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Unsung Hits of the FISA Debate: An "Uneasy Partnership"

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January 22, 2008

Day Four of our FISA series on DailyKos deals with birth of the wiretapping program in the 90’s, and how Bush ramped up the program as soon as he took

office. This rush to spy resulted in an “uneasy partnership” between the NSA and the phone companies:

Phone companies apart from Qwest had reservations about the program. We know Qwest was approached long before 9/11 and refused to participate. Now we know that at least one more company had concerns about the legality of the program and “balked” in 2004. This undercuts the government’s claims that everyone agreed the programs were legal.”

… Sweeping telecom immunity is likely to shield the companies from liability for far more activities than we could have imagined. It seems the more we learn the less we know when it comes to our government’s surveillance of us. When it comes to granting immunity and denying citizens their day in court, the president’s say so cannot be the basis of a legal defense.

Congress is back in session today, and one of the top orders of business is debating the FISA Amendments Act of 2007 in the Senate. Today we joined with more than 70 coalition partners in calling for Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to bring the Senate Judiciary Committee’s version of the FISA Amendments Act of 2007 to the floor instead of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s bill.

We’ve also launched a radio ad campaign asking citizens to call their senators and tell them to say “No” to Bush’s wiretap bill, which would give immunity to telecom companies that have cooperated with the NSA’s spy program. Bush’s bill would also authorize wiretapping without warrants. Give the ad a listen, give your senators a call and please sign our petition. We’ll deliver that petition to Senator Reid this week.