especially in the House, where GOP leaders favor a different approach.


That measure, sponsored by Rep. Heather Wilson, R-New Mexico, and endorsed by the GOP chairmen of the Judiciary and Intelligence committees, would require the administration to wait until a terrorist attack to open an electronic surveillance program.

Take a look at what Rep. Wilson says about her own bill, courtesy of Bryan at Hot Air:

wilson-bill.jpg

The whole point of surveilling terror suspects is to prevent a terrorist attack. What part of that do Republicans not understand?

And even if we do capture terror suspects, when we eventually try them, Senator Lindsay Graham wants to make sure their defense attorneys get complete access to all the national security methods used in capturing them. There are many, many scum defense attorneys out there who sympathize with these terrorists and will work to make sure their cohorts get that information. Bryan at Hot Air offers Lynne Stewart as one example of said scum defense attorney. Be sure to read all of Bryan's post; he has much more information.

And, click here to express your outrage to Rep. Heather Wilson as well as other soft-on-national security Republican members of congress for even considering such useless bills.

Update: A commenter at Hot Air named Jaibones called Rep. Wilson's Washington office and inquired about HR5825.

I just got off the phone with her Washington office, and a John Larson says that the bill would also allow foreign surveillance "in the event of an imminent attack." This additional allowance would be granted to the President -- if he asks nicely -- by the "heads of the national security subcommittees of the House and Senate."


I asked how, exactly, the NSA will know of an imminent attack, since we won't be doing any foreign surveillance, and he didn't have much on that.

Larson made it clear that the legislation is proposed for the purpose of more clearly defining the "checks and balances on Presidential power," which is to say limiting it.

In my calculus, she is thus either a Democrat or an idiot.

Jaibones on September 13, 2006 at 11:46 AM

I would not call Rep. Wilson an idiot, but I am concerned about what she's trying to accomplish with this bill.

Rob at Say Anything points out that Rep. Heather Wilson, one of eight Republicans, received a 100% rating from CAIR for supporting its interests. On the other hand, 154 Democrats received a 100% rating.

More at The Jawa Report, Old War Dogs, Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiller


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Comments (9)

Well, this democrat must be... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Well, this democrat must be a hawk. I think we should be surveilling the heck out of anyone we have probable cause to suspect is a terrorist. I think we should honor the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, and get a warrant first, under FISA.

I certainly disagree with Rep. Wilson's position, assuming your portrayal of her position is accurate.

For the last 20 or so years... (Below threshold)
Paul:

For the last 20 or so years of my life the Republican party had no truer friend than me.

In the last 18 months I've often found myself wondering why.

I'd be overjoyed to vote damn near every Republican out of office right now. Many of them just don't "get it."

There is only one problem with voting Republicans out.

The alternative.

Has not the attack occurred... (Below threshold)
Steve:

Has not the attack occurred that would provide the requirement?

Hard ass conservatives need to back off on this one, or they will look ridiculous once again..................

It looks like the sections ... (Below threshold)
Rory:

It looks like the sections 7 and 8 deal with after an attack, the rest deals with before.

Here is a relevant quote from the same source-

The Electronic Modernization Surveillance Act of 2006 will modernize our electronic surveillance laws for the 21st century. It will set a standard to allow electronic surveillance of people in the United States when there is a reasonable belief they are in communication with terrorist organizations, and it will clarify the roles of the three branches of government in overseeing electronic surveillance
Source

This is clearly referring to before an attack.

Also this is NOT all Republicans the administration blocked the Judicial Committee vote,and the

Senate ENDORSES the White House Bill-

The House Judiciary Committee abruptly canceled its scheduled vote on a bill by Rep. Heather Wilson (news, bio, voting record), R-N.M., amid tense negotiations between GOP leaders who endorse it and an administration that says it places too many restrictions on the program.

On the other side of the Capitol, however, the Senate Judiciary Committee gave a party-line endorsement to a wiretapping bill favored by the White House.

Source

Looks like the "problem" is coming from the House...too soon to tell.

Messed up the link for the ... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Messed up the link for the first quote from House member Heather Wilson at her site-

Link found here

Crap anyhow. And I have to... (Below threshold)

Crap anyhow. And I have to vote for her too because the Democratic challenger is... really bad. Really really bad.

I say surveil away. how doe... (Below threshold)
Dave:

I say surveil away. how does surveilance affect the daily lives of anyone? i wouldn't change my daily life if i knew i was being listened to.

I don't call over seas, so i know i won't be surveiled, and even if the program is expanded, my understaning is that they basically have a computer filter out for certain keywords, and if i get filtered out, sure, screen my calls. i'm sure my conversations to POS account help desks while i'm at work is extremely relevant to national security. I would actually feel bad that they are wasting their time listening to me instead of someone who is actually planning something, but if listening to me means i am going to be safer, and my lifestyle doesn't change because of it, so be it.

A few republicans in a pani... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

A few republicans in a panic have made is almost 100% sure the party will be the minority party after Nov.

Next they will be screaming like the pig Peloshi that 'we will not be Swift Boated'. Does that mean they will not stand for anyone telling the 'truth' about them? The Swift Boat Vet's were not forced to backup on one thing they said. They proved their statements 100% and now the phony lawsuits by Traitor John have been cancelled. Telling the truth about the democrats scares the hell out of them.

The republican told the truth today when he stated that the 'democrats care more about protecting the terrorists than they do about protecting the American citizens'. I second that statement as it is true. It will become the signature on all of my emails and should be on everyone's.

The problem with “probable ... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

The problem with “probable cause” is that it treats it as a law enforcement action and not intelligence matter. If one applies the “probable cause” standard to gathering intelligence then most Intel collected would never have been collected.

In law enforcement one wants to use a small net to catch one fish. In intelligence one want to use the biggest net possible to catch a great many fish. Legally it is very hard to get a warrant against a whole group.




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