I only had time to read the headline on the NYT's piece about the new FISA legislation this morning before I dashed off to my annual physical. I have to admit I spent the half hour in the waiting room muttering to myself about those damn Dems and pondering countermeasures could be taken to put the fear of the electorate into them. You can imagine my relief upon returning home and finding Glenn's analysis. It appears the bill in its current form is not all that bad and in fact contains some good provisions.
That bill would compel the administration "to reveal to Congress the details of all electronic surveillance conducted without court orders since Sept. 11, 2001, including the so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program." It would also require the maintenance of a data base to record the identities of all Americans whose conversations are surveilled. And it provides nothing at all in the way of amnesty or immunity for lawbreaking telecoms or administration officials. The bill introduced by House leadership is a bill the White House will never accept and would certainly veto, and it is vastly better -- in important ways -- than the atrocity they enacted in August.
It can't be emphasized too strongly that is is not the final version of the bill. If we want the Dems to stand their ground on these current provisions and not surrepitiously trade them off in the spirit of "bipartisan" caving, we need to contact our Congresscritters now to let them know our expectations. We've allowed them to get away with a lot of big talk and watched them walk away from it one too many times. Let them know you're paying attention.