Friday, March 17, 2006

Important Update on the "Congressional Capitulation Act of 2006"

Glenn Greenwald and Marty Lederman point out that, contrary to media reports, DeWine's warrantless spying "oversight" bill, the Congressional Capitulation Act of 2006, would not even require approval from a congressional subcommittee after 45 days - it only requires the administration to brief the House and Senate Warrantless Spying Capitulation Subcommittees, and certify that continuing the program is "appropriate", every 45 days.

Wow, what an amazing oversight power they've wrested from the White House.

Here then is our new Fourth Amendment According To Mike DeWine:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, unless the chief executive feels like it would be appropriate."

While they're at it, the bill needs one more tweak: instead of senators and house members on the Warrantless Spying Capitulation Subcommittees, require the administration to provide its briefing and certification every 45 days to a subcommittee of stuffed Elmo dolls. The Elmo dolls would have just as much capability of meaningful oversight as the members of Congress are giving themselves in this bill, and the Elmo dolls would free up the legislators' time for more important things, like fundraising or busily preparing for their next unconstitutional surrender of their own power.

Oh and in case you're not thrilled yet, I noticed it also (in section 8) makes a felony out of disclosing any information about the warrantless domestic spying, to the tune of a one million dollar fine and a fifteen year prison sentence. That'll teach any whistleblowers to try to alert James Risen and Eric Lichtblau of massive lawbreaking by the administration.

UPDATE: I made this for the April 9 post...

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