A little right wing publication called The Conservative Voice expresses the paranoia with which George W. Bush and the Republican Party are pushing for extraordinary search and spy powers for the government to use against American citizens with the passage of the FISA Amendments Act. Their headline: “FISA Expiration Means American Deaths”.
They couldn’t get it more wrong. First of all, FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) has not expired. The Protect America Act, an effort to destroy the FISA courts, expired.
Secondly, what deaths are they talking about? When The Conservative Voice wrote its headline, “FISA Expiration Means American Deaths”, what dead Americans were they referring to?
Have any Americans actually died, or even gotten a paper cut, because the Protect America Act expired? No. There has been no terrorist attack in the United States since the expiration of the Protect America Act, and the chances are that there will not be another attempted terrorist attack within the United States for years, if not generations.
In their entire article, The Conservative Voice can only say the following: “Without a doubt, American people will now likely be killed on American soil.”
Without a doubt, likely? That’s an interesting choice of combined modifiers. Here’s what that statement actually means: No Americans have died as a result of the expiration of the Protect America Act. However, we are unable to doubt that it is likely that Americans will be killed here in the United States – NOW.
Now? Okay, let’s talk about now. That article over at The Conservative Voice was written by right wing ranter Kevin Roeten over 23 hours ago.
Where I come from, “now” means now, not tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or maybe ten years from now. When I say, “I’m coming over to your house now,” it doesn’t mean I’ll come over tomorrow, or maybe in the summer time, or in the year 2047.
However, there is no terrorist attack now. There wasn’t a terrorist attack yesterday. There almost certainly won’t be one tomorrow. Kevin Roeten and his ilk are just plain wrong when they claim that there will be a terrorist attack “now”.
Yet, it is on the basis of just this sort of flimsy political panic attack that George W. Bush is pressuring Democratic members of Congress to approve the extreme spy powers against American citizens contained in the FISA Amendments Act. As J. Clifford pointed out earlier this morning, there are over 40 Democrats in the House of Representatives who have proven themselves stupid enough to give in to these scare tactics.
I repeat his call to action. Call the Congressional Switchboard now (yes, now now, not The Conservative Voice‘s idea of now) at (202) 224-3121, and get connected to one of the 40 Democrats in the House who was stupid enough to get us into this mess in the first place by voting to pass the Protect America Act last year. Tell them to vote NO on the FISA Amendments Act.
Be prepared to spell the word “no” for them. It’s like “now”, only without a W.