In 2008, when the FISA Amendments Act was being considered by the Congress as an effort to legalize…
– physical searches of Americans’ homes
– physical searches of Americans’ cars
– physical searches of Americans’ offices
– surveillance of Americans’ phone calls
– surveillance of Americans’ e-mails
– surveillance of Americans’ internet use
– tracking of Americans’ whereabouts and associations
– without the warrants specified by the U.S. Constitution
– without any evidence that a crime has been or will be committed
… it passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law. That’s unfortunate, but at least there was an active and vocal effort to stop the bill at the time.
Fast forward four years, to 2012, and two bills — H.R. 5949 in the House and S. 3276 in the Senate — are being quietly ushered through Congress to reauthorize the FISA Amendments Act for five more years — until 2017.
Is Atrios writing about this? Nope.
Is anyone at Daily Kos writing about this? Nope.
Is anyone in the mainstream media writing any news stories about H.R. 5949 or about S. 3276? Not to my knowledge — with the exceptions of a U.S. News & World Report article published June 19 and a blog post by Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle.
If you want to learn more about the creeping reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act in Congress, you can’t open your daily newspaper; the papers are ignoring the news. You can’t flip over to your favorite Democratic partisan blogs, which don’t seem to care so much about violations of Americans’ constitutional rights now that Barack Obama’s doing it.
Instead, read these, the few recent mentions of FISA reauthorization legislation that I’ve been able to find:
FierceGovernmentIT, June 20.
Wired Danger Room, June 18.
And, as a coda, the conservative blog “Right on the Left Coast” in a post on June 20:
Are Our Friends On The Left Protesting Now?
No? I didn’t think so. Of course, I didn’t think they were serious the first time they protested. They weren’t protesting warrantless surveillance of terrorists, they were merely protesting President Bush:
If it was “trampling on the Constitution” under President Bush, what is it under President Obama?
If you think that bit of conservative gloating is unfair, make it unfair.
First, read up on the FISA Amendments Act reauthorization so you know what you’re talking about.
But don’t stop there. Reading is not enough. Thinking is not enough. Waiting for Jon Stewart to tell a joke is not enough. If you want to stop FISA’s warrantless surveillance, you have to act. You have to do it yourself. You have to WAKE UP. And you pretty much have to do it now.
So moving quickly to “Second,” write privately to your friends and publicly on your blog or other platform, spreading the word about this latest volley against constitutional rights.
Third, call the U.S. Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121 to get in touch with your two Senators and one Representative. Tell them to vote NO against passage of H.R. 5949 and S. 3276.
If you find any additional information, or if you’d like to encourage your fellow Americans to get active, post a comment here.