How to Hold on to FISA
The American Civil Liberties Union and other constitutional rights watchdogs have been quick to praise House leaders in recent weeks for resisting legislation to expand the administration’s warrantless wiretapping program and grant retroactive immunity to the phone companies that have participated. The groups say the bill, which has already passed the Senate, goes too far to let the telecom industry off the hook for turning over customers’ call records without judicial consent. But the advocates may soon have less reason to cheer.
In an interview shown on CNN Sunday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-Tex.) hinted that House Democrats may soon be ready to grant the companies the amnesty the White House requested.
From the transcript:
REYES: [W]e are talking to the representatives from the communications companies because, if we’re going to give them blanket immunity, we want to know and we want to understand the communications companies because if we’re going to give them blanket immunity, we want to know and we want to understand what it is that we’re giving immunity for.
CNN: So it sounds like you’re open to that …