Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Civil liberties disappear not with a bang, but a whimper
I don't understand, nor have I heard an adequate explanation, why the Democratic House and Senate is delivering George Bush exactly the FISA bill he wants.
It has to be that the Democratic senators and reps voting for it must either truly support the idea that the government can spy on whomever it damn well pleases, or their afraid of being accused of being soft on terrorism. In either case, it's confounding. Seriously confounding. Because the fourth amendment is being decimated.
Civil libertarians, and there are a few in the Senate - Feingold and Dodd, to name a few, are in jawdropping disbelief that our lawmakers would enact such a bill, and that they would hand George Bush, the most untrustworthy of presidents, power to immunize corporate lawbreakers, and at the same time, immunize himself, from prosecution. He and they broke the law once. Now they have the consent of the legislative branch. The most unbelievable part is that Democrats, including Barack Obama, are touting the FISA bill as a compromise. As Glenn Greenwald has pointed out for months, it is no such thing. It is a capitulation to the President and to Republicans.
Listen to Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, who appeared last night with Rachel Maddow on Hardball. He calls the impending vote a "cave-in."