Wednesday, October 17, 2007

House Dems Vote to Give Terrorists a Break

The appropriately named Chair of the House Rules Committee, Louise Slaughter, led the charge to give terrorists more latitude against Americans.

From the Weekly Standard:
This is a reckless way to handle national security. House Democrats have once again shut Republicans out of the debate completely (as they did just yesterday in debate on the Internet Tax Freedom Act). They've used their position of power to give terrorists working with WMD a 'grace period' while U.S. intelligence agencies go to court for permission to tap them. They've abused the process to preserve the fatal flaws in their own bill:

The Democratic bill specifically requires a court order to monitor conversations between terrorists abroad and people in the United States. So if Osama bin Laden called an al Qaeda cell in the United States, the intelligence community could not listen to the communication without a court order.
It imposes FISA requirements on the US military--creating a perverse situation where it's easier to kill a suspected terrorist than monitor his calls.
It creates a database of U.S. citizens suspected to be terrorists--a database that must be shared across agencies and with (notoriously leaky) members of Congress and their staffs.
In specifically denying protection to telecommunications companies, it exposes those companies to lawsuits and creates a strong incentive for them not to cooperate with future surveillance activities.
House Democrats are shutting down debate to ram through a bill that will ensure repeats of episodes like this one, where U.S. soldiers in Iraq had to wait for hours to search for a missing comrade, while lawyers in Washington prepared a legal brief.