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Senate Proceeding on Dec 17th, 2007 :: 4:41:15 to 4:57:04
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Christopher S. Bond

4:31:10 to 4:41:15( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Christopher S. Bond

Christopher S. Bond

4:41:12 to 4:41:15( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher S. Bond: tug that we might feel to emphasize partisan differences. instead, we ought to pull together to try to do what's necessary to keep our eyes open and our ears to the ground when it comes to collection

John Cornyn

4:41:15 to 4:41:19( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: of foreign intelligence. of course the foreign intelligence surveillance act was passed in 1978 to ensure that americans' civil liberties were being protected at the same time we made sure that we were

John Cornyn

4:41:15 to 4:57:04( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John Cornyn

John Cornyn

4:41:19 to 4:41:22( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: able to listen to our enemies, which has become even more important today with terrorists taking advantage of the internet, cellular phones and other means of communications. and it's critical that

John Cornyn

4:41:22 to 4:41:26( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: we continue to take advantage of every opportunity to detect and deter future terrorist attacks on our own soil. we were told last august by the director of national intelligence this has been widely

John Cornyn

4:41:26 to 4:41:29( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: published since, but that because of some of the archaic provisions in the fisa law, the foreign intelligence surveillance act, and it had not kept up with changes in modern technology, that we were

John Cornyn

4:41:29 to 4:41:33( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: being blocked from receiving as many as two-thirds of the communications of one foreign terrorist to another foreign terrorist because of the way these calls were being routed. and we were told time and

John Cornyn

4:41:33 to 4:41:36( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: time again that the burdensome requirement of getting the paper work necessary in order to get a fisa authorization in cases where the congress never intended to require that sort of authorization

John Cornyn

4:41:36 to 4:41:40( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: but was, but which was required because of these changes in technology that, it was actually causing dels in our ability to get timely information in a way to protect our country and our men and women

John Cornyn

4:41:40 to 4:41:43( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: in uniform serving in places like afghanistan and iraq. we know that the ability to obtain the right information at the right time is of critical importance in our struggle against radical islamic

John Cornyn

4:41:43 to 4:41:47( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: terrorists who hide among civilian populations, who don't abide by the geneva conventions. they don't wear a uniform. they don't recognize a chain of command or the laws of war. and they hide among

John Cornyn

4:41:47 to 4:41:51( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: civilian populations and quietly plot deadly attacks against civilians, innocent men, women, and children, as they did on september 11, 2001. now, i serve on the judiciary committee, so i'm very much

John Cornyn

4:41:51 to 4:41:54( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: aware of some of the arguments made during the time we considered this bill on a serial referral against providing immunity to the telephone companies that have cooperated with the president of the

John Cornyn

4:41:54 to 4:41:57( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: united states and the attorney general and our intelligence community in facilitating the collection of this actionable intelligence.~ mr. president, i think the intelligence committee version got it

John Cornyn

4:41:57 to 4:42:01( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: about right. why in the world would we want to discourage private citizens -- whether individuals or corporate citizens -- from cooperating in the security interests of our country? this is like a police

John Cornyn

4:42:01 to 4:42:05( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: officer who knocks on your window and says "i need your car to go capture a dangerous criminal before they do harm to somebody else." if an individual were worried they would be sued as a result of

John Cornyn

4:42:05 to 4:42:08( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: their being a good volunteer and a good member of the community and allowing a law enforcement officer the use of their car to capture a dangerous criminal, do you think they would be more inclined or

John Cornyn

4:42:08 to 4:42:18( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: less inclined to cooperate with the lawful authorities? i think it's pretty clear they would be far less inclined. if we don't do everything in our power -- and it is within our power -- toncourage

John Cornyn

4:42:18 to 4:42:30( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: individual and corporate citizens to cooperate in the security interests of our country, then shame on us. to tell them that you're going to have to endure ruinous litigation costs, that you're not even

John Cornyn

4:42:30 to 4:42:45( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: going to be able to defend yourself because some of the evidence is the subject of a state secrets privilege. you're not even going to be able to explain what you did while at the same time suffering

John Cornyn

4:42:45 to 4:42:58( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the reputation damage that they could very well suffer if their participation was known in other parts of the world. it's just not fair. it's not fair to them. even more importantly, it's not fair

John Cornyn

4:42:58 to 4:43:12( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to us. to fail to give them the immunity for their cooperation with the lawful requests of the president of the united states after the attorney general, the chief law enforcement officer of the united

John Cornyn

4:43:12 to 4:43:25( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: states has said, this is a lawful request, to fail to give them immunity and protection against the litigation and damage to the reputation is, i think, less than responsible. i think the response

John Cornyn

4:43:25 to 4:43:41( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: ill thing to do -- responsible thin to do that is more likely to protect our security from this point forward is to show citizens who cooperate with the lawful authorities of the united states government

John Cornyn

4:43:41 to 4:44:02( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to help keep us safe, that you are going to be protected against litigation and the vast costs that could be associated with it -- not to mention the potential that classified information might become

