But for decades, the FISA court -- for obvious reasons -- was considered to be one of the great threats to civil liberties, the very antithesis of how an open, democratic system of government ought to function. The FISA court was long the symbol of how severe are the incursions we've allowed into basic civil liberties and open government.
The FISC is a classicly Kafka-esque court that operates in total secrecy. Only the Government, and nobody else, is permitted to attend, participate, and make arguments. Only the Government is permitted to access or know about the decisions issued by that court. Rather than the judges being assigned randomly and therefore fairly, they are hand-picked by the Chief Justice (who has been a GOP-appointee since FISA was enacted) and are uniformly the types of judges who evince great deference to the Government. As a result, the FISA court has been notorious for decades for mindlessly rubber-stamping every single Government request to eavesdrop on whomever they want.
Mais le désastre démocratique n'est pas seulement avec le tribunal. Il est aussi avec la «fenêtre Overton». Greenwald continue:
Yet now, embracing this secret, one-sided, slavishly pro-government court defines the outermost liberal or "pro-civil-liberty" view permitted in our public discourse. And indeed, as reports of imminent (and entirely predictable) House Democratic capitulation on the FISA bill emerge, the FISA court is now actually deemed by the establishment to be too far to the Left -- too much of a restraint on our increasingly omnipotent surveillance state. Anyone who believes that we should at the very least have those extremely minimal -- really just symbolic -- limitations on our Government's ability to spy on us in secret is now a far Leftist.
C'est formidable, la démocratie américaine, non?