Democratic complicity in Bush's lawlessness

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Reacting to this piece in the NYT on Democratic capitulation to Bush’s illegal wiretapping, Cenk Uygur announces that he has given up on current Congressional Democrats:

The Democrats are going to help Bush break the FISA law. They are going to change the law so that he doesn't have to get a warrant. They are going to ignore the fourth amendment and current federal laws. Why would you help the least popular president in history? Why would you allow him to keep breaking the law?

[…]

How is it possible to have any respect for these Democrats? Every day, I struggle not to call them cowards and weaklings. And every day they make it harder. They are truly pathetic. I'm so tired of encouraging them to grow a backbone. It's a hopeless struggle. I give up.

This ThinkProgress summary of the new RESTORE Act (more details are here) suggests that Uygur’s decision may be premature. Although the bill’s final form is still uncertain, Glenn Greenwald sees a familiar problem:

There is absolutely no justification whatsoever -- neither substantive nor political -- for expanding the scope of warrantless eavesdropping powers and especially for granting amnesty to lawbreaking telecoms. It is unconscionable even to consider any changes to FISA without full disclosure by the administration of how they used their illegal and secret warrantless eavesdropping powers in the past. In that regard, it is worth emphasizing that the administration from 2001 through 2004 (at least) was engaged in spying on Americans so patently illegal that the entire top level of the DOJ and the FBI Director threatened to quit if it continued -- yet we still do not know what they were doing then. How can that be? There is no justification for permitting that conduct to remain concealed from the American public, let alone from the Congress.

Warrantless eavesdropping and telecom amnesty implicate virtually every critical political value assaulted for the last six years by this administration -- our basic constitutional protections, checks and balances and the rule of law. [emphasis in original]


update (2:52pm):
The ACLU comments on the current draft of the legislation here.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on October 9, 2007 1:32 PM.

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