FISA and Flower Communion

Republican Candidate John McCain has been on record as supportive of attempts to continue  warrantless wiretapping and grant telecom immunity for such activity.  Last week Democratic Candidate Barack Obama’s position was less than hoped for on this issue as well as it reversed his position of January 28The Green Party (current leader for nomination Cynthia McKinney), The  Libertarian Party (Bob Barr)and Ralph Nader all oppose FISA reform and warrantless wiretapping, but they won’t be elected President.

The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (H.R.6304) which grants immunity to telecommunications companies for their role in domestic spying passed the house June 20.  It is expected to come up for vote in the Senate this week.  I can’t help but think that even though it’s an exaggeration that there isn’t a grain of truth to this essay by smintheus on dailyKos likening Congress to the Senate in Imperial Rome.

Having just passed the season of Flower Communion, I wonder what Norbert Capek would think of the United States approving laws sanctioning such laws?

On the 28th of March, 1941, Capek and his daughter, Zora, aged 29, were arrested by the Gestapo and taken to Pankrac Prison. Zora was accused of listening to foreign broadcasts and distributing the content of some BBC transmissions; Capek himself of listening to foreign broadcasts and of “high treason.” Several of his sermons were cited as “evidence” of the latter charge. Listening to foreign broadcasts was a capital offense under the Protectorate. Two separate trials were held, the first at Pankrac Prison soon after their arrest; the second, an appeal of the original decision, at Dresden in April 1942. The appeals court found Capek innocent of the treason charge, recommending that, given his age, the year between his arrest and the appeals trial be counted toward his jail time. The Gestapo, ignoring the court’s recommendation, nonetheless sent Capek to Dachau, Zora to forced labor in Germany. Capek’s name appears among prisoners sent on an invalid transport on October 12, 1942 to Hartheim Castle, near Linz, Austria, where he died of poison gas.

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