President Bush is congratulated by members of Congress and his Cabinet after signing the FISA Amendments Act on Thursday in the Rose Garden. Among those with the president are, at his right, Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. Joseph Lieberman and, immediately behind him, House Minority Leader John Boehner.
Following Thursday’s announcement that Congress had passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, thus granting retroactive immunity to telecom companies that gave the U.S. government access to their networks to engage in warrantless wiretapping after 9/11, there were some who weren’t willing to take the news sitting down. In fact, Congress’ capitulation sparked a legal response from the ACLU and The Nation magazine and two of its key contributors—Chris Hedges and Naomi Klein—in the form of a lawsuit.
Katrina Vanden Heuvel in The Nation:
A few hours after Bush’s signing, The Nation joined with the ACLU in a lawsuit filed in the US District Court (Southern District) of New York challenging the constitutionality of the Act. The Nation is suing on behalf of itself, our staff and two of our contributing writers—Chris Hedges and Naomi Klein. The defendants are the Attorney General of the United States, Michael Mukasey; John M. “Mike” McConnell, Director of National Intelligence; and Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency and Chief of the Security Service. We filed suit along with a coalition of other plaintiffs including Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch, Global Fund for Women, PEN American Center, Washington Office on Latin America, Service Employees International Union and several private attorneys.