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:
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.