Thursday, February 14, 2008

Big Day on FISA and Terrorism

It probably won't be remembered as fondly or as well as his brother's inaugural address, but here's Senator Ted Kennedy speaking a few weeks back:

The President has said that American lives will be sacrificed if Congress does not change FISA. But he has also said that he will veto any FISA bill that does not grant retro-active immunity. No immunity, no FISA bill. So if we take the President at his word, he's willing to let Americans die to protect the phone companies.
The same conflict and the same terms continued today, when the Democrats in the House of Representatives showed some courage and called the Wide Stance on its bullshit. America remains as safe as it was a week or a year ago, and the GOP's filthy demagoguery is exposed for what it is.

Bravo to that. More, more, more!

Update: here is an essential factual correction from Glenn Greenwald, who has been following this story heroically:
The claim that telecoms will cease to cooperate without retroactive immunity is deeply dishonest on multiple levels, but the dishonesty is most easily understood when one realizes that, under the law, telecoms are required to cooperate with legal requests from the government. They don't have the option to "refuse." Without amnesty, telecoms will be reluctant in the future to break the law again, which we should want. But there is no risk that they will refuse requests to cooperate with legal surveillance, particularly since they are legally obligated to cooperate in those circumstances. The claim the telcoms will cease to cooperate with surveillance requests is pure fear-mongering, and is purely dishonest.

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