it’s not okay…

Posted on Tuesday 12 February 2008

The Senate on Tuesday approved new rules for government eavesdropping on phone calls and e-mails, giving the White House much of the latitude it wanted and granting legal immunity to telecommunications companies that helped in the snooping after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Protection for the telecom companies is the most prominent feature of the legislation, something President Bush had insisted on as essential to getting private sector cooperation in spying on foreign terrorists and other targets. The bill would give retroactive protection to companies that acted without court permission.

The House did not include the immunity provision in a similar bill it passed last year. House Republicans now want to adopt the Senate bill, which would avoid contentious negotiations to work out differences between the competing legislation…
I just don’t think I’ll ever understand this vote. I don’t have any real complaint against the Telecommunication Companies. I expect they bowed to pressure after 9/11 thinking they were part of some patriotic something-or-another. But giving them immunity says that what Bush and Cheney did with the F.I.S.A. Courts is okay. It isn’t okay. Somehow, Bush has gotten Congress to grant immunity to our torturers and the companies that let him tap our phones. Maybe they don’t want to punish others for Bush’s misdeeds, but I don’t think that’s really it. I suspect that they’re bowing to lobbying from the telecoms. Even worse, maybe they’re just not willing to stand up to Bush and Cheney. Whatever their motives, I hate this vote. It’s just very discouraging. That we knowingly invaded Iraq based on fabricated information and essentially assasinated their President is common knowledge. That we secretly wiretapped and data-mined the phone calls of Americans without due process is unquestioned. That we secretly renounced the Geneva Conventions with programs of indefinite detention without habeas Corpus and tortured prisoners is well documented. That we used our National Guard as an Army for foreign warmaking is absolutely clear. That we spent billions on this war while cutting taxes, thereby running up our National Debt with no plan for paying it back is a dark blot on our economy. And yet, the Senate is saying that it’s okay. I don’t get it…

None of those things are okay…
    February 14, 2008 | 1:55 AM

    The US Constitution

    Article 2, section 1
    Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:–“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

    Article I, Section. 9.
    The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

    Amendment IV
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    since 2000, The Bush Administration has “adjusted” our Constitution

    1. the elimination of Habeas Corpus – check

    2. illegal spying by private corporation who are accountable to no one – check

    3. torturing and renditioning of innocent people – check

    4. voting machines that cannot be reliably verified – check.

    5. a two-party system that does not follow the will of the people – check

    Will we ever be a free and democratic country again?

    February 14, 2008 | 9:23 PM

    “but upon probable cause”

    “Will we ever be a free and democratic country again?”
    Only if we keep howling until it happens. But I’m scared about that too…

    February 12, 2009 | 10:42 PM

    […] though my meager net worth has halved and continues to fall, I wouldn’t want to go back. On this day last year, the Senate passed the bill giving the telecoms immunity, and I wrote: But giving them […]

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