Home > Uncategorized > Senate passes FISA bill with telecom immunity intact

Senate passes FISA bill with telecom immunity intact


Bowing to President Bush’s demands, the Senate approved and sent the White House a bill Wednesday to overhaul bitterly disputed rules on secret government eavesdropping and shield telecommunications companies from lawsuits complaining they helped the U.S. spy on Americans.

The relatively one-sided vote, 69-28, came only after a lengthy and heated debate that pitted privacy and civil liberties concerns against the desire to prevent terrorist attacks. It ended almost a year of wrangling over surveillance rules and the president’s warrantless wiretapping program that was initiated after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The House passed the same bill last month, and Bush said he would sign it soon.

How unsurprising. They rejected three separate amendments that would have lessened the slaughter of the 4th Amendment.

McCain missed the vote.

Obama, Lieberman, Specter voted Aye.

Clinton, Schumer, Kerry, Dodd and “my representives” here in NJ, Lautenberg and Menendez all voted Nay.

Didn’t Obama say back in October that he would filibuster any bill that included retroactive immunity for the telcos?

“Change” … as in more power for the executive branch.

  1. chuckv
    July 10, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Can the Supreme Court strike this down, or does judicial review no longer exist?

  2. bile
    July 10, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    I suppose. They don’t have a strong constructionist view of the Constitution so regardless of what it says they could make it fit whatever they wanted. It’s likely one of the ACLU or EFF cases reaches them… so we’ll see.

  3. chuckv
    July 10, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Isn’t declaring something illegal retroactively a violation of the constitution per article one section 9? Would that apply in a situation like this?

  4. bile
    July 10, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    That’s not what they did here. They gave the executive branch the ability to give immunity to telecoms who may be sued as a result of spying on people for the government. Sortof extending sovereign immunity to corporations who play nice with the government. Obvious sign of corporatist state.

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