Arlen Specter, 6/11/06:
Absolutely not. That was an erroneous report. If anybody has violated the law, they’ll be held accountable, both as to criminal conduct and as to civil conduct. And in no way did I promise amnesty or immunity or letting anybody off the hook.
Via Greenwald, Arlen Specter’s proposed legislation:
Section 801 of Specter’s legislation is entitled “Executive Authority,” and it specifically amends the criminal punishment provision of FISA (which is Section 109(a), (50 U.S.C. 1809(a)), as follows:
(1) General . . .
(B) FISA. — Section 109(a) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1809(a)) is amended —
(i) in paragraph (1), by inserting “or under the constitutional authority of the executive” after “authorized by statute”; and
(ii) in paragraph (2), by inserting “or executed under the constitutional authority of the executive” after “authorized by statute.”
(2) Retroactive effect — The amendments made by paragraph (1) shall be construed to have the same effective date as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.
Translated from lawyerese, Specter’s amendment proposes retroactive amnesty for any FISA-related lawbreaking stretching back to the date that FISA was enacted, in 1978. I honestly cannot think of any wingnut that has even suggested an idea this wingnutty. Don’t bother calling Specter’s office because, honestly, what can you say about this sort of thing. Go back to Russia? The guy has lost his mind.