According to this article in Alternet entitled "Dems Have Legalized Bush's War Crimes", some of the real story behind the new FISA bill and its passage is detailed:
It wasn't that Bush and his team didn't understand the old law's language;
they simply believed they could violate the law without consequence, under the radical theory that at a time of war -- even one as vaguely defined as
the "war on terror" -- the President's powers trump all laws as well as the
constitutional rights of citizens.
Essentially, Bush was betting that even if his warrantless wiretap program was disclosed -- as it was in December 2005 -- that he could trust his Republican congressional allies to protect him and could count on most Democrats not to have the guts to challenge him.
His bet proved to be a smart one. After the New York Times revealed the warrantless wiretaps two and a half years ago, Congress took no steps to hold Bush accountable. Before the 2006 elections, Pelosi declared that Bush's impeachment was "off the table."
Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wisconsin, a strong constitutionalist, termed thePelosi, she of the "impeachment is off the table" and other disasters, doesn't have the courage to face a criminal administration with consequences. Now the Imperial Presidency is clinched. Let's hope McCain doesn't get the imperial crown, or we may lose our Constitution forever. Oh, and with a flag pin placed ceremoniously on the grave.
new bill "not a compromise; it is a capitulation."
One of the bill's illusions would seem to be that the precedent of a President ignoring the FISA law and escaping any accountability can somehow be negated by restating what the original, violated law had declared.
In her June 20 floor statement, Pelosi said in her view this was a crucial feature of the bill, the statement that the President cannot ignore the FISA law again. However, Pelosi's position sounded like the words of an indulgent parent of a spoiled child: "This time I really mean it!"