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back to article Congress approves six-month blanket wiretap warrant

US legislators have approved controversial wiretapping operations by American spies, which had been forbidden by secret judges. AP reports that Congress voted 227 to 183 on Saturday to approve a new bill modifying the provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Under FISA, whenever US spooks want to …

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We the sheeple ...

(from a Yank) I haven't quite decided which would be more disillusioning, to know that we once had actual rights and lost them, or to know that we never had them to begin with.

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Not in your lifetime

You have the rights.

It's just we have a system full of activist judges -- on both the left and right -- who will interpret the law as it seems fit to the political wind of the day.

And a Congress & Executive branch, again on both sides of the aisle, that doesn't care, either.

What do expect when the Democrat's lead bloviator on the horrors of "warrantless" wiretaps is Patrick Leahy -- who was quite proud of his work in drafting and passing the legislation in the 1990s that paid the Telcoms billions of dollars to install the central wiretaps.

Technology had made the system the U.S. had systemically applied to all outgoing telcoms since WWII and selectively at least back to WWI no longer effective. And that wasn't "secret" as in no one knew about it -- a High School civics teacher told my class about the monitoring of all international calls back in the 1980s.

When the Telcoms bought equipment the Feds couldn't listen to easily...Congress paid to "upgrade" it so they could and mandated all future equipment would be easy to listen in on.

Today in the U.S. you have the Democrats who pursue the normal socialist agenda of expanding government's intrusion into and control over private lives, and you have Democrat Light politicians like the Bush / Cheney administration who use the same tactics to herd the sheeple too. Expand welfare to attract votes? Here you go! Warrantless eavesdropping on all international phone calls? Awe heck, why worry, all the administrations have been doing that for decades! Don't like a law? We'll just have our own judges and lawyers come up with new definitions for it...after all, law shouldn't be something static and changed by the Legislative process...law is a living document!

True Conservative icons like Barry Goldwater are spinning in their graves over what passes for "conservative" today -- again, another page taken from Democrats who read George Orwell books as a manual on how to manipulate language...right wingers co-opted the term for their own activist government agenda. The same Barry Goldwater who said the Government had no business intruding into private business with "public accomodations" acts, or mandating reverse discrimination called "affirmative action" is the same Barry Goldwater who felt the government had no business interfering with medical decisions like abortion, and no reason to care what sexual practices soldiers engaged in off-duty.

The only glimmer of hope -- and it's a distant one coming from a Bush appointee, was Chief Justice Robert's recent lucid opinion that, "The way to stop discrimination, is to stop discriminating."

The way you stop tolerating government intrusions is to stop tolerating government intrusions -- not tolerate them only when it suits your political belief at the moment.

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Patriot Act 2?

Why do they bother?

They know that in six months time a midnight vote will approve extension and then permanency for this travesty against the Constitution a la other ugly and stupid police state legislation like the Patriot Act.

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23 years later...

Now we're discovering (e.g., we're finding proof) that George Orwell was an excellent prognosticator.

More's the pity.

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Anonymous Coward

The solution is simple.

The government is bound by a social contract to the people to serve their needs.

Our current government is obviously in breach of contract, and as such we should be well within our rights as human beings to terminate said social contract. However, somewhere along the line, we lost the ability to peacefully dissolve the United States government by popular vote. Indeed, we lost the ability to call for such a vote. Anyone publicly voicing desire for such a vote could easily be called a terrorist.

Hence, Anon.

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Germany -- 1933

While trite, the saying that those who ignore history are damned to repeating it is evermore applicable today as the Bush Administration, with the help of cowards masquerading as Democrats, brings us closer to Cheney's dream of the Nazi world of Adlof Hitler. They take page after page from the playbook of Goebbels and his ilk. Substitute "Moslems" and "Mexicans" or "illegal immigrants" for "Jews" and "homosexuals", and look at what you have going on in this country as so-called "talk radio" and the Republicans press on with their agenda to take over. Talk radio is nothing but a euphemism for demagoguery and propaganda for the right wing fascists in the USA. We can expect that if the outlook remains bleak for the Republicans retaining the White House in the 2008 elections that Bush and Cheney will declare a National Emergency, martial law, or such to stop the elections and retain power. While I was never a conspiracist over 9-11-2001, I cannot help but wonder now if anything that evil is really beyond Cheney's planning to retain control. There will be a crisis right before the elections, if nothing else than to bolster the need for a right wing presidency to "protect" us. Thanks, but I have had quite enough protection over the past 6+ years.

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