August 14, 2007

Hoekstra On Fire Over FISA

If you missed today's edition of CQ Radio, then you missed an opportunity to hear Rep. Pete Hoekstra give an impassioned explanation of the need for the recently passed FISA legislation -- and the need to make it permanent. Here are a few of the points you missed:

On Nancy Pelosi's vow to have Democrats revisit FISA after the August recess: "They've so demagogued this bill ... It's consistent with the other things Democrats are doing on a national intelligence basis and a national security basis. You know, they may decide to extend the civil liberties protections that Americans have to foreign terrorists." (08:10)

Wasting intel resources: "They've asked the intelligence community to do a national intelligence estimate, which requires a lot of resources out of the intelligence community, on global warming." (08:20)

On the supposed attack on civil liberties from the FISA legislation: "Ed, excuse me, if the Speaker of the House believes that a bill is a vicious attack on Constitutional protection, that Speaker should never have brought that bill to the floor of the House of Representatives. Shame on her. The bottom line is, she knows better than that." (11:00)

On the Democratic objections to the NSA's warrantless surveillance plan: "Q: Did the Democrats [those that were briefed] ever demand any other changes to [the TSP] before the program got revealed in December 2005?" "A: Not in any of the meetings that I was a participant in." (12:25)

On intel losses while the Democrats delayed on FISA overhaul in the spring and summer: "I think that Admiral McConnell was very clear in talking about this. He said we are losing significant quantities of intelligence .... because of the new restrictions, we are unable to get the information. Significant is a big number." (15:00)

Fortunately, you can download it now and listen to Rep. Hoekstra on the podcast. Don't forget that we also had Steve Forbes on in the second half, and we talked about many topics related to Rudy Giuliani and tax policy. You'll want to especially note his take on the Fair Tax proposal, and why he thinks the timing is wrong for it.

UPDATE: USA Today's OnPolitics blog noticed the Steve Forbes interview.


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Comments (5)

Posted by Peyton | August 14, 2007 4:41 PM

So, while the dems were diddling around, delaying overhaul of the FISA laws, I wonder what we've been missing?

The training camps in Afghanistan have recently emptied out, except for one. That last happened before the attack on the Cole, and that thing in September, uhhhhh, 2001. The idea then was to disperse targets that might be struck back at.

So, I wonder if there have been any interesting conversations the last 8 months? Conversations that the dem "leadership" has deliberately helped to conceal?

Posted by daytrader | August 14, 2007 5:29 PM


The camps could easily be more related to the push over there after the Red Mosque thing went down.

They have issues now just in Pakistan that would predict that outcome.

FISA and the laws supporting it were written long ago before Al Gore invented the internet.

It really needs an update to all the ways you can move info from point A to point B today, pure and simple.

Posted by Dan | August 14, 2007 8:49 PM

While the Democrats delayed on FISA overhaul, was the intelligence community busy seeking FISA warrants for the surveillance it desired, or was it just carping that that existing law didn't allow it to do as the Bush administration saw fit, without any judicial oversight whatsoever? Or was it proceeding with surveillance outside the law?

Posted by Mark Eichenlaub | August 15, 2007 7:53 AM

That's a good question. Considering the reports that many of those involved in that program are seeking lawyers to protect them from ACLU type lawsuits over this I doubt they chanced it by going rogue though I may be wrong.

What really galls me in all this is that some people in this argument actually have the nerve to basically hold the position that their paranoia over privacy is more important than my family staying alive because that is really what this boils down to.

Should I care more about someone's email being read than protecting my family? I don't think so.

Posted by swabjockey05 | August 15, 2007 11:33 AM


You and I would probably agree on most related issues so pls don’t take offense to my following comment.

You need to be careful about over-simplifying the issue like you did with your last sentence.

It is your job to protect your family (as it is mine to protect my family). I don’t sacrifice my rights just because you want to use the power of the government to give you and your family some additional level of perceived “safety”. I certainly don’t trust the government to have unlimited power to “keep me safe”. Just as I don’t want Hildabeast’s minions reading my emails…even if it makes you think your family will be “safer” because of it.

The issue should be that these government powers should be used 24/7 against foreign/non-American individuals / intercepts…but not on U.S. citizens protected by the Constitution.

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