Carter: "We Don't Owe American Rights To Terrorists"
U.S. Congressman John Carter (TX-31), House Republican Conference Secretary, issued the following statement after Congress failed to make the Protect America act permanent, but instead passed a flawed bill amending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that requires the Intelligence Community to obtain court orders before they can listen to terrorist communication.
"Today, I voted for a proposal that would have allowed our national intelligence community the ability to conduct surveillance on foreign terrorists and keep America safe. But that bill didn't pass through the House of Representatives. Instead, liberals in Congress passed a bill that ties the hands of our intelligence community.
"A rescue mission for three U.S. soldiers who were kidnapped by al Qaeda operatives was stalled for 9 hours and 38 minutes while government lawyers searched for probable cause before our national intelligence could listen to phone calls that could have led to the soldier's whereabouts. American lives were in danger while lawyers were rushing to find permission. Rescuing American troops shouldn't require a single lawyer.
"There are terrorists out there who wish to bring harm to our country. Congress should focus on FISA legislation that closes the terrorist loophole rather than create a bureaucratic nightmare that does nothing but put red tape between our intelligence community and our enemies."
Note: In August, Congress successfully passed the Protect America Act which closed the dangerous terrorist loophole in our national defense and allowed foreign terrorists to avoid our intelligence network. The Protect America Act specifically states that a court order is not required for foreign targets overseas. The Protect America Act is scheduled to expire in February, but today a motion was made to make this successful program permanent. Unfortunately, that motion failed. The Director of National Intelligence testified before the House Judiciary Committee that prior to the Protect America Act, the intelligence community was not collecting approximately 66 percent of the foreign intelligence information that it used to collect before recent legal interpretations required the government to obtain FISA court orders for foreign surveillance.