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The Romney Vision: Gov. Romney Supports Expanding Intelligence Gathering Capabilities

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The Romney Vision: Gov. Romney Supports Expanding Intelligence Gathering Capabilities

Thursday, Oct 11, 2007

"When Al Qaeda calls into America, we should be listening. Unfortunately, the Democrats are moving to weaken our foreign intelligence listening capabilities. The Democrats are dangerously out of touch when it comes to defending our homeland. Our most basic civil liberty is the right to be kept alive and I agree with the President that we must use every tool at our disposal to keep America safe." - Gov. Mitt Romney (Gov. Mitt Romney, "Governor Mitt Romney On FISA Legislation," Press Release, 10/10/07)

THE ROMNEY VISION: EXPANDING FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE GATHERING TO PREVENT ATTACKS ON U.S. SOIL

Gov. Romney Agrees With President Bush That Democrats Are Threatening To Take Away Tools The Intelligence Community Needs:

This Week, President Bush Criticized The Democrats' Actions In Committee, And Called On The Congress To Reject Their Rollback Of Our Intelligence Capabilities. "Today, the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees are considering a proposed bill that instead of making the Protect America Act permanent would take us backward. While the House bill is not final, my administration has serious concerns about some of its provisions, and I am hopeful that the deficiencies in the bill can be fixed. Congress and the President have no higher responsibility than protecting the American people from enemies who attacked our country - and who want to do so again. Terrorists in faraway lands are plotting and planning new ways to kill Americans. The security of our country and the safety of our citizens depend on learning about their plans. The Protect America Act is a vital tool in stopping the terrorists - and it would be a grave mistake for Congress to weaken this tool." (President George W. Bush, Remarks, Washington, D.C., 10/10/07)

Gov. Romney Agrees That The Actions Of The Democrats In Congress Are Reckless And Would Weaken Our First Line Of Defense. "When Al Qaeda calls into America, we should be listening. Unfortunately, the Democrats are moving to weaken our foreign intelligence listening capabilities. The Democrats are dangerously out of touch when it comes to defending our homeland. Our most basic civil liberty is the right to be kept alive and I agree with the President that we must use every tool at our disposal to keep America safe." (Gov. Mitt Romney, "Governor Mitt Romney On FISA Legislation," Press Release, 10/10/07)

Gov. Romney Rejects Such Dangerous Reductions In Our Intelligence Capability:

Gov. Romney Supports Doing "Whatever It Takes" To Protect America From Terrorists. GOV. ROMNEY: "It means if people are coming to this country terrorizing or talking about terror in such a way that it could lead to the violent death of Americans, we need to know about that, track them, follow them, and make sure that in every way we can we know what they're doing and where they're doing it. And if it means we have to go into a mosque to wiretap or a church, then that's exactly where we're going to go because we're going to do whatever it takes to protect the American people." (Fox News, Republican Presidential Candidate Debate, Durham, NH, 9/5/07)

- Gov. Romney: "And I hear from time to time people say, hey, wait a second, we have civil liberties we have to worry about. But don?t forget the most important civil liberty I expect from my government is my right to be kept alive, and that?s what we?re going to have to do." (Fox News, Republican Presidential Candidate Debate, Durham, NH, 9/5/07)

Gov. Romney Understands We Must Effectively Use Intelligence, Including Wiretapping And Electronic Surveillance, To Prevent Attacks. GOV. ROMNEY: "The key to effective homeland security, in my view, is intelligence, finding the attackers before they attack, gathering and analyzing tips, monitoring suspects, wiretapping, surveillance, all of the tools associated with intelligence work. It's aided measurably by the Patriot Act, perhaps our most effective new tool. It is also dependent on effective delineations of responsibilities between and among federal agencies, across federal and state lines and state and local lines." (Gov. Mitt Romney, Remarks At The National Press Club, Washington, D.C., 7/14/04)

THE DEMOCRATS: HAMSTRINGING OUR INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY

Democrats In Congress Want To Rollback FISA Reforms Needed In The War On Terror:

Under Democrat Control, The House Judiciary And Intelligence Committees Have Voted To Extend Only Select FISA Provisions And Place More Surveillance Operations Under Judicial Burdens. "In August, Congress passed a law that temporarily relaxed legal restrictions on wiretaps, e-mail searches and other surveillance done to gather foreign intelligence. Those changes to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) will expire in February. The House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on Wednesday approved a Democratic proposal to extend some FISA changes while placing more surveillance under the jurisdiction of the FISA court." (Richard Willing, "4-1-1 On FISA Eavesdropping Bill," USA Today, 10/10/07)

