Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Today's Must Read - Glenn Greenwald's "Amnesty Day for Bush and lawbreaking telecoms"

What if Spartacus was voting in the Senate today, on the Protect America Act, the FISA bill update?

We suspect that Spartacus wouldn't bend over the American people, and violently sodomize them, the way our elected U.S. Senate is about to do today.

We believe Spartacus would rise to the occasion (no pun intended) to protect, not persecute, to do what is right, to follow and protect the Constitution and, lastly, he would buck and revolt against the Emperor, for attempting this hijacking of the laws of the country.

When the sun sets today, it may well install a permanent darkness on the U.S. Senate, marking it, for decades to come, as the august chamber's saddest day.

Glenn Greenwald, of Salon, has a most sobering, depressing account of the whole sordid affair, in "Amnesty Day for Bush and lawbreaking telecoms";

"All sorts of "controversy" erupted from that story. Democrats everywhere expressed dramatic, unbridled outrage, vowing that this would not stand. James Risen and Eric Lichtblau were awarded Pulitzer Prizes for exposing this serious lawbreaking. All sorts of Committees were formed, papers written, speeches given, conferences convened, and editorials published to denounce this extreme abuse of presidential power. This was illegality and corruption at the highest level of government, on the grandest scale, and of the most transparent strain."
And Greenwald than asks, rhetorically, "What was the outcome of all of that sturm und drang? What were the consequences for the President for having broken the law so deliberately and transparently?"
"Absolutely nothing. To the contrary, the Senate is about to enact a bill which has two simple purposes: (1) to render retroactively legal the President's illegal spying program by legalizing its crux: warrantless eavesdropping on Americans, and (2) to stifle forever the sole remaining avenue for finding out what the Government did and obtaining a judicial ruling as to its legality: namely, the lawsuits brought against the co-conspiring telecoms. In other words, the only steps taken by our political class upon exposure by the NYT of this profound lawbreaking is to endorse it all and then suppress any and all efforts to investigate it and subject it to the rule of law."
And this, as Greenwald notes, is happening in a Democrat-led, Democrat-majority Senate!

Maybe I missed the MoveOn.Org memo, that the 2006 elections, of having the Democrats take back the Congress, was all about greenlighting, aiding and abetting the Bush Grindhouse, and their executive power-grab.

And we have Harry "Give'em What They Want" Reid, the Senate Majority Leader (now there's a deafening oxymoron) to thank for this.

Greenwald closes with this;
"From Frank Church and the bipartisan oversight protections of the post-Watergate abuses in the mid-1970s to Jay Rockefeller, Dick Cheney, legalized warrantless eavesdropping and retroactive telecom amnesty in 2008 -- that vivid collapse into the sewer illustrates as potently as anything could what has happened to this country over the last eight years."

Update! Update!

Just as I am posting this, news is breaking on the voting

From Jane Hamsher, over on Firedoglake;
"Update: Woo hoo! You lose. Dodd's amendment to strip retroactive immunity fails spectacularly, 31-67. I have to say that what constantly amazes me is just how damn little it costs corporate America to buy our elected officials. Pennies on the dollar, really, for what they get."

From KBusch on BlueMassGroup

The following Democratic Senators just voted for telecom immunity.

Jay Rockefeller WV
Evan Bayh IA
Daniel Inouye HI
Tim Johnson SD
Herb Kohl WI
Mary Landrieu LA
Claire McCaskill MO
Mark Pryor AR
Blanche Lincoln AR
Dianne Feinstein CA
Ken Salazar CO
Tom Carper DE
Barbara Mikulski MD
Jim Webb VA

Read the Greenwald piece anyway, it's very good ... And, it's playing out, pretty much, as he foresaw

As we stated above, a very, very dark day!

And, just late last month, The Garlic gave the Senate all the advise they would need in this fight

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