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Sunday, September 08, 2013 10:05 PM

"If Americans Could Read Classified Documents They'd Be Even More Against Syrian War"

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Here's a quartet of interesting tweets from House of Representative member Justin Amash Republican from Michigan.

Tweet #1: If Americans could read classified docs, they'd be even more against Syria action. Obama admn's public statements are misleading at best.

Tweet #2
: Attended another classified briefing on Syria & reviewed add'l materials. Now more skeptical than ever. Can't believe Pres is pushing war.

Tweet #3
: Asked Obama admn officials to correct admn's public statements that are inconsistent w/ info presented at briefings. Public must have facts.

Tweet #4: If you're voting yes on military action in Syria, might as well start cleaning out your office. Unprecedented level of public opposition.

Amash Amendment

Amash sponsored an amendment to limit data gathering by the NSA.

The Amash-Conyers amendment ends NSA’s blanket collection of Americans’ telephone records.  It does this by requiring the FISA court under Sec. 215 to order the production of records that pertain only to a person under investigation.

The amendment has three important practical effects.  First, it ends the mass surveillance of Americans.  The government no longer is authorized under Sec. 215 to hold a pool of metadata on every phone call of every American.  Second, the amendment permits the government to continue to acquire business records and other “tangible things” that are actually related to an authorized counterterrorism investigation.  The government still has access to this tool under the amendment, but it’s forced to comply with the intent of Congress when it passed Sec. 215.  Third, the amendment imposes more robust judicial oversight of NSA’s surveillance.  The FISA court will be involved every time NSA searches Americans’ records, and the court will have a substantive, statutory standard to apply to make sure the NSA does not violate Americans’ civil liberties.

What steps would the government take to collect records if the Amash-Conyers amendment were enacted?  The government would have to provide facts to the FISA court to show that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the records sought (1) are relevant to an appropriately authorized national security investigation and (2) pertain to the person (including any group or corporation) under investigation.
Unfortunately the Justin Amash Amendment To Stop NSA Data Collection Voted Down In House
The House of Representatives on Wednesday evening narrowly defeated an amendment from Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) meant to halt the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone record data.

"We're here today for a very simple reason: to defend the Fourth Amendment, to defend the privacy of each and every American," Amash said as he introduced his measure. Lawmakers' votes, he said, would answer one simple question, "Do we oppose the suspicionless collection of every American's phone records?"

On Wednesday, at least, the answer was no. The House voted 217-205 to defeat the amendment after intense last-minute lobbying from the White House and the NSA.

Democrats voted for the amendment by a 111-to-83 margin. Republicans, meanwhile, split 134 to 93 against it.

Although Amash's amendment was defeated, civil liberties advocates found something to cheer in the closeness of the vote. Just two years ago, the House voted by a comfortable 250-153 margin to reauthorize the Patriot Act, which the administration uses to justify its phone metadata collection. On Wednesday, by contrast, a swing of just seven votes would have put Amash's amendment over the top.
Amash is a true republican constitutionalist-hero as opposed to fake-patriots who sided with President Obama, such as majority leader John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi.

In all 134 Republicans should be absolutely ashamed of themselves as noted in the Roll Call.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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