More Half Truths on FISA
I guess Bush, in his morning press conference which I missed, kept calling FISA "Old FISA". I guess it belongs in Old Europe. I'm assuming Bush didn't mention that "Old FISA" has been revised 50 times since it was enacted in 1978, including several times after 9/11, and at the time Bush called those revisions "important to protect the country."
He also apparently said that "class action plaintiffs attorneys" (which I think is the wrong phrase) want to sue telecom companies and be rewarded with a "financial gravy train," and that's what's holding up FISA. Of course, if the telecoms didn't do anything wrong, they wouldn't be afraid of any lawsuits. Second, apparently the group that's hoping for a financial gravy train is Republicans.
With the House Democrats’ refusal to grant retroactive immunity to phone companies — stalling the rewrite of the warrantless wiretapping program — GOP leadership aides are grumbling that their party isn’t getting more political money from the telecommunications industry. […]
In a reflection of the sensitivity of the subject matter, and an apparent recognition that they would undermine their own messaging by appearing to be motivated by fundraising concerns, Republicans on and off Capitol Hill declined to comment on the record. […]
“There’s no question that from time to time staff, and maybe some Members, say to fellow travelers: ‘Are you giving us some air cover? Are you helping us help you?’”
Fear and profit-taking, fear and profit-taking, apply with liberal doses.
As a side note, I just saw the ridiculous Foundation for Defense of Democracies ad on CNN, which is basically the same version of that 24 ripoff that the House campaign committee threw together. This ad has also targeted freshman Democrats in the House, leading several Democratic board members of this group to resign their positions. The real question, of course, is why they were on the board of a GOP front group in the first place.
UPDATE: Reading this transcript of Bush this morning on FISA is really painful. The stupid, it burns!!!!
UPDATE II: I have a Style Guide update. Apparently I have been calling the Senate Intelligence Committee bill by the wrong name. It is actually The Protect AT&T Act.