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Friday, June 20, 2008

Crooks and Liars » Turley on new FISA bill: ‘It’s what any criminal would love to do.’

The Senate is our last hope.  Call them and tell them to protect our Constitution.
Professor Jonathan Turley is a nationally recognized legal scholar who has written extensively in areas ranging from constitutional law to legal theory to tort law.  Professor Turley comes on KO (Keith Olbermann) once again to blast the umpteenth version of the compromise FISA bill that is being shoved down our throats. This time the Hoyer/FISA rollover bill is attached to the new GI Bill and extending unemployment benefits bill.
Jonathan Turley: They repeatedly tried to cave it in to the White House only to be stopped by civil libertarians and bloggers and each time they would put it on the shelf, wait a few months, they did this before, reintroduced it with Jay Rockefeller’s support and then there was another great dust up and they pulled it back. I think they’re simply waiting to see if public's interest will wain and we’ll see that tomorrow because this bill has quite literally no public value for citizens or civil liberties. It is reverse engineering. The type of thing the Bush administration is famous for and now the Democrats are doing. That is to change the law to conform to past conduct. It’s what any criminal would love to do.  Break the law and then pass a bill making what they did legal retroactively.
 As usual Russ Feingold isn’t happy. “The proposed FISA deal is not a compromise; it is a capitulation. The House and Senate should not be taking up this bill, which effectively guarantees immunity for telecom companies alleged to have participated in the President’s illegal program, and which fails to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans at home. Allowing courts to review the question of immunity is meaningless when the same legislation essentially requires the court to grant immunity. And under this bill, the government can still sweep up and keep the international communications of innocent Americans in the U.S. with no connection to suspected terrorists, with very few safeguards to protect against abuse of this power. Instead of cutting bad deals on both FISA and funding for the war in Iraq, Democrats should be standing up to the flawed and dangerous policies of this administration.”
Sen. Chris Dodd, I cannot support the so-called ‘compromise’ legislation announced today. This bill would not hold the telecommunications companies that participated in the President’s warrantless wiretapping program accountable for their actions. Instead, it would simply offer retroactive immunity by another name. “As I have said time and time again, the President should not be above the rule of law, nor should the telecommunications companies who supported his quest to spy on American citizens. I remain strongly opposed to this deeply flawed bill, and I urge my colleagues in Congress to join me in supporting American’s civil liberties by rejecting this measure.”
Crooks and Liars » Turley on new FISA bill: ‘It’s what any criminal would love to do.’

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