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Public Statements

FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. McCLINTOCK. I want to thank the chairman for yielding to a contrary point of view.

Mr. Speaker, FISA allows the government to target foreign nationals and to intercept their communications, even those with American citizens, without a warrant, as required by the Fourth Amendment.

Now, we're told don't worry. The law requires that any irrelevant information collected in this manner be disregarded. Well, here is the problem. The enforcement of this provision is, itself, shrouded in secrecy, making the potential for abuse substantial and any remedy unlikely. Secret courts and warrantless surveillance are not compatible with a free society or the English common law or the American Constitution.

We are told FISA is necessary to stop terrorist plots and that this protection trumps privacy or due process concerns. Well, Ben Franklin answered that argument years ago when he warned us that those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. In fact, America's security is far better assured as a thriving free society in a world that respects her strengths and fears her just vengeance.


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