FISA – Smiza. bleh.

FISA – The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, just passed. This pretty much means Big Brother, Uncle Sam and Aunt Jemima can tap into our lives at any moment without us ever knowing about it.
Here is the lingo: FISA is a U.S. federal law prescribing procedures for the physical and electronic surveillance and collection of “foreign intelligence information” between “foreign powers” and “agents of foreign powers” (which may include American citizens and permanent residents suspected of being engaged in espionage and violating U.S. law)

Meaning YOU can be subject to surveillance with or without a court order/warrant.
Due to the nature of the state of Terrorism that we live in, President George Bush said this bill was long overdue. Some citizens who don’t understand that this is a violation of privacy and our Bill of Rights have said things like “I’m not doing anything wrong, I don’t have a problem with it” meaning, the country is heading in the right direction, because after all, terrorist are bad people and should be persecuted, so spying on everyday Americans is a good way of stopping terrorist. [I’m rolling my eyes] I really don’t understand people that give up their freedoms so lightly, I mean, aren’t we in a war because we want to offer other people Democracy? How the hell are we suppose to do that when we don’t even know what Democracy is?

John McCain’s Chief Advisor Charlie Black recently said to Fortune Magazine that an attack on U.S soil would “certainly be a big advantage for him [McCain]” because of course, McCain is big on the War on Terrorism. So where was he when all the Senators had to vote on this bill? He was not present. He did not vote. What???!!! Doesn’t John McCain care about National Security????
I will tell you who was there though, who cast a vote… none other than Senator Barack Obama. But, I’m not hear to report happy news.
Much to my dismay, Senator Barack Obama voted YES on H.R. 6304, but I guess I can understand why he did it.

Here is what I think (and FISA may invade my home soon after I post this blog), Obama HAD to vote YES. If for any reason, the country was to be mysteriously attacked between now and the November ballot (based on the wishes of the McCain campaign), there is NO WAY Obama would win the election if he voted no on FISA. The Republican party would have a field day saying things like “oh you see this guy? He voted no on FISA! He didn’t want to have the law in place that would allow us to have potentially surveillance the terrorist! No way he can protect the country!”

If you follow Obama’s track record, you would know that he is simply being politically savy to get into the Oval Office, once he is there, I truly trust he will do the right thing. Right now, the way that this campaign is headed, McCain is going to try to tear him apart on National Security, with Obama having voted on something that the majority of the American public wants, but does not understand, he gains a lead. McCain did not vote at all, and while I don’t agree with the vote by Senator Barack Obama, I think it is far more presidential to have been on the floor and voted as oppose to McCain who did not show up at all. Nice way of dodging the bullet McCain, but there is no way that you will be able to spin this; because God forbid we do have an attack on American soil, you didn’t vote to protect the country against the terrorist who planned it all out with their cell phones free weekend minutes. Obama on the other hand did, and there is no way you will bring this up in the Debates because your pal Bush, is the one pushing for it.

Here is a video on FISA for Dummies that helped me understand.

**adding this after posting** it has been brought to my attention that people may read my blog and not understand why I make my decisions or how I came to the above logic… first, I will say, that although I am an avid supporter of Barack Obama, his decision to vote Yes on FISA was a shock. I was confused, hurt and then upset about the whole thing. How could this man who talks so much of Change, vote on a bill that destroys Civil Liberties? I wanted to cry. This was not the Obama I loved. Was there in fact Hope? It was only after I talked to a lead political consultant to the campaign that I began to understand the reasoning of this vote, the inner workings of national politics, and off course, the race for the Presidency. I wish that we lived in a nation where a candidate could stay on his own agenda without having to come to the center, but I guess that’s just me learning more about national campaign strategy. While Obama will have to come to the center from the left, McCain is coming to the center from the right, all in an effort to appeal to the nation, to sway voters and to get the independents to vote their way. In the end, this vote could have waited till after November, but they wanted to make an example of what flip floping is, and they got it. sigh. I’m still 100% behind Obama, and I am learning that difficult choices must be made when his opponent calls him “weak on foreign policy” and calls FISA a “vital national security matter”. Obama did release a statement, “Given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as president, I will carefully monitor the program,”. I still am however, amused by McCain’s “[FISA as a] vital national security matter” statement and his failure to actually vote on the bill. ****

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12 thoughts on “FISA – Smiza. bleh.

  1. ://♥ susy says:

    Oh God. How Annoying. People who are willing and ready to give up their rights so that “Uncle Sam can stop the enemy”. At the very least, it’s interesting to see rights taken away and people agreeing for our “Safety”.. lol.

    That video made me feel bad for knowing what JLo’s babies look like. (Ugly I would like to add).

    But I dont think McCain would ever get accused of not wanting to protect the country. According to him, we have 100 years of war to look forward to.

    But I do think it’s funny that Obama voted Yes on it. Especially considering that he’s so liberal.

    Oh… And this quote
    I am proud to stand with Senator Dodd, Senator Feingold and a grassroots movement of Americans who are refusing to let President Bush put protections for special interests ahead of our security and our liberty. There is no reason why telephone companies should be given blanket immunity to cover violations of the rights of the American people – we must reaffirm that no one in this country is above the law. We can give our intelligence and law enforcement community the powers they need to track down and take out terrorists without undermining our commitment to the rule of law, or our basic rights and liberties.”

