FISA Myths Debunked

There are many myths about the current FISA legislation that are repeated over and over again in the MSM, blogs, and user comments that should be refuted with factual information. Please provide links to sources that are repeating incorrect information, as well as links to substantiate factual information that corrects the record. If you find other examples of these myths being repeated, please add them to the "Source(s)" links.If your analysis requires more than a few lines, please include a summary on this page and create another page with complete information.

Highlighting these errors will create of record of reporters, commentators and other people who continue to disseminate incorrect information, and should reduce thecontinued repetition of these damaging myths.

Please update this page with any FISA bill myths or lies you encounter!!

MYTH: Opposition to the compromise bill is because of the desire to punish telephone companies
Source(s): A good-enough spy law, Nancy Soderberg, Los Angeles Times, July 5, 2008; Flip-flop accusations get too much mileage, Ruth Marcus, Erie Times-News, July 5, 2008
Soderberg says, "the compromise bill's opponents -- mostly Democrats -- want also to punish the telecommunications companies that answered President Bush's order for help." This is a gross misrepresentation of the reasons for opposing the "compromise" bill. Arguing before the US Senate for maintaining the balance struck by the original FISA bill, Russ Feingold said, "Based on the history of, and potential for government abuses, Congress decided that it was not appropriate, not appropriate, for telephone companies to simply assume that any government request for assistance to conduct electronic surveillance was legal." (Audio)
FACT: Opposition to the FISA compromise is based on concern for fundamental civil liberties

MYTH: Telco immunity covers wiretapping suspected terrorists
Source(s): President Bush can still dream, can't he?, Kathleen Parker, South Bend Tribune
Parker says, "The bill effectively grants immunity to phone companies that wiretap suspected terrorists." The compromise bill grants broad immunity to telephone companies for any wiretapping done at the request of the government, including numerous alleged instances of wide-net gathering of all communications, bothforeign and purely domestic. To suggest that immunity only covers "suspected terrorists" is a laughable statement, unless you accept that all Americans and foreigners are suspected terrorists.
FACT: Immunity covers all illegal wiretapping, including purely domestic communications

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