Negotiations between Democratic House Leaders and their Senate counterparts on a new surveillance bill seem to have concluded. The immunity issue demanded by President Bush is still unresolved. Congress would like to get the bill resolved before their Memorial day break.
House Democratic leaders have a bad history of capitulation problems. House Speaker Pelosi has said repeatedly that impeachment is off the table and there is a nasty rumor going around regarding her capitulating again, possibly pushing (quietly) for retroactive immunity. Madam Speaker needs to think about the consequences of caving into the Bush administration again — enough people are paying attention to make sure certain Congress persons are replaced at election time. This country has had enough already.
There are those in Congress who have gone out of their way to make sure the Bush administration could roll along void of any law or oversight — possibly believing the Bush administration is above the law — who are just as guilty those they complicitly allow to destroy Democracy.
Either way, giving immunity to those corporations who illicitly aided the Bush administration would be a bad mistake. Between the lines below is a short article from the Electronic Frontier Foundation regarding Republican leader John Boehner and below the article are a few links to more information regarding the ongoing FISA update battle.
Boehner Wants Protection From Illegal Wiretapping – But Only For Himself article from The Electronic Frontier Foundation:
“Chris Frates at the Politico reveals how Republican Leader John Boehner is seeking wiretap protection for himself, but not for ordinary Americans:
When a federal judge ordered Rep. Jim McDermott to pay House Minority Leader John A. Boehner and his attorneys more than $1 million in damages and legal fees for leaking an illegally taped phone call to the media, Boehner said he pursued the case because “no one — including members of Congress — is above the law.”
Why, then, is the Ohio Republican trying to squash similar lawsuits against telecommunications companies who cooperated with the government in warrantless electronic surveillance, ask the attorneys behind the class action suits.
The blatant hypocrisy on display here is stunning.
When ordinary Americans were being wiretapped, Boehner’s attacked them and their right to privacy, claiming “I believe (phone companies) deserve immunity” from the law. But when Boehner himself was being wiretapped, he had no hesitation to claim his own right to privacy, claiming “no one is above the law.”
When ordinary Americans are victimized, Boehner’s taken every opportunity to caricature their representatives at EFF and ACLU as “unscrupulous trial lawyers” who are “trying to find a way to get into the pockets of the American companies.” But when Boehner himself is the victim, suddenly defense attorneys don’t seem so unscrupulous to him, and he has no problem employing his own litigators to receive a $1.1 million reward.”
Links to More Information
Exclusive capitulation report: House Democratic leadership circulates FISA bill article by Glenn Greenwald from Salon News
FISA Urgent Action Needed information from Downsize DC Blog
FISA 101 article by Glenn Greenwald from Salon News
FISA Fight: Pot, Kettle article from Daily Kos
Keith Olbermann Special comment regarding FISA video from YouTube
Mukasey’s Lies About FISA article from Science Blogs
Talking Points Memo – House Dems Circulate Draft of Surveillance Compromise article from TPMMuckraker