Check out America's New Phone Plan!

It's way better than the old plan our founding fathers set us up with. (You know, the one where warrantless spying wasn't permitted.)

The FISA Retroactive Immunity Package gives you a sleek new phone, all the free minutes you need and the flexibility the government needs to get around your Fourth Amendment rights. Best of all—NO ROAMING CHARGES, even if you are sent to Gitmo!

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The founding fathers also set us up with the 2nd Amendment. The one which you've been busy defending...

Lonnie Wilson

Still ignoring DC v. Heller? What good is the ACLU's moral authority on this subject of the 4th amendment you will not support the 2nd amendment?


I'm going to put this up here, because I put it up in a possibly dead thread on Balkinization the other day, emailed some friends about it, emailed Glenn Greenwald about it, but haven't heard much response (except from my friends).

The new FISA bill, H.R.6304, contains language expanding the definition of the term 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' (WMD) in the course of making the proliferation of them or the activities in preparation of such proliferation grounds for a warrant or for warrantless surveillance. The previous definition of WMD was a nuclear, chemical, or biological weapon, at least in U.S. law, although the definition in preparedness is a CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, or Etiological weapon). Implied in the definition is devastation along the lines of a thermonuclear device or an epidemic.

The new definition, at Sec.110, (4)(p)(1), for those following along in the sheet music, includes, "any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas device, that is designed, intended or has the capability to cause a mass casualty incident."

The definition, in emergency medicine and disaster response, of an MCI, or mass casualty incident, is any incident in which the number of victims overwhelms the response capability. For instance, a bus accident overwhelms the response capability of the first responders that arrive on the scene, causing the use of triage protocols and incident command systems setup.

Basically, this definition now includes any and all devices used to create a mass incident by terrorist or insurgent groups, where formerly it referred to horrific weapons that conjure images of mushroom clouds. IED's in particular, would fall within this definition, any suicide bombing would as well.

Given that the administration and some of the command in Iraq have repeatedly accused the government of Iran of supplying the IED's in Iraq used against U.S. forces, this provision also has serious potential and impact as part of a casus belli against that country.

In essence, it permanently conflates WMD with any and all terrorist, separatist, insurgent, or other guerilla actions in the world, and makes any government in the world a potential target for charges that it is supplying WMD to terrorists.

I'm sorry for insisting on minute parsing of the statute, but history shows that human rights advocates worked in good faith with crafters of the DTA and the MCA, only to find out that while they thought they were limiting prisoner abuse, they were actually aiding laws that limit the applicability of the War Crimes Act and Torture Act.

So maybe I'm not sorry for parsing minutiae, after all.


You know what ACLU if you would just support our second amendment rights then you could give up working on all the other amendments such as the 4th because at least we would have guns to stand up against the government.

Mary Whitmore

Parsing minutiae is critical in containing these incursions on our liberties. Evolution itself is the culmination of many minute changes along the way. Enough minute changes and you have a whole new species. This administrations minutiae is headed to nullify our whole Constitution.


I want to ditch my AT&T service and find a company that didn't comply with the illigal wiretaping. Any facts on which companies didn't go along with FISA. I hate AT&T; they are mega implicated in the abbrogation of our civil liberties.

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