I would tell them to support Senator Dodd’s fight against FISA abuse. Via
We need to find a way to get this past the political blogs. Senators won’t respond if it is the same collection of activists contacting them again and again.
The FISA Trial Balloon Goes Pop? What’s next …
US Senate Roll call: Number: S. 2248 (FISA Amendments Act of 2007 )
A vote for Cloture is effectively a vote to continue FISA abuse, Senators who voted against clouture defended the constitution, those voting for cloture were voting against the constitution.
Senator Chris Dodd’s Presidential campaign died with a whimper in Iowa. But he still seems to be dictating national security policy to fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill, and unless the Bush Administration is willing to fight, perhaps to the next President too.
We’re told that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is saying privately he now won’t attempt to update the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) on the wiretapping of al Qaeda suspects. Instead, he’ll merely support another 18-month extension of the six-month-old Protect America Act. Among other problems, the temporary bill includes no retroactive immunity for the telecom companies that cooperated with the feds after 9/11.
Clearly the deluge of email and telephone call paid off. Reid understands that Americans won’t stand to further assaults on the fourth amendment. It is had to dismiss the thought that Reid was also worried by all that talk of Dodd running for majority leader.
But the Post article also does not delve into the fact that Chris Dodd’s filibuster threatened to shine a bright light on how craven the other Democratic presidential hopefuls looked when they chose to stay in Iowa and promote themselves rather than come back to Washington DC and defend the constitution. No doubt the telecoms, the Bush administration and their Democratic allies will have plenty of time to regroup and the fight will resume in January at a much more fevered pitch, but the delay may also pull the Senate presidential hopefuls back into the debate — who have thus far given lukewarm pledges of support to Dodd.
And Glenn Greenwald brings up another aspect of the battle that the Post seems blissfully unaware of, and that is about how the whole notion of one man taking a stand on this issue came to pass. I first asked Dodd in early October on Air America if he would commit to filibuster retroactive telecom immunity, and he said at the time “Well, may have to do that….Hope it doesn’t come to that.”
The Washington Post Corporation owns cable properties in Appalachia. (Who knows, perhaps they are Christy’s ISP.) Comcast gets $1,000 per wiretap. No reason to suppose the Washington Post Corporation charges less. The same goes for TimeWarner, which owns AOL. Busheviki abuse of power has been very profitable for internet service providers.
On the other hand, accountability would be expensive, ruinously so. If everyone who had their rights violated could sue these companies, the damages might sink entire corporations. Maybe that would be a good thing. Maybe plotting against the constitution should be a capital offense. In any case, the legal discovery process would bring all the skeletons out of the closet. People would understand that it is not just telecom companies, but also news conglomerates that have been plotting against them.
That is why Dodd is going to get negative press for the rest of his life and why lefty blogosphere must defend him.
Constitution Protected…For Now
Majority Leader Harry Reid has just pulled the FISA bill from consideration in this session. It will be brought up at some point next month.
Without Senator Dodd’s leadership today, it is safe to assume that retroactive immunity would have passed.
This is just a temporary reprieve for the Fourth Amendment, but it is an important victory. We need to step up the pressure and get new people involved.
Senator Dodd has given us an opportunity to defend our constitution, it is up to us to take it.
And oh yeah, Clinton and Obama showed exactly zero leadership.
Dodd Stands Up for the Constitution on FISA
Chris Dodd Leaves Iowa to Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk
Sen. Dodd Filibustering Now
It’s a shame that Harry Reid brought this version to a vote (only after being pressured did he also bring up the Judiciary Committee’s version without immunity).
Reid, Ensign, Senate cave on Telecom Immunity
maybe Nevada Dems could replace Reid with Jack Carter or someone else