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Wednesday, September 19

Bush wants the "Protect America Act" to be made permanent - and Pronto!

The work they're doing here is necessary to protect our country from an enemy who would like to attack us again. The people who work out here understand that the federal government has no more urgent responsibility than to protect the American people.

So I call on Congress to make the Protect America Act permanent. The need for action is clear. Director McConnell has warned that unless the FISA reforms in the Act are made permanent, our national security professionals will lose critical tools they need to protect our country. Without these tools, it'll be harder to figure out what our enemies are doing to train, recruit and infiltrate operatives in our country. Without these tools our country will be much more vulnerable to attack.

Unfortunately, some in Congress now want to restrict the tools. These restrictions would impede the flow of information that helps us protect our people. These restrictions would reopen gaps in our intelligence that we had just closed. As I did in August, in evaluating any FISA bill, I will ask Director McConnell whether the legislation gives him what he needs to protect our nation. The question I'm going to ask is, do our professionals have the tools necessary to do the job to protect the American people from further attack?

Here's his full statement to the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Maryland today


and I can't forget this story I just read --- Republicans pushed 'bogus' terror threat to expand FISA, lawmaker says:

Republicans and the Bush administration used a 'bogus' terror threat that raised specific fears of an attack on the Capitol to scare lawmakers into adopting a dramatic temporary expansion of the government's spy powers last month, a former top intelligence committee Democrat said Wednesday.

Congress agreed to give President Bush and the nation's intelligence agencies extra authority to spy on Americans just hours before lawmakers left for a month-long recess in August. In the legislative session's final week, news emerged of an impending plot by foreign terrorists to attack the US Capitol, and Republicans pointed to the reports as justification to expand the administration's powers.


We've got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution's here,
and you know it's right

And you know that it's right

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