WASHINGTON – After spending the majority of December in fierce opposition over the fiscal cliff, Democrats and Republicans have finally found an issue to unite behind: the federal government’s continued right to spy on Americans.
On Friday, senators voted overwhelmingly to extend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which was expanded by the Bush administration in 2008 to allow for the warrantless surveillance of American citizens. President Obama happily signed the extension on Sunday.
“While we may not be able to see eye-to-eye on the legality of deadly assault weapons or the importance of providing the needy with access to healthcare, the government’s unchecked right to intercept the emails and phone calls of private citizens is something we can all agree on, regardless of party,” said Obama.
According fo National Security Agency Director Keith B. Alexander, FISA has proven to be an integral part of the War on Terror.
“FISA may cut directly against our Constitution, but over the last few years, reading and listening through Americans’ pathetic personal conversations has become a mainstay at NSA headquarters, helping us stave off boredom in the long hours between actual terrorist communications,” said Alexander.
While some Americans view FISA as a blatant overreach of government power that could lead America down the road to a dystopian Orwellian surveillance state, most are just happy that congress was able to pass a law without resorting to a filibuster, drawn-out committee discussions, or shady backdoor dealings.
“In an era so dominated by partisan politics, it’s nice to see Republicans and Democrats finally coming together in agreement,” said Thomas Rupert, a Detroit area teacher and father of two. “Even if that agreement results in the continued erosion of my civil liberties.”