It has now been 22 days since the House of Representatives asked for a 21-day extension to pass legislation that would bring U.S. intelligence law into the 21st century. This is on top of the 15 days they asked for and were granted on Feb. 1. In total the House has had 214 days since the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was temporarily reformed on Aug. 5, 2007, to prove to the American people that they are serious about national security. We are still waiting.

Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell has told Congress that our intelligence services “have lost intelligence information … as a direct result of the uncertainty created by Congress’ failure to act.“And what is the big issue delaying House action? It is not a concern for civil liberties. The Senate passed a bipartisan bill that addressed the civil liberty concerns of all but the most leftist members of Congress. The House is willing to put our nation’s security at risk so that trial lawyers and anti-Bush activists can pursue lawsuits against the telecommunications companies that cooperated with the government after 9/11. Besides the campaign cash from trial lawyers, House liberals refuse to compromise because they do not want to be seen as caving in to President Bush. The House has failed miserably in fulfilling campaign promises to end the war in Iraq and they are desperate for a victory over the the Bush administration. The far-left liberal base wants Democrats to run on this issue this fall.

The left does not care what the cost of their narrow political interests are on national security. Former CIA official and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) adviser John Brennan recently told National Journal: “I do believe strongly that [telecoms] should be granted that immunity. They were told to [cooperate] by the appropriate authorities that were operating in a legal context. I know people are concerned about that, but I do believe that’s the right thing to do.” Brennan went on to advise the next president:

My advice, to whoever is coming in, is they need to spend some time learning, understanding what’s out there, inventorying those things, and identifying those key issues or priorities that they have — FISA or something else. They need to make sure they do their homework, and it’s not just going to be knee-jerk responses.

House members needs to get over their Bush hatred, do their homework, and put the nation’s security first. They need to pass permanent FISA reform now with protections for telecom companies.

Quick Hits:

  • New modeling by scientists in favor of draconian cuts to carbon emissions shows humans would have to cease carbon emissions altogether in a matter of decades to avert a dangerous rise in global temperatures.
  • India’s energy consumption is expected to quadruple over the next 25 years and its carbon-emissions are already the fourth largest in the world.
  • Due to rising energy demand, the Nuclear Energy Institute estimates that the U.S. will have to build 50 new reactors over the next 30 years to continue producing 20% of the nation’s electricity.
  • Canada warned the U.S. that alternative fuel mandates in the Energy Independence and Security Act 2007 could limit development of that country’s oil sands making “$106 a barrel” oil “look cheap.”
  • California businesses may eventually have to shell out billions to pay for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s global warming plan, but for now the state can’t even figure out how to pay for the plan’s first $55 million setup costs.