At 4:01 Wednesday afternoon on this day of February 13th, 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to table legislation that would extend the Protect America Act for twenty one days. On Friday February 15th, at midnight, the Protect America Act, a bill forced by the administration upon Congress last August, a bill that was unread by Congress before being voted on, will expire. Yippie.  In lieu of that bill, all surveillance falls back to the original FISA bill (1979) that requires court oversight over any listening of American citizens. The original bill was passed as America  came to discover to their horror, the machinatioby the FBI against those opposing the Vietnam War.

This is a good thing. The FISA bill at least has someone looking over this administration’s shoulder. Of course this administration completly disregarded the legality of this bill from the minute it came into office, so little will prevent it from doing so today.

However, public awareness that each of their calls are monitored, each of their emails are premanently recorded, has disgusted most Americans. After all, our ancestors did not fight and die, so that policies used by our enemies, could be used by our own government against us.

The stumbling block is giving immunity to telecoms.

Just as it would be stupid to grant immunity to the trigger man of a mob killing without a D/A’s deal trading time for information, it would be equally detrimental to grant immunity to telecoms for assisting in an obviously illegal act.

Just a reminder of what Tom Carper, (D) Delaware voted against, and Biden for:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.