FISA -- (House of Representatives - October 23, 2007)
(Mr. PITTS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. PITTS. Madam Speaker, in the early hours of May 11, seven U.S. soldiers were on lookout near a patrol base in Iraq. Some time before dawn, heavily armed al Qaeda gunmen made coordinated surprise attacks on the soldiers. Four of the soldiers were killed and three others taken hostage. What happened next is a travesty and a failure of our public policy in support of the troops in the field. A search to rescue the men began immediately but was brought to a halt because of our FISA law, by the need for military lawyers to jump through legal hoops in order to gain approval to conduct surveillance of terrorist communications. Ten hours passed before they were granted such permission. The search for a kidnapped U.S. soldier was halted so that lawyers could find grounds to have the Attorney General grant special permission to listen in on the communications between the individuals in Iraq. Our FISA law, as the President has requested, needs reform, not the flawed bill the Democrats are seeking to pass.