Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Used and Abused Again

Well, how does it feel to be used and abused one more time by your Democratic Congress. You know the one you thought you were electing to begin to restore some sense of sanity and the rule of law back into government. From the Washington Post...

Wiretap Compromise in Works
FISA Update May Hinge On Two Separate Votes

By Ellen Nakashima and Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, March 4, 2008; A03

House and Senate Democratic leaders are headed into talks today that they say could lead to a breakthrough on legislation to revamp domestic surveillance powers and grant phone companies some form of immunity for their role in the administration's warrantless wiretapping program after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Notice the word "compromise" there. You might get the impression that Congress and the White House have been negotiating to beat the band and have reached an agreeable and "win/win" for both the telcos and the American people who were spied upon...whoops! Wrong again. The compromise is among the Democrats themselves on how best to make it look like they aren't completely useless "poopy heads". Read it and weep.

Some aides on Capitol Hill were discussing the potential for the House passing the Senate version but breaking it into two votes: one on the portion of the bill that deals with revising FISA provisions and a second on the immunity measure.

This procedural move would allow many Democrats to vote against immunity but still make its approval all but certain since almost every Republican and some centrist Democrats would vote in favor.

Mr 19% wins again and it didn't cost him a thing. He got everything he wanted and you, my friend, get shit. It's galling enough to have been treated to this whole show of respect for our civil rights by the Dems but now we are expected to swallow this whole episode as some noble exercise in governance. Here is Kenneth Wainstein, assistant attorney general for national security explaining this grand exercise in screwing the American public and ignoring the Constitution.

Kenneth Wainstein, assistant attorney general for national security, said at the same meeting that key issues surrounding the legislation had been hashed out in a "long and tedious" but "healthy" process, aimed at updating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

"This is not amnesty," Wainstein said at the meeting. "This is targeted immunity" for companies who meet requirements specified in the Senate bill that include having received an attorney general's certification that their assistance was determined to be lawful.
Oh! that's all peachy keen then. The attorney general gets to say what is legal and what is not. You don't mean the same AG that told us that the rule of law was for suckers just last week do you? That "Attorney General" gets to certify this new power is "lawful?" I feel better already.

So where do we stand! I guess what the Democrats in Congress are telling you is that you had better damn well be comfortable with allowing unlimited, warrantless electronic surveillance and datamining of the communications of all Americans and indeed the entire world on the say-so of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and/or David Addington, with no possibility that they will ever agree to answer any questions you may ever have about it? That means there is no oversight, no restrictions and we are trust the Bush administration with knowing what is right and doing what is right. We have had six-plus years of experience with this president and his gang to know how well that's going to work.

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