Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Senate votes for expansion of spy powers

After more than a year of wrangling, the Senate handed the White House a major victory on Tuesday by voting to broaden the government’s spy powers and to give legal protection to phone companies that cooperated in President Bush’s program of eavesdropping without warrants...

The measure extends, for at least six years, many of the broad new surveillance powers that Congress hastily approved last August just before its summer recess. Intelligence officials said court rulings had left dangerous gaps in their ability to intercept terrorist communications.

The bill, which had the strong backing of the White House, allows the government to eavesdrop on large bundles of foreign-based communications on its own authority so long as Americans are not the targets. A secret intelligence court, which traditionally has issued individual warrants before wiretapping began, would review the procedures set up by the executive branch only after the fact to determine whether there were abuses involving Americans.

What angers me just as much as this legislation is the fact that neither Obama or Clinton were there for this vote.


Tall Asian Guy said...

Yeah, what a shame they weren't there. A "good" political move though, I must admit, since "playing soft" on national security as a Democrat is an automatic loss of Obamacan votes, right-leaning independent votes, and the state of New York, and at the same time voting FOR the bill makes you anti-libertarian/unDemocratic.

On a different point though, I must argue in favor of the expansion in CIA, etc, especially in the time of Subtle Cold War with China. Pardoning the phone companies, I strongly disagree with. "It's my goddamn privacy!"

p.s. can you give me some reasons why you'd be against the expansion of U.S. spying power? (something other than "because we need to make the world a trusting place")

Vanessa said...

My reason against US expansion of spying power: Because I feel like the "war on terror" is a product of intentional deceit and manipulation orchestrated by the executive branch, I am not particularly compelled to hand that same branch my civil liberties on a silver platter.

Because I feel our so-called-crisis is simply a guise for war-profiteering, I am not shaking in my boots enough to hand over my right to privacy or protection from unlawful search and seizure.