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Senate passes FISA bill

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Senate Wednesday passed controversial legislation meant to update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

The vote was 69-28.

The bill now moves to the president's desk. President Bush is expected to sign the bill.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, voted for the update.

Obama had opposed the FISA reform legislation. A number of individuals have have criticized him for changing his position on the bill.

Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, was not in the Senate Wednesday. He was campaigning in Portsmouth, Ohio, when the vote occurred.

I know my senator Clinton was one of the 28 that said no. Obviously she listened to those she represents and all of our bitching. I'm so far beyond pissed and disgusted this passed. More power and immunity for our dictator and his buddies. I think I understand why people engage in suicide bombings. -_-;


                                               Look at the flowers

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Senate Passes Unconstitutional Spying Bill And Grants Sweeping Immunity To Phone Companies (7/9/2008)

ACLU Announces Legal Challenge To Follow President’s Signature


CONTACT: (202) 675-2312, media@dcaclu.org or

(212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

WASHINGTON – Today, in a blatant assault upon civil liberties and the right to privacy, the Senate passed an unconstitutional domestic spying bill that violates the Fourth Amendment and eliminates any meaningful role for judicial oversight of government surveillance. The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 was approved by a vote of 69 to 28 and is expected to be signed into law by President Bush shortly. This bill essentially legalizes the president’s unlawful warrantless wiretapping program revealed in December 2005 by the New York Times.

“Once again, Congress blinked and succumbed to the president’s fear-mongering. With today’s vote, the government has been given a green light to expand its power to spy on Americans and run roughshod over the Constitution,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “This legislation will give the government unfettered and unchecked access to innocent Americans’ international communications without a warrant. This is not only unconstitutional, but absolutely un-American.”

The FISA Amendments Act nearly eviscerates oversight of government surveillance by allowing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to review only general procedures for spying rather than individual warrants. The FISC will not be told any specifics about who will actually be wiretapped, thereby undercutting any meaningful role for the court and violating the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

The bill further trivializes court review by authorizing the government to continue a surveillance program even after the government’s general spying procedures are found insufficient or unconstitutional by the FISC. The government has the authority to wiretap through the entire appeals process, and then keep and use whatever information was gathered in the meantime. A provision touted as a major “concession” by proponents of the bill calls for investigations by the inspectors general of four agencies overseeing spying activities. But members of Congress who do not sit on the Judiciary or Intelligence committees will not be guaranteed access to the agencies’ reports.

The bill essentially grants absolute retroactive immunity to telecommunication companies that facilitated the president’s warrantless wiretapping program over the last seven years by ensuring the dismissal of court cases pending against those companies. The test for the companies’ right to immunity is not whether the government certifications they acted on were actually legal – only whether they were issued. Because it is public knowledge that certifications were issued, all of the pending cases will be summarily dismissed. This means Americans may never learn the truth about what the companies and the government did with our private communications.

“With one vote, Congress has strengthened the executive branch, weakened the judiciary and rendered itself irrelevant,” said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “This bill – soon to be law – is a constitutional nightmare. Americans should know that if this legislation is enacted and upheld, what they say on international phone calls or emails is no longer private. The government can listen in without having a specific reason to do so. Our rights as Americans have been curtailed and our privacy can no longer be assumed.”

In advance of the president’s signature, the ACLU announced its plan to challenge the new law in court.

“This fight is not over. We intend to challenge this bill as soon as President Bush signs it into law,” said Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project. “The bill allows the warrantless and dragnet surveillance of Americans’ international telephone and email communications. It plainly violates the Fourth Amendment.”

For more information, go to:



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For the record ... here's how the vote went down. Worth noting ... Barack Obama voted FOR the bill and John McCain did not vote.

