Andrew C. McCarthy: Rewriting FISA History
Apparently, Representative James Sensenbrenner knows the feeling. The Wisconsin Republican claims to have written the PATRIOT Act.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at National Review Online.
#1 Jun 24, 2013
I believe you are being unfair to Chairman Sensenbrenner. First, Members of Congress are considered the sponsor or author of bills when they introduce them and guide them through Congress. As I worked on both the Patriot Act and the reautorization of the Patriot Act I can assure you that the Chairman was very involved in working on a balance between protecting the nation and protecting our civil liberities. Any law can be abused. That is why there are administrative, civil and criminal penalities for such abuse. I respect your work and was stunned by your focus and your tone. Second, it seems you and the Chairman are focused on two different issues. I have read his op-ed and listened to him on the talk shows. He seems focused on whether the standard was abused by an overly broad interpretation as to what is and is not relevant to an investigation and the lack of judicial review. You seem focused on the intelligence tool itself. The Chairman could very well be the "author" of the reauthorization bill for 215, and the Patriot Act is too important to our National Security to work at such cross purposes. We would be better served if there was an investigation as to whether the Administration abused its authority and the FISA Court failed to carry out its judicial oversight by rubber stamping the FISA Order. The American people are concerned that their phone records are being monitored. If you call a suicide hotline the phone number means something. People are concerned because the Obama Administration has shown a disdain for the law and for those who oppose its goals. The public is concerned with this pattern of behavior that appears to be abusive. These concerns need to be addressed so that the public can trust those running the government to protect them not persecute them.
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