  2. ://♥ susy says:

    Oh God. How Annoying. People who are willing and ready to give up their rights so that “Uncle Sam can stop the enemy”. At the very least, it’s interesting to see rights taken away and people agreeing for our “Safety”.. lol.

    That video made me feel bad for knowing what JLo’s babies look like. (Ugly I would like to add).

    But I dont think McCain would ever get accused of not wanting to protect the country. According to him, we have 100 years of war to look forward to.

    But I do think it’s funny that Obama voted Yes on it. Especially considering that he’s so liberal.

    Oh… And this quote
    I am proud to stand with Senator Dodd, Senator Feingold and a grassroots movement of Americans who are refusing to let President Bush put protections for special interests ahead of our security and our liberty. There is no reason why telephone companies should be given blanket immunity to cover violations of the rights of the American people – we must reaffirm that no one in this country is above the law. We can give our intelligence and law enforcement community the powers they need to track down and take out terrorists without undermining our commitment to the rule of law, or our basic rights and liberties.”

  3. That's So Paisa says:

    I too am an Obama supporter. I was not disappointed by his decision to sign this bill. I agree with him in that the bill is flawed, but I have really come to know that BO is most definitely a big picture person…I have faith that as President he will make the appropriate adjustments and judgements for this country. The reality is that the Executive Order was placed in effect by GWB many moons ago and we lost our privacy long ago. Here is more from Obama on the matter:

    ‘Today, Obama released a statement on his blog in response to the MyBO FISA protest group. He reiterated his position that the current FISA bill is not perfect:

    “I know that the FISA bill that passed the House is far from perfect. I wouldn’t have drafted the legislation like this, and it does not resolve all of the concerns that we have about President Bush’s abuse of executive power. It grants retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that may have violated the law by cooperating with the Bush Administration’s program of warrantless wiretapping. This potentially weakens the deterrent effect of the law and removes an important tool for the American people to demand accountability for past abuses. That’s why I support striking Title II from the bill, and will work with Chris Dodd, Jeff Bingaman and others in an effort to remove this provision in the Senate.

    But I also believe that the compromise bill is far better than the Protect America Act that I voted against last year. The exclusivity provision makes it clear to any President or telecommunications company that no law supersedes the authority of the FISA court. In a dangerous world, government must have the authority to collect the intelligence we need to protect the American people. But in a free society, that authority cannot be unlimited. As I’ve said many times, an independent monitor must watch the watchers to prevent abuses and to protect the civil liberties of the American people. This compromise law assures that the FISA court has that responsibility.”

    In the statement, Obama also makes a promise that if he is elected president, he will have the Attorney General “conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future.”

    Finally, Obama’s statement acknowledges that his vote on this FISA bill may be a “deal breaker” for some of his supporters, and says “that’s OK.”

    In the end, this is why I support this man, I trust his judgment, and I respect that he stands by decisions, regardless of what people (even his supporters) say.

    Everything will be alright in the end…if it’s not alright, it’s not the end!!

  4. That's So Paisa says:

    I too am an Obama supporter. I was not disappointed by his decision to sign this bill. I agree with him in that the bill is flawed, but I have really come to know that BO is most definitely a big picture person…I have faith that as President he will make the appropriate adjustments and judgements for this country. The reality is that the Executive Order was placed in effect by GWB many moons ago and we lost our privacy long ago. Here is more from Obama on the matter:

    ‘Today, Obama released a statement on his blog in response to the MyBO FISA protest group. He reiterated his position that the current FISA bill is not perfect:

    “I know that the FISA bill that passed the House is far from perfect. I wouldn’t have drafted the legislation like this, and it does not resolve all of the concerns that we have about President Bush’s abuse of executive power. It grants retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that may have violated the law by cooperating with the Bush Administration’s program of warrantless wiretapping. This potentially weakens the deterrent effect of the law and removes an important tool for the American people to demand accountability for past abuses. That’s why I support striking Title II from the bill, and will work with Chris Dodd, Jeff Bingaman and others in an effort to remove this provision in the Senate.

    But I also believe that the compromise bill is far better than the Protect America Act that I voted against last year. The exclusivity provision makes it clear to any President or telecommunications company that no law supersedes the authority of the FISA court. In a dangerous world, government must have the authority to collect the intelligence we need to protect the American people. But in a free society, that authority cannot be unlimited. As I’ve said many times, an independent monitor must watch the watchers to prevent abuses and to protect the civil liberties of the American people. This compromise law assures that the FISA court has that responsibility.”

    In the statement, Obama also makes a promise that if he is elected president, he will have the Attorney General “conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future.”

    Finally, Obama’s statement acknowledges that his vote on this FISA bill may be a “deal breaker” for some of his supporters, and says “that’s OK.”

    In the end, this is why I support this man, I trust his judgment, and I respect that he stands by decisions, regardless of what people (even his supporters) say.

    Everything will be alright in the end…if it’s not alright, it’s not the end!!

