Tomorrow the Senate will most likely pass the illicit FISA amendment granting retroactive immunity to the telecoms who participated in President Bush’s illegal spying — also giving the President a get-out-of-jail free card since it basically absolves Bush of his past crimes back to September 11, 2001, although the illegal spying started long before then.
A small handful of Senators, such as Dodd and Feingold have delivered moving speeches in their attempts to stop the legislation, but as is typical, the vast majority of the Senate has been bought off by the telecoms so the bill will most likely pass with no problem, aside from the fact that it is illegal and unconstitutional.
Several members of both the House and the Senate have proven too many times that they don’t care about the law or those they’re supposed to serve — as shown by the support of Bush’s crimes in the past and the fact that this bill will attempt to cover up Bush’s crimes so the public will never know the truth or the extent of Bush’s illegal wiretapping.
One thing that never ceases to amaze a lot of people is the fact that Congress tried to impeach President Clinton over a blowjob, but refuses to do anything to stop the illegal actions of the most corrupt presidential administration to serve two terms despite never having been elected.
Despite the hyped up fear tactics, this amendment is not necessary to protect the country — the Protect America Act was never necessary either. It was designed by President Bush to give him free reign without oversight to terrorize and illegally spy on American citizens — since there are already plenty of other surveillance tools being used.
Blue America launched a call tool designed to help you get in touch with Senators regarding the FISA bill. FireDogLake, among many others, has launched a massive campaign to stop passage of the illicit legislation, asking Senators to vote in favor of the Dodd-Feingold-Leahy Amendment (S.A. 5064 to H.R. 6304), to vote NO on cloture and NO on the final bill. Contact information for the U.S. Senate can also be found here.
Senator Obama, who voted against a previous version of a bill giving Bush and the telecoms immunity in January, is now saying he supports the legislation. As a result, he’s receiving a lot of heat and pressure — justifiably so — urging him to oppose it.
Senator Barack Obama says he’ll vote for the faulty FISA legislation because he’s seen some information from The CIA — the same CIA who has been responsible for a lot of the terrorism that has occurred over the past several years. Saying “trust me, I’ll fix it when I take office” just doesn’t cut it. We’ve been lied to too many times in the past by corrupted politicians bent on furthering their own personal and political motives. Mr. Obama, when we said we want change, we weren’t talking about your opinion on the FISA legislation.
The New York Times chimed in with an Op-Ed as to why the FISA amendment should not be passed. The Times noted that Congress has been far too compliant while President Bush has undermined the Bill of Rights and the balance of powers, and it now has the chance to undo some of that damage.
Congress needs to stand up to Bush and the White House and reject the FISA legislation. After everything this president has done to destroy this country and the people in it, this country has earned the right to know the full extent of Bush’s unlawful wiretapping. Bush’s refusal to legally obtain spy warrants from the FISA court resulted in one FISA court judge resigning in protest.
As noted by the New York Times, the real reason this bill exists is because Bush decided he was above the law. In 2005 the New York Times disclosed the warrantless eavesdropping. Once it was disclosed, Bush demanded that Congress legalize it ex post facto — which is forbidden by the Constitution — scaring Congress into passing the Protect America Act last year.
Passing this legislation to restore some of the already proven illegal laws while creating new loopholes in the Constitution is not compromise. It’s a failure of leadership. One thing’s for sure: the leadership in Congress has failed the people of America miserably.
Even CNN, amazingly enough, reported on Bush’s intent to give himself immunity to being punished for war crimes — that’s what the new FISA amendment is, and has been, about all along. If you care to make your opinion known, feel free to contact your Senator(s). It’s long past time for accountability and to make those corrupted Congress people pay. Congress has a 9% approval rating for a reason. More information can be found from FireDogLake, Ars Technica, OpenLeft, The Seminal, The New York Times, The Nation, Crooks and Liars, The Daily Kos, Glenn Greenwald and The Electronic Frontier Foundation.