At a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) spoke out in defense of the Fourth Amendment and promised to continue to fight against FISA.
While most Americans were busy tearing ripping wrapping paper off Christmas presents, the Congress and the president were busy ripping the Fourth Amendment out of the Constitution.
As The New American reported, on December 28, 2012, 73 U.S. senators voted to extend the federal government’s authority to ignore the Fourth Amendment and wiretap American citizens without a warrant, without probable cause.
The renewal extends until 2017 the warrantless wiretap powers granted by provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments (FISA) passed by Congress in 2008.
President Obama signed the act into law on December 30, just hours before it was set to expire.
The FISA Amendments Act was originally signed into law by President George W. Bush on July 10, 2008 after being overwhelmingly passed 293-129 in the House and 69-28 in the Senate. Just a couple of days prior to FISA being enacted, Representative Ron Paul led a coalition of Internet activists united to create a political action committee, Accountability Now. The sole purpose of the PAC was to conduct a money bomb in order to raise money to purchase ad buys to alert voters to the names of those congressmen (Republican and Democratic) who voted in favor of the act.
George W. Bush’s signature was but the public pronouncement of the ersatz legality of the wiretapping that was otherwise revealed to the public in a New York Times article published on December 16, 2005. That article, entitled “Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts,” described the brief history of the “anti-terrorist” program:
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Photo of Sen. Ron Wyden: AP Images