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Thread: Senate to debate and vote on FISA reauthorization 12/27

  1. #1

    Default Senate to debate and vote on FISA reauthorization 12/27

    Senate will debate H.R. 5949, the FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012, on Thursday, December 27 for five hours.

    The bill would reauthorize FISA for five years without any changes.

    The Senate will vote on the following four amendments (these are summaries as final text isn't yet available):

    Leahy Amendment

    Amendment would force the government to disclose a public, unclassified summary of the secret reports it sends to select members of Congress every year about how the surveillance program actually works.

    Merkley Amendment

    Amendment would compel the government to declassify FISA court opinions, or at least offer a declassified summary. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approves requests for surveillance on suspected foreign agents in the US and interprets the scope of the US government's surveillance laws. This takes place entirely in secret, and only a few members of Congress and their staff members have the authority to view these laws in their entirety. As it stands, Americans have no idea how broadly (or narrowly) the secret court has interpreted these laws.

    Paul Amendment

    Amendment would explicitly spell out that the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unwarranted searches and seizures extends to third party searches conducted by NSA and other intelligence agencies.

    Wyden Amendment

    Amendment would compel disclosure of how many Americans have been swept up in the National Security Agency's surveillance of foreign targets. Wyden requested this information from the NSA and the NSA responded with this must read:

    The NSA Inspector General provided a classified response on 6 June 2012. I defer to his conclusion that obtaining such an estimate was beyond the capacity of his office and dedicating sufficient additional resources would likely impede the NSA's mission. He further stated that his office and NSA leadership agreed that an IG review of the sort suggested would itself violate the privacy of U.S. persons.

    Ron Paul's statement on September 12, 2012 when the House passed H.R. 5949:

    Mr. Speaker: I rise in strong opposition to the reauthorization of the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, as it violates the Fourth Amendment of our Constitution. Supporters of this reauthorization claim that the United States will be more vulnerable if the government is not allowed to monitor citizens without a warrant. I would argue that we are more vulnerable if we do allow the government to monitor Americans without a warrant. Nothing makes us more vulnerable than allowing the Constitution to be violated.

    Passage of this reauthorization will allow the government to listen in to our phone calls, read our personal correspondence, and monitor our activities without obtaining a warrant. Permission for surveillance obtained by a secret FISA court can cover broad categories of targets rather than specific individuals, as the Fourth Amendment requires. Americans who communicate with someone who is suspected of being affiliated with a target group can be monitored without a warrant. The only restriction is that Americans on US soil are not to be the primary targets of the surveillance. That is hardly reassuring. US intelligence agencies are not to target Americans on US soil, but as we all know telephone conversations usually take place between two people. If on the other end of the international conversation is an American, his conversation is monitored, recorded, transcribed, and kept for future use.

    According to press reports earlier this summer, the Director of National Intelligence admitted to the Senate that "on at least one occasion" US intelligence collection agencies violated the Constitutional prohibitions on unlawful search and seizure. Without possibility for oversight of the process and with the absence of transparency, we will never know just how many Americans have been wiretapped without warrants.

    Creating a big brother surveillance state here is no solution to threats that may exist from abroad. I urge my colleagues to reject these FISA amendments and return to the Constitution.
    See how your Representative voted here:
    http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll569.xml



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  3. #2

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    I'm not numb, but I'm weary.

    Those......

    One impossibly disgusting thing after another.
    "Integrity means having to say things that people don't want to hear & especially to say things that the regime doesn't want to hear.” -Ron Paul

    "Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism, yet we've been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it." -Edward Snowden

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    bump to call senators and reps...
    "Integrity means having to say things that people don't want to hear & especially to say things that the regime doesn't want to hear.” -Ron Paul

    "Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism, yet we've been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it." -Edward Snowden

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    bump for importance. Thanks for the great info!

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    Update on the debate:

    Senator Wyden (D-OR) discussed the importance of the 4th Amendment, beginning the debate. I'm not sure if his amendment was discussed yet.

    Senator Feinstein (D-CA) began speaking in opposition to any of the amendments. She claims that FISA does nothing to infringe upon the rights of American citizens.

    Senator Merkley (D-OR) is now speaking in favor of his amendment. Speaking in strong support of 4th Amendment.

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    Senator Rand Paul tweets:

    Rand Paul ‏@DrRandPaul
    FISA violates the Fourth Amendment: Senate Debating Warrantless Domestic Spying Today; Vote Pending http://reason.com/blog/2012/12/27/se...s-domestic-spy … via @reason

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    Tweeted by The Hill:

    The Hill ‏@thehill
    Sen @RonWyden calls for oversight of US intel agencies that may be monitoring Americans http://bit.ly/V71x3o by @PeteKTheHill

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    Senator Feinstein (D-CA) began speaking in opposition to any of the amendments. She claims that FISA does nothing to infringe upon the rights of American citizens.
    But of course. She is such a despicable, authoritarian old bag.

