The bill, approved by the committee 13 to 2, would require a special surveillance court to approve the government's procedures for deciding who is to be the subject of warrantless surveillance. It also would impose more restrictions on the government than contained in an emergency six-month law passed in August, which the Bush administration wanted to make permanent.
It would further give some telecommunications companies immunity from about 40 pending lawsuits that charge them with violating Americans' privacy and constitutional rights by aiding a Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program instituted after September 2001. That provision is a key concession to the administration and companies, which lobbied heavily for the provision.
Senate intelligence Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) and ranking Republican Christopher S. Bond (Mo.) said the bill allows for necessary intelligence collection while maintaining privacy protections for Americans.
An amendment by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who opposed the bill for its inclusion of telecom immunity, requires the government to obtain a warrant when targeting an American overseas for surveillance.
Last night, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said: "We have strong concerns about that amendment. We certainly could not accept it."
Captain's Quarters calls Wyden's amendment the Adam Gahdan amendment:
This puts the NSA in the position of having to obtain a warrant to tap Adam Gadahn's communications. Also known as "Azzam the American", Gadahn is a rather notorious traitor who joined al-Qaeda and now produces videotaped messages demanding American surrender to the Islamists. Under the Wyden amendment, the NSA could not obtain communications from Gadahn without first seeking a warrant for the wiretap, even though Gadahn is not in the United States and has actively joined our enemies.
For those who have never heard of Adam Gahdan, he is not just a "suspected" al-Qaeda sympathizer but a self admitted al-Qaeda member, and he is an American.
He is listed on the FBI's website of most wanted terrorists and was indicted in the Central District of California for treason and material support to Al Qaeda.
He uses the aliases: Abu Suhayb Al-Amriki, Abu Suhail Al-Amriki, Abu Suhayb, Yihya Majadin Adams, Adam Pearlman, Yayah, Azzam the American, Azzam Al-Amriki.
He is also the first American to be charged with treason since 1952.
Back to Wyden's amendment which was added in at the last minute after the committee and the White House had already hammered things out and came to a compromise, people like Adam Gahdan, known al-Qaeda supporter would not be able to have his communications monitored without a warrant, which in this case, could take valuable time to allow him to elude capture.
If that amendment stays in, the bill itself will be vetoed, and rightfully so.
Have no doubt that the House will try to gut the bill to satisfy their far left, liberal, unhinged portion of their party with complete disregard to our National Security.
Further complicating efforts in the Senate is Chris Dodd who has said he will place a hold on the bill, but according to the CQ, Reid is planning to bring it up for debate anyway, which has the left all atwitter.
The most telling paragraph in an article comes from The Hill where it states:
The strong reaction highlights the tightrope that Democrats are walking as they try to amend the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Their challenge is to update the eavesdropping legislation while avoiding another angry backlash from the left, which erupted after enough Democrats sided with the GOP to pass an interim bill in August that gave the administration sweeping new foreign-intelligence surveillance powers.
This is the problem with the Democratic politicians that we have stated over and over again, they are so worried about the extreme, unhinged fringe of their party and the "reaction" they will get from them, they are willing to sacrifice what is best for our country, our safety and our National Security.
We have said this and some recent emails I have received shows me that the moderates of the Democratic party are not only noticing, but are taking their votes elsewhere.
One example, and I will not be listing his email address because I will not have him assailed by people that cannot handle the truth.
I received this email this morning, it was said in regards to Rush Limabugh auctioning the smear letter from Harry Reid to Rush's boss, which is now worth 2 million dollars, with one hour to go, but what this email says about the Democratic moderates and how they feel about the extremists of their party taking it over, says it all:
I've never been the greatest fan of Rush Limbaugh -- but after this
BRILLIANT ploy by him -- and the millions that will go to our bravest
-- I'm a lifelong fan. This from a lifelong registered Democrat.
I'm finally going to dump my Party membership for the upcoming
elections. I've had it with the socialist nutjobs who've taken
control of my former Party. Talking about a tiny minority of
extremists they need to have their asses kicked, right to the curb.
I've had it!
JS in Hollywood.
I have discussed before that those were my reasons for leaving the Democratic party and re-registering as a Republican.
The extremists now own the Democrats, lock, stock and barrel and the politicians are aware of that, therefore they are basing National Security decisions on what the extremists want and not what is best for the country.
Pandering at its finest.
As I said the day before yesterday in a post about FISA, the Republicans are having to fight the Dems in order to keep America safe.