I sat through the painful House debates on the FISA deal, so you wouldn’t have to. My writeup is over at Ars. Possibly my favorite moment of the proceedings is up in the lede:
“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance,” Rep Trent Franks (R-AZ) intoned on the floor of the House of Representatives, purporting to invoke the authority of Thomas Jefferson on behalf of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which passed the House by a 293–129 vote yesterday.
If we wanted to pick nits, we could note that this is a misquotation, that Jefferson didn’t write it, and that the “eternal vigilance” alluded to in that hoary aphorism is most assuredly not the government’s unfettered power to eavesdrop on Americans’ international communications without a warrant. But forget it, he’s rolling.