I get emails from the congressman representing the 7th district of Louisiana, Charles Boustany, M.D. He doesn’t have his own blog so I’m posting his updates.
Two weeks have passed since our national security community lost the ability to track valuable intelligence without going through slow and burdensome bureaucratic hurdles. That’s more than two weeks of terrorist communications that cannot be recovered. Yet, the Democratic House leadership under Speaker Nancy Pelosi refuses to debate a bi-partisan Senate bill, which would give intelligence officials expanded authority to track terrorists outside of the United States. Since August, a temporary set of new laws authorized this program, but it expired on February 15, 2008.
Violent extremists operating around the world have one aim- kill Americans. I am committed to providing responsible and appropriate tools to our intelligence community to protect and defend Americans at home and abroad. It is no coincidence that the U.S. has been free from attack at home since September 11, 2001. American intelligence officers protected us, and Congress must provide the tools and techniques they need to meet the long-term challenges that remain. Those standing on the frontlines battling these terrorists must have the ability to quickly intercept foreign communications to stop terrorists.
The Democratic leadership in the House has said, “there is no urgency” on updating our nation’s intelligence laws. I vehemently disagree; allowing this law to expire is completely irresponsible. I will continue to stand up for our men and women who defend us against future terrorist attacks. If you have questions about this debate or any other issue before Congress, please visit my website to learn where I stand and to send me your thoughts.
Charles W. Boustany, Jr. M.D.
Member of Congress