Congress is nearing a deal on FISA


I know, I know, you've heard it before: The House and Senate are nearing a deal on immunity for telcos and the entire issue of the Bush administration's trampling of civil liberties vis-a-vis domestic spying and the dreaded Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act .

I have, too, and I don't put much credence in today's Wall Street Journal story (see item #4 below) that a deal on FISA is just around the corner. There's just too much politicking left to do before a reasonable decision, sans party posturing, can be agreed upon.

But wouldn't it be nice? Instead, the Journal points out there's a lot still to be hammered out. So what else is new?

It should have been hammered out long ago, before it compromised telcos by making them unknowing accomplices in a scheme that's likely to be remembered in history in the same light as any knee-jerk reaction to a national security threat or, sadly, in the same light as J. Edgar Hoover's notorious files and the FBI chief playing fast and loose with civil liberties while he collected reams of information on innocent people.

So, the deal's putting telco immunity into the secret national-security court? That's reassuring. A little more light on this dark subject, please.--Jim 

P.S. Monday's Memorial Day and we won't be publishing. Take a moment this weekend--as you sear that brat on the grill--to pause and offer a thank you to those souls who died in service to this country, defending our liberties.

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