Two Groups Back Blumenthal on FISA Bills

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Representatives from two government watchdog groups in Connecticut will be in Hartford today to express their support for two bills Sen. Richard Blumenthal has put forth to overhaul the nation\’s secretive FISA courts.

According to Blumenthal\’s office, the Democratic senator will be joined by David McGuire, the staff attorney for the ACLU of Connecticut, and Cheri Quickmire, the executive director of Common Cause Connecticut

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 The bills Blumenthal has proposed call for changing how the court’s judges are selected and for the creation of a special advocate to fight for the constitutional rights of people who are targets of the court’s orders. His staff has said that federal agencies have gone to the court 34,000 times since 1970 and have only been denied permission to do surveillance 11 times.

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One thought on “Two Groups Back Blumenthal on FISA Bills

  1. Billy Boggs

    The rights of Americans have diminished and in the face of terrorist threats, need to be reexamined.

    Welcome to the United Police States of America

    In the movie “The Graduate” Dustin Hoffman’s character was advised to get into “plastics,” which was a cute double entendre on phonyness and the growth industry of that most unnatural of products in the 1960s. Today, had NSA leaker Edward Snowdon graduated from high school, an uncle might have suggested “security” as the modern equivalent of a good growth industry to enter.

    We have acclimated to the notion that our privacy loss is a product of the Information Age. We accept that our buying habits are scrutinized and exploited for commercial purposes. The US government has indulged in the preoccupation for data collection on everyone for the purposes of keeping us safe and secure.
    Danial Elsberg, the person who once leaked documents in what is forever known as “The Pentagon Papers,” wouldn’t stand a chance remaining free today. He would be prosecuted, persecuted and sent to a dungeon never to be heard from again.

    Today, we seem to accept as fact that our freedoms MUST be curtailed in an effort to combat the current war against terrorism. We agree with little protest that the government actually has a right to snoop against our news media. And the first amendment is conveniently tossed out the window as a first step in this new police state.
    Today, we ridicule the messenger for being uneducated and question his motives. But he becomes irrelevant to the issue that he exposed.
    Today we engage in wars of preemption. Wars for oil. We give our “friends” in the Middle East a blank check to ethnically cleanse and then wonder why we have enemies.
    As in ancient Greek mythology; Hydra of Lerna, the snake-like monster that grew two heads every time one head was cut off; today, we effectively kill off terrorist leadership through the drone program only to inspire and breed a new generation of terrorists.
    Now, we are them.

    The modern ethos of the United States is the Orwellian concept of constant war. The enemies change but the idea of ever present war to distract the masses and employ and grow the old military industrial complex now morphed into the government/private intelligence complex – a mad, modern and very growing  monster, remains.
    We could choose, if we wanted, to contemplate why there is such hatred against this country and the West in general and then address how to reduce or eliminate the causes of this violence through new foreign policy initiatives.
    We have traditionally approached almost insurmountable social and racial disparities in our own history and have made great advances to resolve them.
    But not a word is spoken on the topic of the causes and solutions of global terrorism – the one exception being how to advance precision killing.
    It seems that it is just too problematic to find solutions to violence.
    Besides, the profit motive for forging peace has been lost. Constant war. Loose your freedom and be secure.
    And don’t forget for Christ’s sake, God is on our side.

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