Dennis Kucinich on his vote against the FISA bill. w/poll

Several people have wondered why Dennis Kucinich would vote aginst the FISA bill which didn’t have retroactive immunity, known as HR 3773.  Here’s his statement as to his reasoning:

Kucinich Opposes FISA Bill That Infringes on Fourth Amendment Rights

Ah, he cuts to the issue with the title of his press release!

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) released the following statement regarding his opposition to the FISA Amendments Act of 2008:

“Blanket warrants, institutionalized by the Protect America Act, will continue with the enactment of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008.  Under this bill surveillance of persons abroad could infringe on the Fourth Amendment rights of U.S. citizens,” Kucinich said.

Here’s the thing.  Do you vote for a bad bill because it contains no retroactive immunity? Or do you vote against a bad bill, even if it contains no retroactive immunity, because it’s a bad bill?  Dennis’ answer:  You vote against it because it’s a bad bill.

The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 is the latest version of FISA legislation to be considered by the House of Representatives.  Provisions outlining the conditions under which a warrant can be issued are vague.  They require no evidence of wrongdoing and contain no explanation of how the information will be collected.  The bill also permits warrants of an undefined scope.  They do not need to contain details about the facilities, places, premises or property to be searched.  These provisions undermine America’s Fourth Amendment rights.  

W should be happy with the bill, if he weren’t in thrall to the corporate interests of the country.  He would still be able to spy on innocent Americans.  And, hey, it undermines the Constitution, which seems to be a specialty of this administration!

“The Constitution dictates that the government must have cause to spy on U.S. citizens.  But this bill ensures that all targeted international communication that the government intercepts is not covered by the Fourth Amendment even if a U.S. citizen is involved.  

Remember, this is a bill that most Democrats supported in the House.  Of course, the Repugs (for the most part) voted against it because it was ‘weak.’  Only a few see it for the bad deal it is.

“Although this legislation was an improvement over past versions of irresponsible FISA legislation, it does not include retroactive immunity for telecommunication companies and ensures that the courthouse door remains open.  I cannot support a bill that undermines Constitutional protection of civil liberties.”

“If we permit our constitutional rights to be watered down out of fear, we have given up our democracy.  Congress must stand firm and defend the Constitution,” said Kucinich.  

There you have it.  Dennis Kucinich: Fighting for our Constitutional Rights, even when both parties are ready to give them up out of fear.  Damn, I wonder if we’ll ever have a President or Congressional Leadership who understands that?

As always,

Go Dennis!

For those of us on the Left, Dennis is OUR Congressman!

Originally posted here:…

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  1. Go Dennis!

  2. Here:

    This bill excludes immunity for the telephone companies that hoovered up its customers’ call data and handed it over to the NSA. (While this is a vastly better bill than the Senate’s disastrous FISA Amendments Act, it still includes provisions that allow bulk collection, and we can’t get behind that.)

    HR 3773 is really not as big a win as everyone seems to think. We can only hope that the lack of retroactive immunity is the poison pill that kills this whole crummy bill off for good.

    That would be the best outcome.

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