The Democrats Wimp Out Again?


Greenwald is furious at the FISA deal capitulation:

What's particularly amazing about this whole process is that the House leadership unveiled this bill for the first time today -- and then scheduled the vote on it for tomorrow. No hearings. Nothing. They all have less than 24 hours to "read" the bill and decide whether to eviscerate the rule of law and the Fourth Amendment. I recall Democrats long complaining that they were only given one day before being forced back in September, 2001 to vote on the Patriot Act, yet here they are -- even without the excuse of the 9/11 attack -- doing that to themselves. I'm sure their votes tomorrow will be the by-product of a very conscientious, thoughtful and diligent review of this lengthy bill -- just as thoughtful as Pelosi's review was before she whimsically pronounced that it's all just six of one, half dozen of the other.

I feel less strongly about the telecom companies' retroactive immunity than I do about the sweep of surveillance that the bill appears to endorse. Here's the NYT summary:

The deal, expanding the government’s powers in some key respects, would allow intelligence officials to use broad warrants to eavesdrop on foreign targets and conduct emergency wiretaps without court orders on American targets for a week if it is determined important national security information would be lost otherwise.

Still: I'm not as livid as Glenn. At least the White House appears to have conceded that the Congress has the final say on what is and what is not legal in eavesdropping.

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