Unbelievable. If voting to allow torture wasn't enough, Harold Ford has now voted yes on HR 5825 (Text here), also known as the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act.
For those unfamiliar with HR 5825, here is the single most important thing to know about it.
The FISA Act of 1978 already allowed the NSA to run surveillance on a target for up to 72 hours without a warrant, but after that 72 hours, they had to justify it to the FISA court or drop the surveillance. Section 9 of HR 5825 allows warrantless surveillance and searches of American citizens for up to 60 days, 90 days for a foreign national, as long as the president certifies that there is an imminent threat of attack. If the original 60 or 90 days yields nothing, it's okay--- As long as the president still says there's an imminent threat, it's all good.
This particular president tends to say that we're under constant threat--- So it's entirely possible (Perhaps even likely) that there will never come a time when our government under current leadership will feel the need to ever submit a warrant to the FISA court.
This, simply put, is yet another power grab by a White House that has proven time and again that if they are given power, they not only abuse it but fail miserably in the process.
Once a congressman surrenders the power of his office, he doesn't get it back. And by agreeing to HR 5825, Harold Ford Jr. surrendered the power of his office and your right to privacy.
A few months ago, we were all discussing the illegal surveillance program run by this White House. The House of Representatives just legitimized it, and Harold Ford helped them out with it.
This is where he does the greatest damage to the nation and his party. There are Democrats out there willing to stand tall, defend the Constitution, and defend the rights of the American people to live their lives without government intrusion. With votes such as this one, he undermines their efforts.
Frankly, I'm beginning (Okay, maybe not quite beginning) to wonder if Bob Corker actually stands to the left of our hometown Democrat. With this vote, Harold Ford Jr. positioned himself to the right of thirteen House Republicans.
*Special hat tip to my friend Wintermute for forwarding the roll call to me and inspiring this one.