Monday, December 17, 2007

Harry Reid’s Betrayal on FISA

The Majority Leader just pulled a fast one on the most principled Democrats in the Senate.This week, as the Senate debates revisions to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), Harry Reid decided to bring the grossly inadequate version of the bill to the Senate floor.

Reid has capitulated to Bush and the telecom companies by offering them the immunity that Chris Dodd and Russ Feingold have been so courageously fighting against.

“It did not have to be this way,” Feingold wrote. “Thirteen Senators joined me last week in asking the Majority Leader to instead bring up a bill that includes the changes approved by the Judiciary Committee last month. That bill, while not perfect by any means, was the product of an open process and heeded the advice of many experts and advocates to provide greater protection for the international communications of innocent Americans. And, unlike the Intelligence Committee bill, the Judiciary bill does not provide automatic, retroactive immunity for companies alleged to have cooperated with the administration's illegal warrantless wiretapping program.”

Dodd vows to filibuster the bill. “I rarely come to the floor with this much anger,” he said, according to “I’ve never seen contempt of the rule of law such as this.”

In a statement released Friday, Dodd outlined his reasoning.

“Providing retroactive immunity to companies that may have violated the law will set a dangerous precedent,” said Dodd. “Companies who violated the trust of thousands of their customers will be immune to prosecution and the details of their actions will stay hidden. The President, and his Administration, has consistently used scare tactics in an attempt to force Congress to pass FISA legislation that provides retroactive immunity. I urge my colleagues to stand up to this administration and this President and say enough is enough.”

The ACLU is also outspoken in its opposition to Reid’s latest capitulation.

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has decided to move the bad Senate Intelligence Committee bill,” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “This is not good news for those of us who respect freedom, the rule of law and the Constitution. Instead of capitulating to the White House, senators should be listening to their constituents -- not telecom lobbyists or White House spinmeisters. . . . Now, a Democratically-led Congress may be about to give this administration that power and is on the verge of giving the telecommunications companies a multimillion dollar Christmas present.”

Harry Reid has forfeited his right to be Majority Leader. He should resign or be forced out of that position. He is not a leader. He is a follower. He does not stand up to Bush. He caves to Bush. Repeatedly. The Democrats need a person of principle to head the Senate, not someone who is weak-kneed.


Mookie said...

It's funny how just a few months ago, Reid was under fire from conservatives for challenging the wisdom of the war in Iraq. I doubt very much that we will witness another around of heat on Harry on their part.

Gerald said...

The fix is in for 2008

Gerald said...

Little doubt Nazi American elections are rigged

Gerald said...

"Look, Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous, if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."

-George Bush, Dec. 4, 2007

"We have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves. . . . Bullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant."

-Prof. Harry Frankfurt (1986)

Gerald said...

Slave Labor in Nazi America