A blow for freedom, a blow to freedom

The Hill reports that congressional Republicans have conceded the FISA fight to the Democrats. Looks like the good guys won this time:

House Republicans are poised to shift their focus from national security to the economy, hoping to rally opposition to what they claim are Democratic plans to raise taxes amid the economic downturn.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) is expected to announce Thursday that the House GOP floor emphasis will transition away from passing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and earmark reform to “stop the tax hike.”

House Republican leaders will make their case to pass a tax bill introduced by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.).
Republicans will use procedural floor tactics to force votes on Walberg’s bill, which would make the 2001 tax cuts permanent.
The measure has 125 co-sponsors, none of whom are Democrats.

So, the Republicans folded, and it looks like this section of the Constitution will live another day. The Fourth Amendment lives!

Or does it?

Turns out the Justice Department has been working under the rules set by a UC Berkeley professor, John Yoo, which contains this startling passage:

Our office recently concluded that the Fourth Amendment had no application to domestic military operations.

And, with us being in “the war on terror”, as far as the “Justice Department” is concerned, the constitutional need for a warrant is an example of a “pre-9/11 mindset”. After all, 9/11 CHANGED EVERYTHING. The Justice Department still cannot deny that it’s operating under these rules.

Speaking of blows to freedom, check out this snippet in the original article on The Hill:

The strategy is detailed in an inaugural “Freedom File” e-mail — a monthly memo to GOP activists — from Boehner’s political action committee, Freedom Project.

I’m currently reading an interesting book by George Lakoff; Whose Freedom? There has been a concerted GOP strategy to co-opt the meaning of the word “freedom”, and this is just a minor example of that trend.