FISA: Screwed, Blued and Tattooed
Thanks so much, House Democrats.
We’re now being told that the horrible FISA bill — which allows the Attorney General to submit documents to the court that will have lawsuits against the telecoms dismissed in secret — is going to have the supplemental added on to it. Hoyer doesn’t want a situation where simply the Blue Dogs and the Republicans join together to get this passed, so they’re going to strongarm other members of Congress by making them vote to fund the war in Iraq and Afghanistan at the same time. [Update: we’re hearing conflicting things, this may not in fact happen.]
The proposed FISA deal is not a compromise; it is a capitulation. The House and Senate should not be taking up this bill, which effectively guarantees immunity for telecom companies alleged to have participated in the President’s illegal program, and which fails to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans at home. Allowing courts to review the question of immunity is meaningless when the same legislation essentially requires the court to grant immunity. And under this bill, the government can still sweep up and keep the international communications of innocent Americans in the U.S. with no connection to suspected terrorists, with very few safeguards to protect against abuse of this power. Instead of cutting bad deals on both FISA and funding for the war in Iraq, Democrats should be standing up to the flawed and dangerous policies of this administration.
It’s an outrageous clusterfuck. Forty cases currently underway will be dismissed. Congress has never done anything like this, intervening in the legal process to protect the Bush Administration, the telecoms and themselves — who sat back and did nothing while all this illegal spying was going on.
We’ll never know what happened. We’ll never know the extent of the lawbreaking. That possibility will be gone forever.
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We’ve now raised $207,573 to exact a pound of flesh from Democrats who did this. Top of the list is Steny. We’re working right now on ads and robocalls to start ASAP in his district, so if you’d like to tell Steny how happy you are with his "leadership" on this one, you can contribute here.