• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: Enabling Intelligence To Defend Our Country

    John McCain’s loudest applause line at his CPAC appearance yesterday came when he said:

    It’s shameful and dangerous that Senate Democrats are blocking an extension of surveillance powers that enable our intelligence and law enforcement to defend our country against radical Islamic extremists.

    McCain was referring to efforts by some Senators to include measures in an otherwise bipartisan reform of FISA that would punish US companies that helped US intelligence agencies defend our country after 9/11. Amendments by some of the more leftist members of the Senate to alter other provisions of the bipartisan reform were soundly rejected. The only real obstacle left blocking Senate passage of the bipartisan measure is the insistence by some Democrats that the legislation not include retroactive immunity for businesses that cooperated with government requests to ignore possible technical violations of FISA’s outdated provisions in the wake of 9/11.

    Currently the House-passed version of FISA reform does not include this necessary immunity, but in a January 28, letter, 21 Democrats in the Blue Dog Coalition sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) supporting immunity. Also in January, the White House provided the House Intelligence Committee with documents about the NSA program in question as part of an effort to win support for retroactive immunity.

    It is time for Congress to stop playing politics with national security and pass sensible legislation that meets the needs of those who protect the country from attack while upholding Americans’ civil liberties. Congress only has one more week before temporary FISA reform expires.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.