FISA Update

by dday

Ian Welsh at FDL has all the sordid details of the 80-15 vote in favor of the motion to proceed on the FISA bill. There are now 30 hours of debate available on FISA and I'm sure Sen. Dodd and Sen. Feingold are going to use every scrap of that, but realistically, I don't see how we stop this freight train. Delay is the only option.

Senate candidates like Jeff Merkley and Rick Noriega have offered strong opposition to the bill, and that's great, but of course we have a Senate afflicted with DC disease and weighed down with telecom cash.

30 hours may just be enough if the other bills in the Senate's queue are foregrounded to delay this to the recess, if those opposing use absolutely every trick at their disposal. But that's about it, and it may be delaying the inevitable.

Here are the 15 who stood up for the Constitution today.

Biden (D-DE)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Dodd (D-CT)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Harkin (D-IA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Wyden (D-OR) Obama on that list, he was campaigning. But it wouldn't have mattered anyway. He's el foldo on this issue.

"The bill has changed. So I don't think the security threats have changed, I think the security threats are similar. My view on FISA has always been that the issue of the phone companies per se is not one that overrides the security interests of the American people."

A few weasel words from there, but Obama is totally cool with the precedent of the government giving a slip of paper to a corporation allowing them to break the law. He's cool with the premise of "we were just following orders" that was shot down at Nuremberg being revived. He's cool with if the President does it, then it isn't illegal. He's cool with a bunch of the other really dangerous aspects of the bill, including the vacuuming up of every communication that leaves or enters the United States without even the caveat that they be related to terrorism. He's cool with a national surveillance state.

Just plain cool with it.