Cheney Calls for Permanent Warrantless Wiretapping Sen. Reid Requests 30-Day Extension of Protect America Act
By William Branigin Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, January 23, 2008; 2:01 PM
Vice President Cheney called on Congress today to permanently extend the Protect America Act as the White House launched a drive to secure the tools it says are needed to fight a continuing terrorist threat beyond the law's Feb. 1 expiration.
In a speech to a sympathetic audience at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington-based think tank, Cheney also said the law must include immunity from lawsuits for telecommunications companies that assisted the U.S. government's electronic surveillance efforts after Sept. 11, 2001.
. . . Reid's letter added: "Congress is working on a bipartisan basis to provide our intelligence professionals with the tools they need to combat terrorism, while protecting the privacy of law abiding Americans. The legislative process on this critical issue should neither be rushed, nor tainted by political gamesmanship."
. . . The American Civil Liberties Union, which calls the law the "Police America Act," argues that it "allows for massive, untargeted collection of international communications without court order or meaningful oversight by either Congress or the courts." The ACLU says the law "contains virtually no protections for the U.S. end of the phone call or e-mail, leaving decisions about the collection, mining and use of Americans' private communications up to this administration."
Harry's going to decide how to protect the privacy of 'law abiding Americans?'
Harry Reid's performance and record of legislative guidance during his period as Senate Majority Leader hasn't been worth Cactus Jack Garner's famous "bucket of warm spit." Search my mind as best I can, I'm unable to think of a single thing that Reid has done that benefits the country.
If Washington doesn't stop calling my country a 'homeland,' I'm going to get Montana Senator Jon Tester to author legislation making it an illegal term and removing it from all legislation where it occurs. The crimes done in the name of 'homeland,' pale by comparison the worst days of Joe McCarthy.
We Americans, by our acquiescence to such demagoguery, diminish the very country we purport to honor. Cheney and Bush, with the active participation of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and every single current candidate for president of the United States, conspired (there is no other word for it) to take away America and give us back a 'homeland.'
I don't want it.
You have to decide if you want it.
We are smack-dab in the midst of 1933 Weimar Germany, so far as the active kidnapping of our historic American civil protections are concerned. Just as in those darkest days of German history, the theft, chicanery and dictatorship is being accomplished with the willing participation of the citizenry. Time after time, Germans voted in Hitler's legislation, wrapped in the glory of the flag and presented as protections for the German homeland.
We are trading historic American freedoms for hysteric homeland securities.
The flags are flying as we deal away freedom after freedom and trade it for false senses of security. Columnist Thomas Friedman (an early-on protagonist for war in Iraq) is not a favorite of mine when it comes to stepping up for the America that I know, but he gave us a quote of Jeffersonian dimension:
"We have to find a way of defending ourselves from others' weapons of mass destruction without losing our own weapon of mass attraction"
That loss will not be assuaged with a template borrowed from Nazi Germany, nor will its defense include hiding behind the skirts of Washington's newly minted and badly thought-through Protect America Act.
Protect America Act
Hogwash! False rhetoric for the destruction of American principle. We were once a country of patriots and feared no power on the face of the earth. Are we willing to trade away those principles of freedom that made us the envy of the planet, for Dick Cheney's Jello-promise of protections? If we are attacked, we will respond. We responded without fail for 225 years before Dick Cheney's false promises and will respond without fail after he has slunk off to the very sidelines he sought as a draft-dodger. Meanwhile, if we value America, we will stop building walls against our neighbors, stop taking our shoes off in airports, stop the madness of volunteering up our freedoms against the boogey-man of fear . . . . . . and stop, for god's sake, calling America a 'homeland.'