Listen for yourself. In an interview on National Public Radio on February 15, Bush Administration Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell has admitted that the effort to pass the FISA Amendments Act isn’t really about the ability to continue national intelligence. “That’s not the real issue,” he says.
Renee Montaigne: Mr. McConnell, the Bush administration says that if the Protect America Act isn’t made permanent, it will tie your hands, intelligence hands, especially when it comes to new threats. But isn’t it true that any surveillance underway does not expire, even if this law isn’t renewed by tomorrow?
Michael McConnell: Well, Renee it’s a very complex issue. It’s true that some of the authorities would carry over to the period they were established for one year. That would put us into the August, September time-frame. However, that’s not the real issue. The issue is liability protection for the private sector.
“The issue is liability protection for the private sector.”
Roll that around on your tongue.
The Bush administration and its authoritarian allies in the Republican and Democratic parties have been striving to gut the Constitution in order to provide liability protection for the private sector.
(Thanks to Radamisto for tipping us off on this one.)