Yesterday, by a 60 to 36 vote, the Senate successfully tabled an amendment that would have required all interceptions by our intelligence community of targeted communications to be first approved by a Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court. In addition, the amendment would have omitted immunity for the telecommunications firms involved in warrantless eavesdropping. Yet the fight is not over for Senators Dodd, Leahy, and Feingold are planning to filibuster cloture of the debate over the bill on Monday.
Last night, Mark Levin asked Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) what the impact would be if the ‘Protect America Act’ is allowed to lapse as of February 1, 2008 and it is not replaced by the ‘FISA Amendments Act of 2007’ (S.2248) now under consideration. Senator Hatch replied:
If this law passes, we will be giving our intelligence community people the tools to be able to protect us in this country, to the extent that we possibly can. Now, if we don’t pass this law this way or we amend it from a political standpoint so that we undermine what the intelligence community has to do to protect our American people, then we’re going to have some problems in this country that are going to be horrendous.
We lost 3,000 people in one fell swoop. Where are their civil liberties? We lost them because we did not have the tools to be able to interdict these people and catch them before they did that.
Here is the audio of Mark’s full interview of Senator Hatch:
Extraordinary concessions were necessary to reach a compromise in the Senate Intelligence Committee and for them to approve the bill, 13 to 2. From what Senator Hatch said and my reading of the bill now under consideration, if the NSA intercepts the overseas communications from a device known to have been used by terrorists and the NSA determines that the person sending that communication is or might be an American, they would have to stop intercepting until a FISA warrant is obtained. The communication does not even have to pass through an American communication provider for a warrant to be required. The mere suspicion that an American, outside the United States, is the person communicating requires a FISA warrant. Further, this seems to apply to the overseas communications of Americans overseas who are already suspected of being involved with terrorists. For example, intercepting the overseas communications of Adam Yahiye Gadahn, the American on the FBI’s most wanted list for treason and material support to al Qaeda, likely requires a FISA warrant.
Yet even all those protections are not enough for the liberals in Congress, they want to rebuild Gorelick’s Wall, brick by brick. Please call your Senators’ offices now, before those idiots get thousands of more Americans killed.
Note: Cross-posted at MarkLevinFan.com