Senator Russ Feingold has been right so often, he should have run for president. He is a great man. I wish that he was my Senator.
Feingold’s prepared remarks:
Mr. President, I strongly oppose H.R. 6304, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008.
This legislation has been billed as a compromise between Republicans and Democrats. We are asked to support it because it is a supposedly reasonable accommodation of opposing views. Let me respond as clearly as possible: This bill is not a compromise. It is a capitulation.
This bill will effectively and unjustifiably grant immunity to companies that allegedly participated in an illegal wiretapping program – a program that more than 70 members of this body still know virtually nothing about. And this bill will grant the Bush Administration – the same administration that developed and operated this illegal program for more than five years – expansive new authorities to spy on Americans’ international communications.
If you don’t believe me, here is what Senator Bond had to say about the bill: “I think the White House got a better deal than even they had hoped to get.” And House Minority Whip Roy Blunt said this: “The lawsuits will be dismissed.”
There is simply no question that Democrats who had previously stood strong against immunity and in support of civil liberties were on the losing end of this backroom deal. (more…)