- The Legislation Omitted Two Provisions Deemed Necessary By The White House To Help Fight The War On Terror. "The legislation, sponsored by Representative John Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Representative Silvestre D. Reyes, Democrat of Texas and chairman of the Intelligence Committee, conspicuously omitted two provisions demanded by the White House. One would have provided retroactive legal immunity to telecommunications companies that helped the security agency conduct eavesdropping without warrants. A second would have made the surveillance program permanent; instead, the legislation expires in two years." (Stephen Labaton, "House Panels Vote For More Scrutiny Over Foreign Eavesdropping," The New York Times, 10/11/07)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Said That The Democrat Committee Version Is Better Than The Original FISA Legislation. '"Not only is this bill better than the bill passed in August, it?s better than the original FISA bill in protecting our civil liberties,' House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters on Tuesday at a lunch hosted by the Christian Science Monitor." (Helen Fessenden and Jonathan E. Kaplan, "House Dems Propose Fix On Wiretaps," The Hill, 10/9/07)

Not Surprisingly, The Liberal ACLU Said The Bill Is A "Step In The Right Direction." '"What?s good is they?ve put some more protections in place. It?s a step in the right direction,' said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the Washington legislative office of the American Civil Liberties Union." (Stephen Labaton, "House Panels Vote For More Scrutiny Over Foreign Eavesdropping," The New York Times, 10/11/07)

According To A Washington Times Editorial, The Democrats' Bill Favors Trail Lawyers Over National Security Concerns. "The Democrats' measure does not include an essential provision sought by Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, who wants to grant retroactive immunity to U.S. telecommunications companies that cooperated with government efforts to conduct warrantless surveillance of terrorists following the September 11 attacks. The lawsuits against telecom companies could prove to be a financial windfall for a favored Democratic Party constituency: trial lawyers. Approximately 40 lawsuits are pending against telecommunications firms accused of violating the law." (Editorial, "Getting Around FISA Naysayers," The Washington Times, 10/11/07)

- The Democrats' Bill Could Endanger Our Troops. "If the Democrats are ultimately successful in preventing FISA reform or limiting it to small, cosmetic changes, the big losers could be Americans serving in war zones like Afghanistan and Iraq - that's right, the very soldiers Democrats tell us they are so concerned about." (Editorial, "Getting Around FISA Naysayers," The Washington Times, 10/11/07)

THE DEMOCRATS: A HISTORY OF PANDERING TO THE FAR LEFT AND LIMITING U.S. INTELLIGENCE-GATHERING ABILITY

Earlier This Year, Leading Democrats Voted Against Critical FISA Reforms:

In August, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) And Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) Voted Against Bipartisan Reform Of The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. (S. 1927, CQ Vote #309: Passed 60-28: R 43-0; D 16-27; I 1-1, 8/3/07, Clinton And Obama Voted Nay)

- Sen. Clinton Was Cheered For Her Vote Against FISA Reform At The Most Recent YearlyKos Convention. "But that was it when it came to any sort of tense back and forth. By and large Clinton drew praise and applause for her votes -- especially the one she cast against the FISA court last evening. Iraq, surprisingly, was not mentioned by any of the questioners." (Chris Cillizza, "Clinton's Tame Session With The Netroots," The Washington Post's "The Fix" Blog, blog.washingtonpost.com, Posted 8/4/07)

- Sen. Obama Said Wiretapping Is Not Needed To Defeat Terrorism. OBAMA: "That means no more illegal wiretapping of American citizens . . . no more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are, and it's not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At The Woodrow Wilson Center On Terrorism, Washington, D.C., 8/1/07)

In August, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Led The Majority Of House Democrats In Voting Against Bipartisan Reform Of FISA. (S. 1927, CQ Vote #836: Passed 227-183: R 186-2; D 41-181, 8/4/07, Pelosi Voted Nay)

- Speaker Pelosi: Allowing The Wiretapping Of Terrorists "Does Violence To The Constitution Of The United States." (Carl Hulse and Edmund L. Andrews, "House Approves Changes To Surveillance Program," International Herald Tribune, 8/5/07)

Washington Times Editorial: On FISA, Democratic Leadership Takes Its Cues From "Left-Wing Bloggers" And "The Lunatic Fringe." (Editorial, "Reform FISA Now," The Washington Times, 8/2/07)


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