Wednesday, February 13, 2008

U.S. Constitution Under (Bipartisan) Attack

I'm outraged to learn that the feckless cowards (pronounced Democrats) in the Senate have supported the Republicans in granting retroactive immunity to the huge telecommunication conglomerates who have trampled your privacy (and the laws of our land) in the service of the Bush Administration's illegal war on the Bill of Rights.

As Glen Greenwald writes in Salon,
When Bill Frist was running the Senate and Pat Roberts was in charge of the Intelligence Committee, Bush and Cheney couldn't get this done (the same FISA and amnesty bill that the Senate will pass today stalled in the 2006 Senate). They had to wait until the Senate belonged (nominally) to Harry Reid and, more importantly, Jay Rockefeller was installed as Committee Chairman, and then -- and only then -- were they able to push the Senate to bequeath to them and their lawbreaking allies full-scale protection from investigation and immunity from the consequences of their lawbreaking.
I personally called and emailed Senators Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez to encourage them to fight this legislation. While I'm not surprised that former GOP National Committee Chair Mel Martinez fell in step with Bush, I'm shocked and disappointed in Nelson's vote to pass this bill. He may have lost my vote in the next election.

Of the presidential candidates, only Obama voted in support of the Dodd Amendment that would have stripped the FISA bill of the immunity clause (Clinton didn't bother to vote at all). Senator and former presidential candidate Chris Dodd in particular deserves our great respect and admiration in this fight, as he has passionately argued against the Big Brother tactics of the Bush Administration. Please listen to some of his stirring speech here:

The fight is not over. Sign this petition to tell the House of Representatives to fight telecom immunity. The very founding principles of our liberty are at stake in this fight. Take a stand now.

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