Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Old Spygate: Hillary takes a powder. Bush wins, again!

The WaPo reports:

"The Senate yesterday approved a sweeping measure that would expand the government's clandestine surveillance powers, delivering a key victory to the White House by approving immunity from lawsuits for telecommunications companies that cooperated with intelligence agencies in domestic spying after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
On a 68 to 29 vote, the Senate approved the reauthorization of a law that would give the government greater powers to eavesdrop in terrorism and intelligence cases without obtaining warrants from a secret court."

That's great, real profile in courage you 17 Democrats who caved on this! Wasn't there some sort of election in 2006 that was going to put a stop to this whole running-roughshod-over-the-Constitution thing? After all, what they're basically saying by giving the telecoms immunity is that it's OK to break the law. Moreover it's OK to break a law they wouldn't have even found out was actually being broken if it hadn't been for the NYT letting the cat out of the bag in 2005. (In the end, Sirs, have you no shame?)

Back in July, just before all of official Washington headed off for their August vacations and then onto elections in November, W. used the "T" word to cow skittish Dems into knuckling under once again. After being called out by their constituents for being the craven cowards they were for capitulating to W. the Dems in the House and Senate vowed to come back and review the law and made a lot of brave sounds about stopping the president from spying without a warrant and holding the phone companies to account, but it was all apparently a big show. 'Oh we're scared of a presidential veto; we'd better just shut up do what we're told.

Nice of Hillary to show up for such an important vote! Oh what, she didn't.

In the House there's a lot less interest in accommodating a lame duck president with approval ratings slightly higher than painful dental surgery. John Conyers on the House Judiciary Committee says his colleagues won't go along with the Senate bill, so we can only hope that all hope is not lost, but I'm not holding my breath.


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