SJC FISA Hearing - Semi-Live Blog

On the SJC page. Via the Daily Kos Live Blog, the schedule:


Witness List

Hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, October 31, 2007 - 10:00 a.m.

Dirksen Senate Office Building Room 226

Panel I:

Kenneth L. Wainstein - Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division, U.S. Department of Justice

Panel II:

Edward Black - President and CEO, Computer & Communications Industry Association, Washington, DC

Patrick F. Philbin - Partner, Kirkland & Ellis, Washington, DC

Morton H. Halperin - Director of U.S. Advocacy, Open Society Institute, Washington, DC

Will not be able to live blog it but will add my thoughts when I can.

Update [2007-10-31 10:21:9 by Big Tent Democrat]: Leahy AND Specter speak against telco immunity. Rockefeller stands with the Bush Republicans (including Lieberman). Broderism demands no telco immunity no? The two ranking members of the SJC are against it in bipartisan fashion.

Update [2007-10-31 10:40:17 by Big Tent Democrat]: Wainstein really has no argument. The terrorists will learn . . . something? Um, ok. Of course filing evidence under seal is an unheard of concept apparently.

Update [2007-10-31 10:48:12 by Big Tent Democrat]: Specter makes the key point, the bulwark for protecting civil liberties in our country has been the courts. Congress has always done a very poor job. To grant immunity cuts off this important bulwark, creating an open invitation to disregard for the law. Proposes INDEMNIFICATION. Great idea.

Wainstein's response, hummana hummana hummana . . .

Update [2007-10-31 10:59:2 by Big Tent Democrat]: Feinstein argues for a cap on monetary damages. I have no problem with that personally.

Wainstein repeats his arguments.

Update [2007-10-31 11:7:29 by Big Tent Democrat]: GOP Senator Kyl argues agaist Wyden Amendment to require warrants for overseas surveillace of US citizens by saying that the 1978 legislative history of FISA demonstrates that it is unfeasible to apply it overseas. Funy how when it comes to curbing liberties, FISA is out of date but when it comes to protecting civil liberties, FISA 1978 can not be improved.

Update [2007-10-31 11:15:37 by Big Tent Democrat]: Feingold asks if Executive Branch has the power to engage in foreign intelligence surveillance beyond that granted by FISA. Wainstein will not answer the question. The obvious point that I would make (and Feingold makes it) is if Congress prohibits foreign intelligence outside of FISA, then the President is so prohibited.

Update [2007-10-31 11:27:40 by Big Tent Democrat]: AT FDL, they note that the ACLU sees Wainstein wiggling on whether a FISA compliant certification letter was provided to the telcos. Senator Jeff Sessions repeats the query, asking a leading question 'whether the government gave the telcos written certifications.' Wainstein again ducks, instead repeating that "assurances" were given.

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    Thanks for this (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Wed Oct 31, 2007 at 11:09:51 AM EST
    I'm glad to hear that Specter (seems. . .) on board.

    Link to FDL live-blogging (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Oct 31, 2007 at 11:24:23 AM EST
    Thanks for doing this, Big Tent.

    Firedoglake's most recent live-blogging thread by the terrific Marcy Wheeler of Next Hurrah is here.