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Friday, October 19th 2007

FISA Bill

Off of medicine for a moment and on to civil liberty sort of things.

Senator Dodd is causing a ruckus by attempting to put a hold on a Senate intelligence bill which spells out some warrantless wiretapping stuff, including apparently granting immunity to any telecos who turned over records to the NSA (which, by the way was carrying on warrantless wiretapping of Americans before 9/11 it now looks like).

That’s all nice and good, and admittedly I’m not exactly happy at my neighborhood teleco for their wimptastic lack of backbone in this whole ordeal. But protection from some civil suits (this shouldn’t even be discussed as a criminal matter) should pale in comparison to the loss of business if this country had any civic sense about it.

I’m never ready to heap a whole ton of social responsibility on the commercial sector. Not to be an apologist but if the government is telling them it’s a requirement, I’m not sure we should expect them to pay their legal department to protect the constitution.

Okay, that doesn’t sound right. We should expect such of them, but the most appropriate avenue is probably to speak by your checkbook.

I’m sure plenty will have legitimate suits when if the whole breadth of the ordeal becomes known, and there’s some nobility in trying to keep those avenues open.

The Senator from Conneticut is worth some praise for promising a fillibuster if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid doesn’t recognize his “hold,” which would I admit be pretty remarkable (Reid’s disregard for Senate tradition…not the fillibuster). But as the clapping for Senator Dodd dies down just realize this is small potatoes; the real responsible party in this mess is obviously not the phone company but the White House.


Senator Dodd On A Potential Fillibuster

As such the real question is, despite the “compromise” Congress managed with the White House, where was Senator Dodd’s filibuster when the actual FISA renewal bill came up? That’s what we really needed.

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