Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Amnesty for Domestic Spying

From Glenn Greenwald's "Amnesty Day for Bush and Lawbreaking Telecoms" (Salon):

The Senate today -- led by Jay Rockefeller, enabled by Harry Reid, and with the active support of at least 12 (and probably more) Democrats, in conjunction with an as-always lockstep GOP caucus -- will vote to legalize warrantless spying on the telephone calls and emails of Americans, and will also provide full retroactive amnesty to lawbreaking telecoms, thus forever putting an end to any efforts to investigate and obtain a judicial ruling regarding the Bush administration's years-long illegal spying programs aimed at Americans. The long, hard efforts by AT&T, Verizon and their all-star, bipartisan cast of lobbyists to grease the wheels of the Senate -- led by former Bush 41 Attorney General William Barr and former Clinton Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick -- are about to pay huge dividends, as such noble efforts invariably do with our political establishment...

UPDATE: The Dodd/Feingold amendment to remove telecom immunity from the bill just failed by a whopping vote of 31-67 -- 20 votes shy of the 50 needed for a passage. A total of 18 Democrats joined all Republicans in voting for immunity: Bayh, Inouye, Johnson, Landrieu, McCaskill, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, Stabenow, Feinstein, Kohl, Pryor, Rockefeller, Salazar, Carper, Mikulski, Conrad, Webb, and Lincoln. Obama voted against immunity, and Hillary Clinton was the only Senator not voting. Thus, the breakdown on the vote was similar to what it always is:

Democrats -- 18-31

Republicans -- 0-49

Shame, shame, shame, shame on all of you who voted for immunity! Mary Landrieu, you'll hear from me (again). And what are you thinking, HRC?? Is this another instance in which your loyalties (to corporate interests vs. prospective voters) are split and, therefore, you did not vote?

Obama, et al, thank you for voting against immunity!

Doubtless, this will be another big primary day in which we hear repeatedly that there are no differences between our candidates except for charisma, gender, and race. Not so.

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