The Civ Lib Community Gets Cold Feet

Civil liberties groups are — according to the Hill — getting cold feet on the USA Freedom (aka Freedumb) bill. The claim is that the Administration and “members of the House” are working to gut the bill.

“Last stage negotiations” between members of the House and the Obama administration could significantly weaken provisions in the NSA bill, people familiar with the discussions say.

“Behind the scenes, there’s some nervousness,” one House aide said.

But this makes limited sense: a bill, virtually identical in wording, was passed by two committees, the House Judiciary and House Intelligence Committee. So in principle, the bill should come to the floor with that same identical wording.

Except, as I noted, Mike Rogers said he had some “technical changes” to put into place. And unlike the technical changes Zoe Lofgren tried to put into place at HJC (to make clear that Section 215 can’t be used to collect content), Rogers got a vote of the committee to support making those technical changes without further review of the committee. So Mike Rogers has carte blanche to change this bill. Now wonder Jan Schakowsky is worried.

As I suggested, there are two things I think Rogers might want to fix: tweaking the definition of “specific selection term” (or eliminating it altogether) or changing the language on bulk collection to protect some programs that are bulk but thus far unknown.

Which is another way of saying that HJC got screwed in this deal. (Told them!)

We shall see: I’m of the opinion that if Rogers fucks with this the bill must be killed, otherwise Rogers will ruin it in conference.

7 replies
  1. anonymous says:

    Now is the moment when civil libertarians will have to choose between passive and active activism. Enough necessary information is in the public domain and sufficient analysis has been done. The US government will not concede power without a demand. The negotiating position should be something like: repeal USA PATRIOT, NDAA, AUMF, MCA, split NSA, abolish DHS, new Church committee, harmonize US law with EU / UDHR standards. When the US government is a fascist occupying power in its own land, accepting USA FREEDOM is losing the war before it starts.

  2. orionATL says:

    let me ask this (i hope) highly pertinent question:

    does any politically intelligent person opposed to what nsa has be doing for over a decade (and clearly expects to keep doing after this sham reform legislation that is in fact enabling legislation, has been passed by a gutless house),

    i say, does any politically intelligent opponent of the nsa status quo really believe that anything but good, much good, would come from defeating this bill right now and forever?

    both the judiciary and intelligence committee bills are sham reform bills.

    assume they are defeated with clearly articulated reasons, e.g., it’s a sham reform, it would enable ….

    what then?

    why folks who have supported this spying will have to begin doing some explaining. have you congress beasties heard any of these suckers doing anything but crowing in the last few werks?

    with that defeat

    – pressure could be brought to bear on sensennbrenner, pelosi, boner, and the doj/nsa/fbi/dea.

    – pressure would build on our board room charmer of a prez to come out from under his desk and lead.

    – house and senate opponents of the current nsa pathology would have a stronger hand in the fall election.

    can someone explain to me why all these timorous congressional beasties are not telling ford, obama, and nsa/doj lawyers to go fucc themselves, instead of pleading and whining and exclaiming how, AT LEAST, thank god the dragnet will not be in gov’s mailed hand’s?

    passing the current nsa fake reform bills would be a collossal lost future opportunity,

    an opportunity lost to really tackle nsa seriously in january with a new and angrier congress – minus secret-agent-man ford.

  3. Kat Capps says:

    Marcy- I added some comments to “automated query” post. Curious if they were at all helpful or if I was totally in left field. I don’t have the years of experience or familiarity you do, but happy to assist/support any way possible. Appreciate your work.

  4. chronicle says:

    quote”can someone explain to me why all these timorous congressional beasties are not telling ford, obama, and nsa/doj lawyers to go fucc themselves, instead of pleading and whining and exclaiming how, AT LEAST, thank god the dragnet will not be in gov’s mailed hand’s?”unquote

    Yes. Russel Tice. I truly believe now the entire Congress/SCOTUS has been…well, let’s just call it..ahem.. “compromised.” And so does someone else…

    There is no rational reason in this universe, why an AMERICAN congresscritter, would vote for bills that completely burn to ashes the Magna Carta and US Constitution…like the NDAA, the Patriot Act, and the FreeDUMB Act, unless they are being BLACKMAILED. After all, as any person with one neuron knows what goes on in WDC..there isn’t ANY ONE in WDC who isn’t “compromised” in one way or another. Except possibly Wyden/Udall. But they are the exception. Money, power, sex, fraud, corruption. I’d submit somewhere in the bowels of the Deep State, there exists a dossier on every single judge, Congress member, department/agency officials, and DOD head military. youbetcha. I further submit..this just might be the “bombshell” Greenwald has pledged to release within 2 months. I can only wish. It would cause WDC to implode. Make my day.

    • chronicle says:

      ps. Given Marci’s latest post on James Comey’s latest idea to codify the FBI’s use of NSA depth domestic surveillance, I submit if the FBI doesn’t already have a dossier on every single citizen in the USA…they will soon. Welcome to the NEW USA.. the United States of Authoritarianism, staring the US militarized STAZI, the Drone State, and the Department of Capture every move you make. Make no mistake, it’s already made Orwell look like a comic book.

  5. C says:

    TODO: Vote 3rd Party.

    The NSA and IC has been allowed to escape from meaningful oversight because of the cozy buddy relationship that the Ds and Rs have on this issue. No matter what party is “in power” they both are captive to the IC. To that end the only relaible alternative is to stop dancing the two-step and vote for a 3rd party, any 3rd party. Not only for President or Congress but all the way down. The Ds and Rs in congress rest on the lower-levels feeding up. To that end we need to replace them with 3rd parties that, at least now, adhere to their stated beliefs.

    This is a long term solution to be sure, but the more that I see this fake dance of R’s backing “their President” in asanine acts while the D’s loudly oppose then quietly support it and vice versa the more that it is clear that this will only end when they all go.

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