FISA: If You Vote for Hatch or Bennett Ever Again, You Are An Accessory To A Crime

Senators Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett voted yesterday to make it legal for the government to listen in on and store data from your phone conversations anytime they want to, for no reason, and without a search warrant.

What has this country come to?

In the earlier days of the Republic, such actions would have been seen by everyone--not to mention their elected leaders--as a crime. So, for the record, I think that Hatch and Bennett are political criminals. I hope you will now agree that if you ever vote to send them back to the Senate again, you will be an accessory to their crime.

Utah Mormons: you know that Constitution hanging by a thread thingy that you talk about in church all the time?

With the vote of 69 Senators yesterday (most of them Republican), we no longer have a Fourth Amendment. Hatch and Bennett led the cheerleading and the voting.

Your two senators just took a box cutter to it yesterday, and it's just about to break.

The fourth amendment to the Constitution is very unequivocal about your being free from being searched and spied on capriciously
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
With the vote of 69 Senators yesterday (most of them Republican), we no longer have a Fourth Amendment.

Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, and Mao would be proud at what we have become.

We can only hope that this Constitution-busting FISA law will be struck down in short order by the US Supreme Court. (In a similar vote on June 20, 2008, Utah congressmen Rob Bishop and Jim Matheson voted in favor of erasing the fourth amendment, while Chris Cannon was wandering aimlessly in the House lobby mumbling something about that Jason Chaffetz was about to clean his clock.)

It's nothing really new, I guess. The Bush Administration has been doing this for the past 7 years, using 9/11 as a pretext.
Opponents of the bill say it will legalize the illegal surveillance carried out under the Bush administration’s orders between 2001 and 2007. Some say that President Bush violated the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that requires secret-court approval to electronically track any foreign target in the United States. But Bush maintains that he had "war-time power" to authorize such a program.
Well, guess what. Now your

For those of you who were thinking about voting for Obama for president, I hope now that he voted for this police state bill that you will reconsider.

government doesn't even need the "war-time" excuse anymore.

For the record, this new law violates another tenet of the Constitution, but who even cares any you? Article I section 9 of the Constitution says that “No ...ex post facto Law shall be passed.” Yet, by giving immunity to telecommunications companies who made millions of dollars by knowingly breaking the law in the past few years, Congress has just done that.

It's time to clean house of men and women in Congress who think that the Constitution is simply something to blow their nose with.

For those of you who were thinking about voting for Obama for president, I hope now that he voted for this police state bill that you will reconsider. Obama's been carrying around a basket of apples painted as oranges for his entire campaign. He is no different than Bush, McCain, or any of the other Establishment robots--to include Utah's two senators. Hillary Clinton voted against it, by the way.

When the companion bill came before the US House of Representatives, Ron Paul had this to say
In addition to gutting the fourth amendment, this measure will deprive Americans who have had their rights violated by telecommunication companies involved in the Administration’s illegal wiretapping program the right to seek redress in the courts for the wrongs committed against them. Worse, this measure provides for retroactive immunity, whereby individuals or organizations that broke the law as it existed are granted immunity for prior illegal actions once the law has been changed. Ex post facto laws have long been considered anathema in free societies under rule of law.
Hey all you frogs in a warm pot of water...did you just notice that the temperature went up a bit? I didn't think so.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and probably even Franklin D. Roosevelt are rolling in their graves. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, and Mao would be proud at what we have become.


  1. After breaking an OATH he swore to support the Constitution, Senator Hatch assured us (in what has become a stock phrase now) that the government won't be watching anybody "unless you have al Qaeda on speed dial."

    So, what's not to trust? BTW, how do they know who's on my speed dial unless they have me under surveillance?

  2. I thought you were joking, so I did a google search for "unless you have al Qaeda on speed dial" and found this from yesterday:

    Bond, the Missouri Republican, disagreed, saying the bill requires surveillance of U.S. residents to be approved by the FISA court. "Unless you have Al Qaeda on speed dial, you're not going to be [monitored]," he said.

  3. I think it's debatable what Franklin "Internment Camp" Roosevelt would think of FISA.

  4. Don't forget about Bishop and Matheson, too. Those chuckleheads helped push the un-American ball into Hatch and Bennett's court.

  5. Cameron,

    You're probably right. I threw that one in there as a stark comparison.



    What surprised me the VERY MOST about all of this is that Matheson let us down. I thought he had more integrity than that.

  6. Well I think the time to start actively campaigning against Bennett and Hatch is right now while this travesty is fresh on all freedom lovers' minds. Should we start agressively campaigning for Chaffetz to take Bennett's seat in 2010?

  7. I sent an email to both of them but they must not have received them in time. Otherwise I'm sure they would have recognized the logic of my objects to FISA and voted against it.

    I'm sure we'll get an apology any day now.

  8. Amen brother Frank. That vote exposed Utah's Congressional delegation as diametrically opposed to our most basic constitutional values. Hatch and Bennett, who know me IRL, know they didn't have my vote in the first place.

    Matheson, however, is someone I've donated alot of money to over the years. He can kiss those donations goodbye.

  9. Gents - as someone who works in telecom let me try to explain how this data is gathered. Given the technology that is available, there is no way that the government can listen in on each and every phone call. The only way that they can start to gather the data is using "Call Detail Recording". CDR is used to bill you every time you dial a 1-800, 1-900 or long distance call so that the call can be appropriately billed. What the government does is asks the phone company for the CDR records for 123-456-7890 and all you get is a list of numbers. There is no content of the call - just raw numbers. IF from the raw numbers, it is determined that phone number 12-456-7890 has dialed a number of a known terrorist, then they can tap the phone to get recordings of the calls - but those recordings are still subject to FISA Court warrant approval.


  10. Thank you, Lady Logician, for pointing out the technical details of this bill. It certainly isn't what some think it is.

    The FISA Act leaves Americans alone unless they start calling Osama Bin Laden. Then they are guilty of fraternizing with the enemy and should be under surveillance.

    BTW Frank, security was a big issue for the Founders as well. The continuing abuse of that phrase is really irritating.

  11. LL and Trenton,

    Thanks for more clearly explaining the details of tracing phone calls in the digital age. We agree that phone calls can be traced.

    The problem with FISA is two fold:

    1. Congressmen and executive branch officials say that Americans will be left alone unless they start talking to terrorists, but that is not how the law is constrained (have you read it?). It is completely "legal" under the new law to eavesdrop on nearly anyone for nearly anything at nearly anytime.

    2. There is very little court oversight over the results of the eavesdropping, and very broad abilities of the executive branch to eavesdrop for several weeks before actually getting permission from the court to have done it.

    Yes, Trenton, security is a big issue. I agree that the manufacturing of fake reasoning to eavesdrop on anyone would have been irritating to the founders. ...but somehow I'm confident that's not what you meant.


  12. Here is a good starting point to get a better idea of how dangerous FISA is.


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