House Minority Leader John Boehner says that “Because of the Democrats’ inaction, the Protect America Act expired last night at midnight, forcing our intelligence officials to revert to the same terror surveillance laws that failed to protect America from the al-Qaeda terrorist attack on 9/11.”
As Tim Lee points out this is just an extravagantly false claim. Back in October of 2001, President Bush gave a radio address about how “The bill I signed yesterday gives intelligence and law enforcement officials additional tools they need to hunt and capture and punish terrorists.” The FISA was revised again in 2002. Then FISA was revised again in 2004. Then FISA was revised again in 2006. Protect America Act aside, there have been four separate post-9/11 sets of modifications to the law in question. Most people don’t know this, fair enough. But Boehner’s been in congress throughout all of this — he voted on the revisions — and now he’s pretending they don’t exist.