When news came last week that the United States
Senate House passed a “compromise” version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), complete with retroactive immunity for telcos who illegally spied on law abiding Americans, I was pretty upset. Like most, it looked like the Democrats had caved once again. In the intervening time however, the majority of Americans have made their displeasure known with the provision and so Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) plan to filibuster any attempt to pass the bill:
“This is a deeply flawed bill, which does nothing more than offer retroactive immunity by another name. We strongly urge our colleagues to reject this so-called ‘compromise’ legislation and oppose any efforts to consider this bill in its current form. We will oppose efforts to end debate on this bill as long as it provides retroactive immunity for the telecommunications companies that may have participated in the President’s warrantless wiretapping program, and as long as it fails to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans.”
Their efforts are backed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Presidential hopeful Barack Obama. Hopefully it will help send a clear and concise message to President Bush and the rest of those in Congress who happen to think the 4th Amendment, and indeed the Constitution itself, isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. It takes a great deal of courage to stand up against this type of pressure from the President and his administration. John Gruber calls the pair of Senators heroes. I happen to agree.