Feingold and Dodd are doing the nations work here, the FISA bill is a travesty. Durbin will probably come on board, he’s reliably rational, and liberal, but Obama might vote “present” only, not willing to stand up for the constitution.
In a last-ditch attempt to fix a surveillance bill critics say would essentially legalize President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program, Sens. Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Chris Dodd (D-CT) have promised to filibuster the bill as long as it offers telecommunications companies retroactive immunity.
“This is a deeply flawed bill, which does nothing more than offer retroactive immunity by another name. We strongly urge our colleagues to reject this so-called ‘compromise’ legislation and oppose any efforts to consider this bill in its current form. We will oppose efforts to end debate on this bill as long as it provides retroactive immunity for the telecommunications companies that may have participated in the President’s warrantless wiretapping program, and as long as it fails to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans,” the senators said in a joint statement Tuesday.
“If the Senate does proceed to this legislation, our immediate response will be to offer an amendment that strips the retroactive immunity provision out of the bill. We hope our colleagues will join us in supporting Americans’ civil liberties by opposing retroactive immu
You can read (or watch video) of Dodd’s impassioned remarks at his Senate web site
Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post online adds:
A senior Democratic statesman took to the Senate floor yesterday and delivered a jeremiad against President Bush and his lawlessness the likes of which I’m not sure we’ve ever heard there before.
What set off Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) was the warrantless surveillance bill sent over from the House this week and seemingly assured of passage in the Senate. The bill significantly broadens Bush’s spying powers and essentially guarantees civil-lawsuit immunity for the telecommunications companies that cooperated in earlier surveillance efforts.
But to Dodd, it’s just the latest indignity from a president who has come to expect a corrupted political system to jettison the rule of law on his say-so.
“Retroactive immunity is on the table today; but also at issue is the entire ideology that justifies it, the same ideology that defends torture and executive lawlessness,” Dodd said.
I can’t believe this stupid bill has gotten as far as it has. Whatever happened to rule of law?