Stop the FISA sellout by smintheus
There’s no good reason why Democrats should stand idly by while Sen. Harry Reid helps to push a terrible FISA bill through the Senate early next week. It is Sen. Rockefeller’s bill granting retroactive immunity for telecoms, a grant that Reid admits is “unwise” and one he opposes, but one Reid has found parliamentary reasons for preferring over the better Judiciary Committee bill that excludes telecom immunity. And this despite the fact the House has passed a bill that excludes immunity.
It’s a sellout.
And it’s a pretty strange week for Reid to be endorsing Sen. Rockefeller’s judgment. Just a few days ago Rockefeller revealed that he can’t even remember what he was told and when about the CIA’s videotaping of torture sessions. This is the man whom Reid wants us to follow off a cliff?
The Senate needs to dump the Rockefeller bill. We should leverage the outrage that many people feel about this betrayal, and bring it to bear on the Senate.
There’s more background here on the FISA scandal, and here on what Reid has done in leading with the worse, rather than the better, bill.
It would be an understatement to describe Rockefeller’s bill as a disgrace. Retroactive immunity for the telecoms is an appalling precedent as legislation. It also represents an abject surrender by the Legislative Branch to the “right” of the Unitary Executive to commit crimes and then legalize them ex post facto.
Rockefeller’s bill also will obstruct a current lawsuit against the telecoms that might otherwise succeed in extracting from the Bush administration actual information about whom it is spying upon without warrant, how, where, and why. The lawsuit threatens to expose the kind of information that Congress so far has signally failed to get from the Unitary President.
That, surely, is why the Bush administration is so determined that Congress must grant retroactive immunity to the telecoms. The corporations would not need immunity if they had not broken the law, and if they broke the law, it was because they preferred to take orders from the Executive Branch.
It’s hard to escape the impression that Bush is calling the tune here.
Front-Paging him is probably the best thing kos has done in a long time...