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/12/27/se...s-domestic-spy
    If your post-holiday boredom has left you without a reason to get riled up (or perhaps the Fiscal Cliff "negotiations" just aren't enough), I invite you to watch the Senate debate on C-Span about renewing the FISA Amendments Act today. The FISA Act allows the government to get secret permission to spy on communications to and from Americans without having to prove probable cause in defiance of the Fourth Amendment.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has been on top of the political machinations behind the renewal of the bill, such as the senators – among them Ron Wyden (who is currently speaking as I write this) and Rand Paul – working to change the laws to require warrants to collect private communications from Americans.
    Based on the idea of natural rights, government secures those rights to the individual by strictly negative intervention, making justice costless and easy of access; and beyond that it does not go. The State, on the other hand, both in its genesis and by its primary intention, is purely anti-social. It is not based on the idea of natural rights, but on the idea that the individual has no rights except those that the State may provisionally grant him. It has always made justice costly and difficult of access, and has invariably held itself above justice and common morality whenever it could advantage itself by so doing.
    --Albert J. Nock

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    Senator Coons is now speaking on FISA. He is speaking in favor of the amendments of transparency. He's complaining about rushing these bills onto the floor and wanting to pass them so fast. I agree with him on this issue. He's speaking very well.

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    Senator Feinstein is now speaking in opposition to Senator Paul's Amendment.

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    What's the view of members here on Senator Leahy's Judiciary Cmte substitute to FISA?

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    Senator Blunt (R-MO) just spoke in support of FISA and opposes the amdts.

    Senator Chambliss (R-GA), vice-chair of Intelligence Cmte, is now speaking in support of FISA.

    Senator Udall (D-CO) will speak for 30 minutes in opposition to FISA.
    Last edited by Spoa; 12-27-2012 at 02:19 PM.

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    Senate will vote on the Leahy, Merkley and Paul amendments at 5:30 pm ET tonight then vote on the Wyden amendment and final passage of FISA reauthorization tomorrow.

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    senator Durbin (D-IL) speaks in favor of amendments to FISA!

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    Update: Voting has begun on Amendments for today.

    First up, Leahy Amendment (In nature of substitute).

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    Merkley amendment fails: 37 yes to 54 no. Pauls amendment is 12 yes, 79 no.
    Last edited by wetroof; 12-27-2012 at 05:45 PM.

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    It doesn't look like they are adding roll call votes to the Senate's page tonight.

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    I don't understand what a "third party" search is. Does Paul mean by a government agency that is not specifically empowered with law enforcement?

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    Why would Leahy want to do this? I smell a rat.

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    Roll Call for Leahy Amendment: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LI...n=2&vote=00232

    Roll Call for Merkley Amendment: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LI...n=2&vote=00233

    Roll Call for Paul Amendment: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LI...n=2&vote=00234

    Overall, there were only two good senators on the GOP part: Senator Rand Paul (KY) and Senator Mike Lee (UT). Senator Heller (NV) voted in favor of one of the amendments. The Senate is moving on to a wasteful Sandy Supplemental Bill and several amendments. Tomorrow, the Wyden Amendment and FISA final passage will be on the floor at about 9:30 in the morning.
    Last edited by Spoa; 12-27-2012 at 06:41 PM.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by anaconda View Post
    I don't understand what a "third party" search is.
    I think it has to do with searching a third party who holds records on a target, like a phone or internet carrier.

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    __________________________________________________ ________________
    "A politician will do almost anything to keep their job, even become a patriot" - Hearst

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    Welcome to today's closing arguments on FISA.

    Senator Wyden (D-OR) speaks in favor of his amendment while Senator Feinstein (D-CA) speaks in opposition. 30 minutes (15 minutes per side) of debate. Then, they vote on the amendment and then move to final passage.

    Senator Udall (D-CO) speaks in favor of amendment while Senator Chambliss (R-GA) speaks in opposition.
    Last edited by Spoa; 12-28-2012 at 08:46 AM.

  28. #27

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    Voting on Wyden Amendment has begun.

    Senators Heller and Lee are on the floor now. Both voted yes on the amendment.

    Senator Murkowski has now voted yes...at least one senator is learning.

    Senator Paul has now voted yes.

    Hooray! Senator Toomey has now voted yes...another senator is improving.

    Senator Grassley has now voted yes...that makes 6 GOP senators from my count (at least that's better than only 2-3 yesterday).

    Wyden Amendment fails with 43 yeas to 52 nays.
    Last edited by Spoa; 12-28-2012 at 09:05 AM.

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    Moving to Final Passage on FISA!

    "NO" Votes (very few):
    A few Democrats (they went too quickly for me to type all of them down)

    Lee
    Murkowski
    Paul

    73 yeas and 23 nays. FISA passes and heads to the President.

    They now move to consideration of Sandy Supplemental.
    Last edited by Spoa; 12-28-2012 at 09:29 AM.

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    The Senate Can At Least Agree On One Thing
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-1...gree-one-thing

    ...In other words, when it comes to spying on its citizens, the US government is quite united. It will also be unanimous when it has to vote its annual COLA salary increase to keep up with the true 10% inflation.
    Based on the idea of natural rights, government secures those rights to the individual by strictly negative intervention, making justice costless and easy of access; and beyond that it does not go. The State, on the other hand, both in its genesis and by its primary intention, is purely anti-social. It is not based on the idea of natural rights, but on the idea that the individual has no rights except those that the State may provisionally grant him. It has always made justice costly and difficult of access, and has invariably held itself above justice and common morality whenever it could advantage itself by so doing.
    --Albert J. Nock

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spoa View Post
    73 yeas and 23 nays. FISA passes and heads to the President.
    73 members of Senate violate their oath to the Constitution. How sad.
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul


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