John Cornyn

4:44:02 to 4:44:15( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: public and be known it our enemies. it just makes absolutely no sense not it give that immunity to these individuals and these corporations. mr. president, the protect america act which is scheduled to sunset

John Cornyn

4:44:15 to 4:44:31( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: in february moved our intelligence capabilities in the right direction but now we need to make those tools permanent. changes in technology combined with a court ruling that hampered the intelligence community

John Cornyn

4:44:31 to 4:44:45( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: required that the foreign intelligence surveil act be updated. that's what the protect american act was, although it was a temporary patch of about six months. now we need to make those provisions permanent

John Cornyn

4:44:45 to 4:44:58( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: and take this opportunity to enhance the foreign intelligence surveillance act to make sure it works in the security interests of the american people. while taking the appropriate protections on american citizens

John Cornyn

4:44:58 to 4:45:12( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: here at home. in the period between the court ruling that required the government to obtain fisa orders for foreign intelligence that happened to pass through the infrastructure in the united states,

John Cornyn

4:45:12 to 4:45:29( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: and the passage of the protect america act, collection of foreign intelligence information decreased by b two-thirds. that's what prompted congress to act in august without further delay, the likelihood

John Cornyn

4:45:29 to 4:45:43( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: that being blind out of every three communications between terrorists would likely make us less safe and would make it more likely that they would be successful in killing innocent americans and our other

John Cornyn

4:45:43 to 4:45:56( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: allies. common sense informs us this great drop in the percentage of intelligence collection harms our national securityna efforts. as i mentioned, in august we took a temporary patch to close the

John Cornyn

4:45:56 to 4:46:15( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: intelligence gaps and clarify the intelligence community does, indeed, have the authority to monitor communications of foreign individuals without receiving a court approval first. now is the time for us

John Cornyn

4:46:15 to 4:46:29( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to make that authority permanent. it's never been required that in listening in to foreign subjects talking to other foreign subjects that a court order was required and the protect america act made

John Cornyn

4:46:29 to 4:46:40( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: that temporary fix. we need to make that permanent. some have made arguments which i think in the end with hamper our intelligence cape 3weu89s requiring -- capabilities requiring procedures never

John Cornyn

4:46:40 to 4:46:55( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: before in place. intelligence community resources, both funding and expertise, are scarce, and should be focused in a manner that best protects our national security. our intelligence analysts should

John Cornyn

4:46:55 to 4:47:10( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: not be distracted from the important job of listening in and using information to deter further attacks by having to fill out a bunch of paperwork particularly in areas that congress never intended

John Cornyn

4:47:10 to 4:47:26( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: they have to do so. the senate and house democrat judiciary committee proposals, i'm sorry to say, mr. president, would greatly hamper our intelligence community. i mentioned a moment ago i serve on

John Cornyn

4:47:26 to 4:47:42( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the judiciary committee and proudly so. but, unfortunately, in voting this alternative out of the judiciary committee along strictly partisan lines, i think we failed to meet the standard that was set by the

John Cornyn

4:47:42 to 4:47:51( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: intelligence committee version of this bill. although there are changes that i think need to be made, by and large, the bipartisan vote in the intelligence committee, their rod their product was

John Cornyn

4:47:51 to 4:48:05( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: superior to the product from the judiciary committee. the house bill would require court orders for foreign targets in foreign lands, something that's never been required in the 30 years since fisa

John Cornyn

4:48:05 to 4:48:21( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: was enacted and would completely reverse the important reforms, all be them temporary, that we made just a few moments ago. delays inherent in obtaining court approval could, in fact, put american

John Cornyn

4:48:21 to 4:48:36( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: security interests in jeopardy. and here's a concrete example. this last summer, three american soldiers thought to be kidnapped by al qaeda in iraq. because of delays in obtaining emergency authorization

John Cornyn

4:48:36 to 4:48:51( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: under the foreign intelligence surveillance action, our intelligence community was unable to set into place surveillance that may have saved the likes of these soldiers on may 12, 2007. mr. president,

John Cornyn

4:48:51 to 4:49:14( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: there was a ten-hour delay while the authorities did the paperwork necessary for them to listen in on communications they never should have been required to get a fisa order to listen in to the first

John Cornyn

4:49:14 to 4:49:24( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: place. clearly, foreign to foreign communications. instead, psc joseph enzeck was found dead and an al qaeda subsidiary claims to have killed and buried specialist alex hemenez. ten hours of delay

John Cornyn

4:49:24 to 4:49:50( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: i believe contributed to the death of these three american soldiers because if they had not been required to wait ten hours to do the paperwork inthere's a better chance they could have been found safely

John Cornyn

4:49:50 to 4:50:02( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: and returned to the arms of their loved ones. one of the key lessons of the 9/11 attacks toss us we have to do a better job of connecting the dots,er rutting more --er rebting more more- erecting more

John Cornyn

4:50:02 to 4:50:16( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: walls gives adversaries an advantage placing americans in greater danger of another attack instead of doing everything within our power to keep them safe. unlike members of the senate intelligence

John Cornyn

4:50:16 to 4:50:29( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: committee i'm sorry to say house democrats refused to work with the committee republicans or with the director of national intelligence and the department of justice. how the house committee or, for that

John Cornyn

4:50:29 to 4:50:43( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: matter, the senate judiciary committee could hope to fashion a sensible, workable product without consulting with either the department of justice or the director of national intelligence is beyond me. i

John Cornyn

4:50:43 to 4:50:57( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: again congratulate the members of the senate intelligence committee on working so carefully offer a long period of time in consultation with the appropriate authorities to come up with a bipartisan product.

