The McConnell-Bond bill that revises and updates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support of 17 Democratic senators. It is a crucially necessary bit of legislation given that FISA is not only 30 years old, it has also been crippled by the “secret ruling by a FISA judge earlier this year that declared surveillance of purely foreign communications that pass through a U.S. communications node illegal without a court-approved warrant — a requirement that intelligence officials have described as unacceptably burdensome.” (Details here.)
More from the Washington Post: “Every day we don’t have [this wiretap authority], we don’t know what’s going on outside the country,” a senior White House official said. “All you need is one communication from, say, Pakistan to Afghanistan that’s routed through Seattle that tells you ‘I’m about to do a truck bomb in New York City‘ or ‘about to do a truck bomb in Iraq,’ and it’s too late.”
The House could quickly take up what is obviously an urgently needed and broadly backed bill and thus help secure the country against terrorist attack, or the Pelosi Democrats could continue to play politics with the nation’s defenses. None of the Democratic candidates for president have called on their party to move decisively to fix this gap in the law, and the irresponsible lassitude by the Speaker and her extreme colleagues and staff underscore the consequences of turning leadership of the government over to the silly party.
At this moment, as has been the case for many months, terrorists abroad are communicating their plans and we are not intercepting those communications though we have the technical ability to do so because of Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in control of Congress.
17 Senate Democrats understood that this situation cannot continue. Is Nancy Pelosi so blinded by partisan rage that she will leave the nation blinded rather than pass a bill the Administration demands? The House switchboard is 202-225-3121.
UPDATE: The bill passed the House. 187 Democrats voted against it.