While everybody is distracted by the NFL/national anthem protests, Congress is quietly considering renewal of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. Go find the Sept. 25 article “US spy chief urges Congress to renew surveillance authority” in McClatchy newspapers.

Renewal of FISA will enable President Donald Trump, if he chooses, to use our national security apparatus against political opponents with exactly the method that President Barack Obama’s administration used to conduct surveillance on Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and others. While schadenfreude at the prospect of returning the favor is enticing, it is at the same time quite troubling for a democracy.

It is puzzling why Attorney General Jeff Sessions has not yet indicted the spies and leakers of the previous administration. One answer to that puzzle seems plain: Just as with the expiration of FISA, prosecution of the Obama perps would kill the goose that lays opposition research golden eggs for President Trump.

Michael W. Thayer


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