Defense of Democracies Offers to Debate Rep. Walz on Terrorist Surveillance « Defense of Democracies

An interesting, and well versed response and a request for dialog. I think thats a good thing. Certainly I doubt that any person reasonably skilled in this arena believes FISA in and of itself is adequate. Many things have changed over the last 30 years, threats and technology are only two of them.

Yet, the author fails to mention the sunset provisions of the Protect American Act.

(d) Authorizations in Effect- Authorizations for the acquisition of foreign intelligence information pursuant to the amendments made by this Act, and directives issued pursuant to such authorizations, shall remain in effect until their expiration. Such acquisitions shall be governed by the applicable provisions of such amendments and shall not be deemed to constitute electronic surveillance as that term is defined in section 101(f) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801(f)).

Thus, unless someone really dropped the ball, the only gap is the immunity issue… and the last news I heard, is that the phone companies are on board even without immunity as of late last week. Thus, for now, even though the Protect America Act expired, the authorizations remain in force until they expire.

What I find odd though, is that certainly Tim Walz is aware of this, citizenry who follow such arena’s in legislation are aware of this…. and yet the author left it out. Sure, its spin, but to what audience. Certainly not to those who he is likely to dialog with, nor those who have been following such legislation. It likely will serve just to aggravate them, rather than to engage…. And I think wide scale engagement and discussion of the rather complex issues is the key to resolving how best to move forward. Few will sacrifice liberty for safety. Many will be outraged to sacrifice safety for the phone company, or for a 30 year old law. Thus, all parties have very much the same goal in mind, the problem is how to get there. Spin may work forsome, but not very well for the concerned and informed citizen. Tim Walz was right, congress and the executive branch had time to work this out. There is no reason to let things slide. The end goal is too important.

Please bear in mind, I don’t want the phone companies hung out to dry. They appear to have acted in good faith, most certainly last week, and they should not be penalized for it… but more importantly, neither should the general public.