Monday, March 17, 2008

Nancy Boyda's FISA speech transcript

The following is the transcript of the video of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's speech on FISA.

You've heard that there are three kinds of lies? Lies, damned lies, and statistics?

... If that's the lies, then you know what's coming next. Well, we're talking about damned lies, and when it comes to damned lies, we're talking about the debate that right is going on, and that's on FISA. This is a hundred times more sinister, it's a hundred times more frightening, and I believe a hundred times more shameful.

You've probably seen the TV ads that are attacking me right now. Ominous pictures and scary, scary music. Here's their line. "Midnight. February 16th. The law that lets intelligence agencies intercept al-Qaeda communications expires."

Well, in case you're wondering, that would be what is called a damned lie.


It's such a damned lie that Newsweek ran a fact check piece – you saw it last week – and it just tore [the ad] to shreds.

These are not my words, these are Newsweek's: "misleading," "a play to fear" – come on, we didn't need Newsweek to tell us that this was a play to fear – and "simply not true." These are Newsweek's words, not mine.

So let's talk about what's really going on, because this is the very core, the very core of our democracy. The main law used to wiretap terrorists is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act – that's called FISA. Make no mistake: It is in full force today. Intelligence agencies have every right and today they are wiretapping any terrorist in the world at any time, anywhere. And I personally thank God for that. My number one priority is keeping your family and my family safe.

Nobody, nobody disagrees that we should aggressively wiretap terrorists. Here's the question – and let's reframe this argument. It's not about wiretapping terrorists. Here's the question: Do we want the United States government wiretapping Americans without a warrant? Ladies and gentlemen, that is the issue that is at stake here. I say absolutely no. We do not want the United States government spying on Americans without a warrant.

But President Bush says that's OK, and right now, this is right down party lines. And the Republicans in Congress are sticking with him. In fact, he has threatened to veto any FISA bill that requires meaningful court oversight. "Get rid of the annoying judicial branch. Get rid of that annoying Congressional branch. All we need is oversight within the executive branch."

Folks, the reason that we have the FISA bill in the first place – who knows? Thank you: Richard Milhous Nixon. Watergate. Nixon was caught spying on Americans, and that's where this bill came from in the first place. If we forget history, we are doomed to repeat it. This is something that we don't need to be told; we don't need our mothers to remind us that if we forget our history, we will be doomed to repeat it.

The FISA court must be flexible enough to deal with emergencies. And I strongly support a bill that would allow the executive branch to wiretap anyone, including Americans – to wiretap anyone, anywhere in the world, and even without waiting for judicial approval. Here's the policy: Wiretap first, ask permission later. But here's where we differ. We give 14 days – that's two weeks – for the intelligence agencies to go back to a court, to make sure that we have two branches of government.

Wiretap first, ask permission later. It's a good strategy, and it will keep America safe. But unfortunately, the damned lies just continue.

Yesterday, you probably heard, the Kansas Republican Party launched a new radio ad attacking my stance on FISA. If you haven't heard it, they're telling listeners to call my office, and – this is so unbelievable. You're supposed to ask the question, which side am I on?

Am I with America, or am I with the terrorists?

You know, they say there's no such thing as a stupid question.


That would be a stupid question. But it's ultimately not a stupid question as much as it is a deeply, deeply unpatriotic question. And the Kansas Republican Party ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Our democracy depends on open and honest debate, and this is nothing of the sort. What it is, I believe, is just a transparent attempt to change the subject.

If we talk about the economy, what happens? Republicans lose and Democrats win.

If we talk about Iraq, what happens? Republicans lose and Democrats win.

If we talk about health care, it's the same thing: Republicans lose and Democrats win.

So the last, best hope of the Kansas Republican Party is to use scary words and scary music and to try to scare the hell out of you and all of us.

And my friends, what I'm telling you today is that I will not, I will not be intimidated by what they're doing. And neither should you.


Anonymous said...

thanks for the transcript. just shows how crazy she really is.

it's because of foul-mouthed liberals like her that we'll all be even more unsafe after the president vetoes this irresponsible bill.

Anonymous said...

Was that a joke? 'Cause it's hard to tell on the internet. I'm gonna assume that you were joking, because if not, you're a shockingly pathetic example of a typical ignorant republican dittohead.

Anonymous said...

no, i wasn't joking, jackass...this woman is just another miserable liberal who wants the terrorists to win and to put cash in her trail lawyers husband's pockets at a horrible cost

she should be impeached.

Anonymous said...

god, you's a mark twain something, sometime.

Anonymous said...

"liberal who wants the terrorists to win and to put cash in her trail lawyers husband's pockets"

You know, when you feel good you shouldn't stop taking your meds or else you'll spiral back into insanity like you are right now. Mental illness must be a terrible thing to live with, and you have my sympathy.

This blog is not affiliated in any way with the Kansas Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, or the campaign to re-elected Congresswoman Nancy Boyda. All commentary herein not directly attributed must be considered the opinion of the authors of this blog and not of any other individual, including Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.