FISA Needs Passage - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
FISA Needs Passage
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The industrious Kathryn Lopez (and other NRO editors and writers) beat me to the punch on this, but they are absolutely right: It is of utmost importance that Congress pass a permanent FISA reform bill, NOW. (FISA is, of course, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which needs reform in order to keep up with new technologies and allow us to interdict terrorist activity.) I endorse just about every word in all three of those linked pieces. I will add that I was at the same meeting with a “senior administration official” that K-Lo attended today, and her account of what the official said is accurate (of course) and important. The official also stressed the importance of providing immunity from lawsuits for the telecom companies who cooperated, at the request of the Justice Department, with the key, prior surveillance efforts.

And what about all of the supposed violations of civil liberties? “I don’t know even one” example of such violations, said the official. Not one.

Reminder (from Quin, not from the “official”): The fact of the matter is that the surveillance at issue is NOT, repeat NOT, a matter of “eavesdropping” on ordinary American citizens. All that is involved is following specific trails of known terrorists or of people of whom there is exceedingly good reason to suspect of terrorist associations.

Finally, I call attention to this particular paragraph from Kathryn’s account:

While the official could not name names, so to speak, as to the specific intelligence gathered because of FISA, when asked how it is we haven’t been attacked since 9/11, the official focused on our success weakening al-Qaeda’s organization. The fact that we’ve “killed so many No. 3s,” he pointed out is no small thing. “When you can operate at that level with a fair degree of consistency…that makes life very difficult for them.” While he would tie no specific victory to one program, the tools at hand that this administration has fought hard to keep have contributed to the success of averting attack. The official believes that one London-scale attack was called off because of our effectiveness at undercutting the al-Qaeda organization.

One more great quote from the official, following up on what he said about the disruptions to Al Qaeda: “”One of the most dangerous jobs in the world right now is to be the Number Three guy in Al Qaeda.”

If we pass the FISA reform, we will be in much better position to keep it that way.

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