Alphabetical by Senator Name

Akaka (D-HI), Nay

Alexander (R-TN), Yea

Allard (R-CO), Yea

Barrasso (R-WY), Yea

Baucus (D-MT), Yea

Bayh (D-IN), Yea

Bennett (R-UT), Yea

Biden (D-DE), Nay

Bingaman (D-NM), Nay

Bond (R-MO), Yea

Boxer (D-CA), Nay

Brown (D-OH), Nay

Brownback (R-KS), Yea

Bunning (R-KY), Yea

Burr (R-NC), Yea

Byrd (D-WV), Nay

Cantwell (D-WA), Nay

Cardin (D-MD), Nay

Carper (D-DE), Yea

Casey (D-PA), Yea

Chambliss (R-GA), Yea

Clinton (D-NY), Nay

Coburn (R-OK), Yea

Cochran (R-MS), Yea

Coleman (R-MN), Yea

Collins (R-ME), Yea

Conrad (D-ND), Yea

Corker (R-TN), Yea

Cornyn (R-TX), Yea

Craig (R-ID), Yea

Crapo (R-ID), Yea

DeMint (R-SC), Yea

Dodd (D-CT), Nay

Dole (R-NC), Yea

Domenici (R-NM), Yea

Dorgan (D-ND), Nay

Durbin (D-IL), Nay

Ensign (R-NV), Yea

Enzi (R-WY), Yea

Feingold (D-WI), Nay

Feinstein (D-CA), Yea

Graham (R-SC), Yea

Grassley (R-IA), Yea

Gregg (R-NH), Yea

Hagel (R-NE), Yea

Harkin (D-IA), Nay

Hatch (R-UT), Yea

Hutchison (R-TX), Yea

Inhofe (R-OK), Yea

Inouye (D-HI), Yea

Isakson (R-GA), Yea

Johnson (D-SD), Yea

Kennedy (D-MA), Not Voting

Kerry (D-MA), Nay

Klobuchar (D-MN), Nay

Kohl (D-WI), Yea

Kyl (R-AZ), Yea

Landrieu (D-LA), Yea

Lautenberg (D-NJ), Nay

Leahy (D-VT), Nay

Levin (D-MI), Nay

Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea

Lincoln (D-AR), Yea

Lugar (R-IN), Yea

Martinez (R-FL), Yea

McCain (R-AZ), Not Voting

McCaskill (D-MO), Yea

McConnell (R-KY), Yea

Menendez (D-NJ), Nay

Mikulski (D-MD), Yea

Murkowski (R-AK), Yea

Murray (D-WA), Nay

Nelson (D-FL), Yea

Nelson (D-NE), Yea

Obama (D-IL), Yea

Pryor (D-AR), Yea

Reed (D-RI), Nay

Reid (D-NV), Nay

Roberts (R-KS), Yea

Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea

Salazar (D-CO), Yea

Sanders (I-VT), Nay

Schumer (D-NY), Nay

Sessions (R-AL), Not Voting

Shelby (R-AL), Yea

Smith (R-OR), Yea

Snowe (R-ME), Yea

Specter (R-PA), Yea

Stabenow (D-MI), Nay

Stevens (R-AK), Yea

Sununu (R-NH), Yea

Tester (D-MT), Nay

Thune (R-SD), Yea

Vitter (R-LA), Yea

Voinovich (R-OH), Yea

Warner (R-VA), Yea

Webb (D-VA), Yea

Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea

Wicker (R-MS), Yea

Wyden (D-OR), Nay


                                               Look at the flowers

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Wow. The end of the world is coming..lol Seriously, this is so wrong.


"Well, Toutousai...don't you think it's a pity for Tessaiga? All Inuyasha can do is wave about a sword with all his strength...it's the same whether it's a famous sword or a log."


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Visit the sites for the organizations against this legislation. The ACLU wants the bill challenged in court. Leading up to this vote in the senate I was emailing my senators at least once a week, participated in every e campaign I could find that opposed this shit. I've already signed 2 petitions to challenge this bill and it isn't even a week old yet.

I do feel like something is working tho (I'll take that 1/2 inch of progress). Both of my senators voted no on FISA. I think they felt the pressure and heard the voices of the ppl on NY.


                                               Look at the flowers

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Well, its the end of his presidency and Bush needed to make sure his ass was covered for all the illegal shit he did. I'm guessing the senators who voted yes probably had their hands in the illegal wiretapping themselves through committees or direct actions. They all cover each others asses.


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