On National Intelligence —
The question of the foreign intelligence surveillance act is currently “hot” in the news. The Senate will try to take up the Protect America Act renewal bills tomorrow, January 24. The last time it was up for action in December Senator Chris Dodd staged a mini-filibuster. He may do it again tomorrow, joined this time in a real filibuster by Senator Russ Feingold, and perhaps others. The law expires February 1.
The House has already passed its own measure and has its hands tied until the Senate takes formal action, according to recent comments made on the House floor by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. There seems to be a plan by which Senate Democrats will ask for a 30 day extension, due to their inability to come to agreement over the provision of the bill granting retroactive immunity for telecom companies cooperating with the government. The Senate Intelligence Committee version grants it; the Judiciary Committee’s does not. The bill was passed and signed in August of last year.
In the forefront of in depth analysis is Salon‘s Glen Greenwald. As usual, the analysis is of the current politics surrounding Congress and the FISA bill.
The Democratic presidential candidates are mostly silent on the issue. FDL‘s Jane Hamsher has called for leadership from John Edwards.
David Kurtz at TPM is worried about another Democratic “capitulation.”
Cheney calls for permanent warrantless wiretapping – from the WaPo. In an earlier post I reported on DNI Mike McConnell’s plea for passage.
“Thomas” has the information on the pending legislation:
- The Restore Act was passed by the House and is now on the Senate calendar.
- The Senate Bill being brought to the floor is the Intel Committee markup, S. 2248
- Senator Reid’s Extension bill
Senate Judiciary Committee reports on Amending the FISA bill (Jan. 22 printing, 37 p. pdf)
View my current slide show about the Bush years, “Millennium,” at the bottom of this column.
(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)
My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays on creativity.