Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Proposed Enemy Surveillance Program: Let Them Kill Us First, Then Act...For Ninety Days

America will be endangered by a boneheaded plan put forth by Rep Heather Wilson, a Republican House member, and supported by the House leaders of the Intelligence and Judiciary committees, according to Enemy Press Network CNN.

Tucked into a story about Vice President Cheney attempting to push the White House plans for electronic surveillance of terrorists and terrorist sympathizers, is this paragraph: "That measure, sponsored by Rep. Heather Wilson, R-New Mexico, and endorsed by the GOP chairmen of the Judiciary and Intelligence committees, would require the administration to wait until a terrorist attack to open an electronic surveillance program.

Wait until a terrorist attack?!

Wait until a terrorist attack?!

Wait until a terrorist attack?!

What kind of idiocy is this?!! How can anyone seriously believe this is a good idea? Waiting until someone attacks is foolishness. We already have information about certain people. Why would we need to give them the opportunity to kill and maim Americans before acting? This is a dangerous precedent to set for our enemies. Giving them the freedom to act unimpeded is madness. Congress has failed for years to do much of anything about the GWOT and now, because of a few terror enabling rulings from Carter and Clinton appointees, Congress wants to set too many restrictions on how and when we can collect information about terrorist acts and gain information. What fools demand terrorists be given Constitutional or Geneva or Hague Convention protections? Congressional fools apparently!

Rep Wilson's "contribution" to the War On Terror is House Resolution 5825.

Some relevant points: "`Sec. 112. (a) In General- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, but subject to subsection (d), the President, acting through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without an order under this title to acquire foreign intelligence information for a period not to exceed 45 days following a terrorist attack against the United States if the President submits a notification to each member of the congressional intelligence committees and a judge having jurisdiction under section 103 that--

`(1) the United States has been the subject of a terrorist attack; and

`(2) identifies the terrorist organizations or affiliates of terrorist organizations believed to be responsible for the terrorist attack.
"

"`(b) Subsequent Certifications- Subject to subsection (d), at the end of the 45-day period described in subsection (a), and every 45 days thereafter, the President may submit a subsequent certification to each member of the congressional intelligence committees and a judge having jurisdiction under section 103 that the circumstances of the terrorist attack for which the President submitted a certification under subsection (a) require the President to continue the authorization of electronic surveillance under this section for an additional 45 days. The President shall be authorized to conduct electronic surveillance under this section for an additional 45 days after each such subsequent certification."

That's right. Ninety days. I guess Rep Wilson has great faith that all lose ends will be tied up in ninety days. This blog has no such illusions.

Congress has a job to do here, but this type of foolishness helps no one - but the terrorists. The correct option is for Congress to legislate one time on guidelines that need approval only once. Rules and regulations for surveillance, not demanding to see all information about all those who are in need of watching. Too many times we've seen officials and staff leak sensitive information. Briefings should be left to only the House and Senate leadership, not each committee member.

It's important that Americans write their House representative and demand rejection of HR5825. Protecting America is an important job, but waiting for an enemy attack is abdication of responsibility. We cannot allow that.

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