Why is Harry Reid trying to give the telecoms immunity against future prosecution? I have talked about the FISA bill on a number of occasions. There were 2 bills which Senator Reid could have chosen for the “basis” of discussion. He chose the Intelligence Committee bill which has the telecom immunity gift and just about everything that Bush and the White House wants. My question is why?
Harry Reid’s statement seemed inadequate. Maybe it is just me. As usual, Glenn Greenwald has a very good discussion on this. Senator Christopher Dodd plans to filibuster any bill that gives away the store.
Update: Okay, just to make sure that the telecoms get off scottfree the senate has voted to move the bill for discussion. The vote wasn’t even close. Again, we see all of the Republicans voting together and the Democrats split. I wish I could figure out why someone like Senator Edward Kennedy would support this bill. I don’t buy what he said on the floor today, “too important to hold up any longer.” If it is that important, shouldn’t we get it right?
Senator Russ Feingold wrote the following this morning to explain the problem that we are facing –
Unfortunately, the bill we are going to be considering is the one reported out by the Senate Intelligence Committee in October, S. 2248. It did not have to be this way. Thirteen Senators joined me last week in asking the Majority Leader to instead bring up a bill that includes the changes approved by the Judiciary Committee last month. That bill, while not perfect by any means, was the product of an open process and heeded the advice of many experts and advocates to provide greater protection for the international communications of innocent Americans. And, unlike the Intelligence Committee bill, the Judiciary bill does not provide automatic, retroactive immunity for companies alleged to have cooperated with the administration’s illegal warrantless wiretapping program. (more…)