UPDATE: BooMan has tallies on the vote so far: Yays are 60, nays are 34, the Judiciary version* is dead. Now amendments.
*This version did not have the telecom immunity in it.
As you may know, Bush has been urging Congress to pass the FISA Bill. This bill gives telecom companies retroactive immunity against their illegal spying on Americans. This immunity was put in by the White House. Now, consider this…a couple of years ago, the Bush Administration brought out the old “Nixon amendment” that, by decree, when the president says something is legal, it’s legal. Obviously, they use a different Constitution than the rest of Americans. But then, logically speaking, the spying on Americans the Bush Administration forced the telecom companies to do, would be legal and retroactive immunity would not be necessary.
Former presidential candidate Sen. Chris Dodd has been on the forefront of this bill. Back in December, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) tried to push through this bill before the Christmas break, Dodd stopped campaigning, to go back to DC to fight this bill. That’s something neither Sen. Clinton or Sen. Obama would do. The media is doing a wonderful job of ignoring this fight for your rights. When they deign to mention it, a few buried paragraphs is all that’s given. They almost always neglect to mention that it’s the retroactive immunity that is key here.
Congress convened again, with Dodd leading the filibuster on this bill. Sadly, too many “Democrats” are on board with giving in to the White House and giving telecom companies their retroactive immunity.
Many of you may be wondering why the retroactive immunity is important. See, when this program was revealed, the WH told us that they were just spying on “terrorists”, but the sheer data proved that (another) lie. The WH tried to tie this to 9/11 (shocker!). Then they sorta stopped paying these telecom companies. The telecom companies were all,”Bitch better have my money.” and the WH said:
Hey, dirty, baby I got your money
Don’t your worry, I said hey.
Baby I got your money
But they lied (again). So the telecom companies were all, “Fuck this noise. I’m tellin’ Congress all your business.” So they did and the WH was all like, “Baby…You know I looooove you. I’ll make it right. I’ll fix it.” So, they tossed in this retroactive immunity bit, but the telecoms had already told Congress that the WH had started this illegal spying program on Americans in Feb. 2001. Simple math will show you that the program began less than a month after Bush’s
installation inauguration and 7 months before 9/11.
So, now that you’re up to speed, we now have Sen. Dodd (D-CT) who is intent on filibustering this bill to strip the retroactive immunity from it. There are several other proposed amendments to the bill. Now a curious thing is also happening. Sen. Reid who is supposedly a Democrat is pissed at Dodd for filibustering because, you know, it will interfere with scheduled retreats for both sides of the aisle. Did you get that? Scheduled retreats for Senators may be in jeopardy because of Dodd’s concern for the law of the land. What a dick. Wait, I should quote the Reid statement that Greenwald quotes:
We have to finish FISA this week. Everyone should be aware of that point. We have to finish it this week. I know there are important trips people want to take. We have the very important economic conference in Davos that Democrats and Republicans alike would like to go to.
Isn’t that just pathetic?
Reid isn’t the only Democrat that is for this coverup. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) actually said:
“I think we will prevail,” Rockefeller said on Wednesday, adding that he hoped the Senate will finish the bill by next week. The FISA legislation expires in February, and both President Bush and GOP congressional leaders have demanded new legislation be in place by that time.
What’s this “we” shit?
It’s obvious that there’s a lot more in play here than we’ll ever know. You can let your imagination take over on what exactly is going on. Still, these representatives work for us. We are the employers, not the herd. Contact your representative regarding this FISA bill. Urge them (even if they are treasonous cowards like Rockefeller) to support Dodd’s filibuster and urge them to do whatever it takes to strip that retroactive immunity from the bill AND let this new FISA bill lapse. FWIW, both Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton are on record saying that they are against the retroactive immunity, it would be much better for them to do they jobs they were elected to do and get their asses back to DC. Show some fucking leadership you twits!
Look at it this way: The FISA law worked for decades before Bush/Cheney decided to break the law. If anything Congress shouldn’t be talking about the FISA bill, they should be discussing impeachment just on this alone.