  5. That's So Paisa says:

    I too am an Obama supporter. I was not disappointed by his decision to sign this bill. I agree with him in that the bill is flawed, but I have really come to know that BO is most definitely a big picture person…I have faith that as President he will make the appropriate adjustments and judgements for this country. The reality is that the Executive Order was placed in effect by GWB many moons ago and we lost our privacy long ago. Here is more from Obama on the matter:

    ‘Today, Obama released a statement on his blog in response to the MyBO FISA protest group. He reiterated his position that the current FISA bill is not perfect:

    “I know that the FISA bill that passed the House is far from perfect. I wouldn’t have drafted the legislation like this, and it does not resolve all of the concerns that we have about President Bush’s abuse of executive power. It grants retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that may have violated the law by cooperating with the Bush Administration’s program of warrantless wiretapping. This potentially weakens the deterrent effect of the law and removes an important tool for the American people to demand accountability for past abuses. That’s why I support striking Title II from the bill, and will work with Chris Dodd, Jeff Bingaman and others in an effort to remove this provision in the Senate.

    But I also believe that the compromise bill is far better than the Protect America Act that I voted against last year. The exclusivity provision makes it clear to any President or telecommunications company that no law supersedes the authority of the FISA court. In a dangerous world, government must have the authority to collect the intelligence we need to protect the American people. But in a free society, that authority cannot be unlimited. As I’ve said many times, an independent monitor must watch the watchers to prevent abuses and to protect the civil liberties of the American people. This compromise law assures that the FISA court has that responsibility.”

    In the statement, Obama also makes a promise that if he is elected president, he will have the Attorney General “conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future.”

    Finally, Obama’s statement acknowledges that his vote on this FISA bill may be a “deal breaker” for some of his supporters, and says “that’s OK.”

    In the end, this is why I support this man, I trust his judgment, and I respect that he stands by decisions, regardless of what people (even his supporters) say.

    Everything will be alright in the end…if it’s not alright, it’s not the end!!

  6. That's So Paisa says:

    I too am an Obama supporter. I was not disappointed by his decision to sign this bill. I agree with him in that the bill is flawed, but I have really come to know that BO is most definitely a big picture person…I have faith that as President he will make the appropriate adjustments and judgements for this country. The reality is that the Executive Order was placed in effect by GWB many moons ago and we lost our privacy long ago. Here is more from Obama on the matter:

    ‘Today, Obama released a statement on his blog in response to the MyBO FISA protest group. He reiterated his position that the current FISA bill is not perfect:

    “I know that the FISA bill that passed the House is far from perfect. I wouldn’t have drafted the legislation like this, and it does not resolve all of the concerns that we have about President Bush’s abuse of executive power. It grants retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that may have violated the law by cooperating with the Bush Administration’s program of warrantless wiretapping. This potentially weakens the deterrent effect of the law and removes an important tool for the American people to demand accountability for past abuses. That’s why I support striking Title II from the bill, and will work with Chris Dodd, Jeff Bingaman and others in an effort to remove this provision in the Senate.

    But I also believe that the compromise bill is far better than the Protect America Act that I voted against last year. The exclusivity provision makes it clear to any President or telecommunications company that no law supersedes the authority of the FISA court. In a dangerous world, government must have the authority to collect the intelligence we need to protect the American people. But in a free society, that authority cannot be unlimited. As I’ve said many times, an independent monitor must watch the watchers to prevent abuses and to protect the civil liberties of the American people. This compromise law assures that the FISA court has that responsibility.”

    In the statement, Obama also makes a promise that if he is elected president, he will have the Attorney General “conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future.”

    Finally, Obama’s statement acknowledges that his vote on this FISA bill may be a “deal breaker” for some of his supporters, and says “that’s OK.”

    In the end, this is why I support this man, I trust his judgment, and I respect that he stands by decisions, regardless of what people (even his supporters) say.

    Everything will be alright in the end…if it’s not alright, it’s not the end!!

  7. adriana says:

    What a thoughtful analysis. I have not posted on FISA this week, but you nailed it. I think that Obama had to think of the big picture, and we really don’t know what kind of guns (metaphorically speaking) have been held to his head. So much happens behind the scenes.

    I am hopeful that he will work to correct some of the more unjust pieces of the bill. We also need to make sure that we elect progressive senators and congressional representatives to help undo a lot of the damage that has been done.

  8. adriana says:

    What a thoughtful analysis. I have not posted on FISA this week, but you nailed it. I think that Obama had to think of the big picture, and we really don’t know what kind of guns (metaphorically speaking) have been held to his head. So much happens behind the scenes.

    I am hopeful that he will work to correct some of the more unjust pieces of the bill. We also need to make sure that we elect progressive senators and congressional representatives to help undo a lot of the damage that has been done.

  9. ://♥ susy says:

    Thank You for your PS at the end of your blog. It’s nice to know that even supporters of Obama can feel disappointment and are not blind to things he says vs. things he does.

    🙂

  10. ://♥ susy says:

    Thank You for your PS at the end of your blog. It’s nice to know that even supporters of Obama can feel disappointment and are not blind to things he says vs. things he does.

    🙂

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