John Cornyn

4:50:57 to 4:51:12( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: one that i concede is not perfect but no legislation is perfect and we're going to be talking about ways i think we can improve even that bill. but the senate, unfortunately, the judiciary committee

John Cornyn

4:51:12 to 4:51:26( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: we saw important suggestions from the intelligence community rejected along partisan lines and no attempt was made to craft a bipartisan proposal. instead, choosing to come up with a party-line vote that

John Cornyn

4:51:26 to 4:51:38( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: raised serious operational concerns. working with the intelligence community the senate intelligence committee was able to provide the intelligence chownt with more flexibility in gathering foreign

John Cornyn

4:51:38 to 4:51:58( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: intelligence. this senate bill allows the attorney general to authorize targeting the persons outside of the united states to acquire this necessary information. no longer will they be required to go to

John Cornyn

4:51:58 to 4:52:13( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the fisa court for approval to target foreign terrorists and spies overseas. this will ensure that our intelligence community has the agity and the speed it needs to collect abcable actionable intelligence.

John Cornyn

4:52:13 to 4:52:34( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the senate bill does not -- the senate intelligence committee does not restrict the foreign intelligence protected and streamlines the act providing for more efficient, timely processing of applications.

John Cornyn

4:52:34 to 4:52:46( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: these are just a few examples of the tools the author of the bill need, to make us safer, by working together, across the aisle, in a way that protects the american people more and they are to be

John Cornyn

4:52:46 to 4:53:02( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: applauded and congratulated for the effort. within the security of our country is at stake, we should consult the very people who are in the best position to know what they need to make sure they

John Cornyn

4:53:02 to 4:53:16( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: have the tools necessary without causing unintended negative consequences. we should learn from the bipartisan lead of the senate intelligence committee and work with them to craft a responsible, bipartisan

John Cornyn

4:53:16 to 4:53:44( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: bill that keeps our eyes and our ears open, allows us to lten to our enemies and helps us present americans against a future terrorist attacks on our own soil and in places where americans are located

John Cornyn

4:53:44 to 4:53:55( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: around the world. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: mr. president, before my remarks, i would ask unanimous consent that matthew solomon be granted floor

John Cornyn

4:53:55 to 4:54:09( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: privileges during consideration of the fisa bill and i make this request on behalf of chairman leahy. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. wyden: mr. president, colleagues, as

John Cornyn

4:54:09 to 4:54:25( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: a member of the intelligence committee i am aware that down at the old executive office building there are large stacks of documents including the justice department legal opinions that relate to the

John Cornyn

4:54:25 to 4:54:43( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: warrantless wiretapping program and letters from our government to the telecommunications companies. mr. president, i have read these materials. but most members of the united states senate have

John Cornyn

4:54:43 to 4:55:02( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: been prohibited from being able to read these vital documents. i believe that a senator who was allowed to read these materials would be astounded to see how flimsy the government's case is on behalf

John Cornyn

4:55:02 to 4:55:20( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: of the warrantless wiretapping program. mr. president, the administration has fought tooth and nail to keep almost every member of this body and the entire membership of the other body if being able to read

John Cornyn

4:55:20 to 4:55:35( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: these materials. i believe that every senator who has not read these documents ought to insist on their right to be able to read them before the senate casts this critical vote. mr. president, having

John Cornyn

4:55:35 to 4:55:50( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: read these documents, i can say as one member of the senate intelligence committee, nothing in any of these opinions, has convinced me that the administration's warrantless wiretapping program was legal.

John Cornyn

4:55:50 to 4:56:06( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: and now that the existence of the program has been confirmed, i can see no national security reason to keep most members of the united states senate from being able to see these materials.~ as

John Cornyn

4:56:06 to 4:56:18( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: far as i can tell these materials are being classified in order to protect the president's political security not the intelligence security. there is written correspondence sent to the toik company

John Cornyn

4:56:18 to 4:56:32( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: by the -- telecommunication company by the government. i can't get into the details of this correspondence, but i can say that i'm totally unconvinced on the basis of having read these materials

John Cornyn

4:56:32 to 4:56:47( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: that congress should grant total immunity to the companies. for years there have been a number of laws on the books such as the wiretap act, the electronic communication privacy act and, of course,

John Cornyn

4:56:47 to 4:57:04( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the foreign intelligence surveillance act. together they make it very clear that participating in a warrantless wiretapping program is against federal law. now many of my colleagues have argued that

Ron Wyden

4:57:04 to 4:57:18( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: any companies asked to provide assistance after september 11 should be treated leniently since that was a period of national confusion and great fear. i think this argument, personally, has some merit.

Ron Wyden

4:57:04 to 5:10:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Ron Wyden

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