For those Americans who think more about nipple slips and celebrity cads than the phantasms of lost freedom — that is to say, for most Americans — I’ve drawn up the following little FISA for Dummies video to try, try, try and capture their attention:
The FISA Amendments Act.
When I say these words, do your eyes glaze over? Do your ears snap shut?
Does it just sound, oh, BORING?
Well, it’s anything but boring, to tell you the truth.
H.R. 6304, the FISA Amendments Act, is a bill before the Congress that is about to be passed into law.
And if it’s passed, it could change your life… FOREVER.
I could tell you to read the bill. And, by gum, I will. Here’s the link.
But I know most of you won’t read the bill. You’re too busy thinking about what Jessica Alba might look like without her blouse on, or why that scamp George Clooney won’t settle down with a nice girl for once. So for you, you illiterate, incurious masses of little citizen people, here’s a handy video to save you your valuable celebrity watching time and show you in just a few moments what the bill could do to YOU.
On the one hand, here on your right, we have the Oval Office, sitting in the White House. On the other hand, here on your left, we have the FISA court with a judge who sits and waits for a VERY special call.
Your president, George W. Hoover Cleveland Biddeford Ridingham Bush, has just finished playing a session of pocket pool and is wondering what to do next.
“Hey!” he says. “I know. Let’s peek in on David L. and Cynthia T. Smith of 36 Beaver Tree Lane, Hicksville, OH 43526. And just for kicks and crackers, let’s look in on their progeny as well: little Betsy and Tom.” We’ll search their house, and their car, and their e-mails, and their phone calls, and their faxes, and their text messages, and their pages, and the photos of their latest trip to the Zoo.” “Go Nukyular on their tiny bottoms,” cackles the Commander in Chief.
If H.R. 6304 passes the Senate next week, George W. Hoover Cleveland Biddeford Ridingham Bush — and any president who follows him — can do exactly that. The president will be allowed to search anyone, anywhere, anytime, anyhow for seven long days. No warrant. No reason. Just because he wants to. Just for giggles.
If this bill passes, the president doesn’t even have to tell anyone about it for seven long days. On the seventh day, he has to tell a judge on the FISA court what he has been doing. The judge has to keep his mouth shut and promise not to tell anybody. And here’s the kicker. Let’s say this judge (who has been selected for his tendency to let the president do what he wants) speaks up to the president and says, “Whoa, Nelly! That is the most totally bogus behavior I have seen in quite some time. Stop it, you great twit!” All the president must say in response is, “I Appeal,” and his goons can continue to spy on David and Cynthia and little Betsy and Tom for another 60 days. That’s 67 days of spying on whomever, wherever and however the president wishes.
And here’s the kicker. If this bill passes into law, and a judge declares after 67 days of unrestricted, reckless, warrantless spying that the tawdry episode must end, what then? Will the president have to destroy whatever juicy bits of information his goons scooped up for him? No! At the sole discretion of his own administration, he can keep whatever information he found, even if a judge determines he obtained it inappropriately. The judge can hop, scream, kick, and dance the Macarena, and it will do no good. The president can still keep the results of his little expedition.
You, of course, will never find out about it. You are just a citizen. Under the law, the details of such episodes are to be kept strictly confidential.
Heady stuff, isn’t it, you little tiny insignificant puny citizen person?
Well, NOW will you read the bill?
Good! That’s using the old bean.
But don’t just read the bill. Think about it. Talk to your neighbors about it. Then, when you’re feeling all riled up, call your Senators and tell them… tell them… tell them they can go to H-E-Double-Toothpicks if they think it’s all right to have some big shot government agent look inside your home without anybody’s business!
I mean, really, who does the President think he is? Your King?