Update [2007-10-18 15:54:9 by dada]: see BooMan’s fp story Dodd: Good News…
you remember the Responsible Surveillance That is Overseen, Reviewed and Effective Act: aka RESTORE and how there was no way that the white house was going to get retroactive immunity for the telecoms involved in the illegal surveillance?
even the chairman, patrick leaky [d-vt] and ranking member arlen sphincter [r-pa] agreed:
Specter: “I certainly would not give them immunity retroactively on programs that we don’t know what they are…. I think it’s unreasonable to ask us to give them immunity for things we don’t know what they did. If there was a need for it at the time, and if the telephone companies were good citizens and if they supplied information which was important, then I’d be prepared to look at it. But I’m not going to buy a pig in a poke, and commit to retroactive immunity when I don’t know what went on. They’ve kept that from us. That’s a big problem…“
“a big problem?”…indeed it is. and then there’s that pesky constitutional limitation thing about No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed. [Article 1 Section 9 Limits on Congress, U.S. Constitution] to deal with…a veritable conundrum.
fear not all ye democratic faithful, the worlds’ greatest deliberative body, once known as the senate, has once again ignored all of that…it is after all, just a goddamned piece of paper…and reached a stunning and unprecedented compromise…deliberately tossing all those concerns aside.
© don wright 2007
you feel all warm and fuzzy now?
more on this sorry debacle below…
perhaps you also remember back in august, when the democrat controlled congress compromised on FISA, and madame squeaker pelosi vowed to do better before the new authorization expired six months down the road.
When the New York Times reported earlier this month that the Democrats seemed ready to cave in once again, the Democrats insisted it wasn’t so. They introduced — and got through committees — the Responsible Electronic Surveillance That Is Overseen, Reviewed, and Effective Act of 2007, a bill Pelosi touted on her blog as a way to “protect and defend the Constitution as we protect and defend the American people.”
As the Washington Post reports this morning, House Democratic leaders have pulled the RESTORE Act from the floor, and Senate Democrats have reached agreement with Senate Republicans and the Bush administration on a bill that once again gives the administration pretty much everything it wants — only this time for six years, not six months. Among the everything: The Post says the Senate deal will provide retroactive immunity for any telecommunications company that can show that it “acted pursuant to a legal directive in helping the government with surveillance in the United States.”
this is what protecting and defending the constitution and the american people looks like in the first decade of the 21st. century.
yes, all of the faithful who hoped and expected to see an alternative to the roughshod treatment of, and some forward movement towards a restoration of, their constitutional rights, you may now rest assured that they are gone forever, or at least for the next six years.
l suppose it would be bad form to bring up the habeas corpus restoration act again in the light of this major accomplishment. especially in light of the pending approval of muckasey as AG…bad form indeed.