General Question

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Why is the House of Rep. going into a closed session tonight?

Asked by SquirrelEStuff (6665 points ) March 13th, 2008

This will be the 4th time since 1830. It has to do with FISA. What are they hiding now?? It is on CSpan right now 6:41 EST
I wonder if the media will even mention it tomorrow.

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9 Answers

squirbel's avatar

I can only quote:

”“Mr. Blunt stated that members in the Minority believe they have information relevant to the debate on FISA that cannot be publicly discussed,” Hoyer said. “The majority agreed to Mr. Blunt’s request so that the Members may hear this information in a secret session that will proceed for one hour.”

A closed session would require at least three hours for security personnel to sweep the chamber for listening devices.

“All of our members need to hear and have a chance to think about this information,” said Blunt

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) said he was skeptical the closed session would change any minds on the issue and may end up costing the Republicans support.

“As someone who has chaired classified hearings and reviewed classified materials on this subject, I believe the more information members receive about this administration’s actions in the area of warrantless surveillance, the more likely they are to reject the administration’s scare tactics and threats.””

http://www.politico.com/blogs/thecrypt/0308/House_to_go_into_rare_closed_session.html

Charlie's avatar

What do we want and does it matter? If it is a closed session, which is illegal, then it is something to do with US, the people. IF it cannot be publicly discussed then it is something that should not be discussed in the first place BECAUSE WE pay these idiots to tell us what is going on. A PUBLIC OFFICIAL has no rights other then HIS/HER own things about their own life. Meetings behind closed doors is illegal. BUT, when was the last time we had a legal government?

Jonsonite's avatar

The information to be discussed is presumably classified national security information, which the congressional leadership has access to but the rank-and-file does not. In that context it makes sense to have a closed session—you can’t make the information public (presumably it’s classified for a reason, and even if it isn’t, a congress that routinely leaked classified information would probably find itself no longer receiving classified information), but congress needs to know to make an informed decision. Assuming that the information is legitimately confidential, I don’t think I have a problem with it.

Charlie's avatar

BUT for one problem!!! It is MY government, MY country, MY life, And I pay those people to HIDE something from ME? It isn’t that way. MY government should hide nothing from it’s people and if it does, it is in breach of contract with it’s people. Closed doors means they are conspireing something that US poor stupid commoners out here can’t comprehend or it’s just another way for them to screw you and make you proud to pay for it.

Jonsonite's avatar

Keep in mind that any information disclosed to the public is also disclosed to the other parties involved in the matter—confidential information about a terrorist cell would, upon being divulged to the public, be divulged to the terrorists as well. Without the ability to keep certain information under lock and key, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for our government to deal effectively with our enemies abroad or even our allies with whom we sometimes disagree. The disclosure of confidential information to our elected representatives is an important safeguard—in theory they won’t stand for anything too shady.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

The terrorists??? Our “leaders” are the terrorists.

Jonsonite's avatar

It was just an example—it could as easily be China or the European Union on trade issues. Sometimes we have information that we don’t want everybody else to have (or know that we have).

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

like WMD? Like all the lies we’ve already been told? Is trust other countries info, before our “info”

jvgr's avatar

Or it could be some information obtained while wire-tapping all telecommunications between Obama, Ayers, ACORN, and the millions of supporters that they will conspire to scuttle Obama’s election.

I would certainly bet that it is not related to any foreign issues (except as they may relate to the above). Foreign relations is not a republican only issue.

In case you haven’t been watching for the past 8 years, the Bush administration likes things to be done in secret. In modern times, documents from the executive offices that have been classified peaked around Nixon’s time.
Since then, the classified documents (as a percentage of total) was generally trending down and really went down during Clinton’s presidency.
When Bush stepped in, the percentage climbed very fast and is much higher than it has ever been.

Now that’s simply to point out that your governement is nothing if not open, straightforward and straight talking: you betcha.

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