Democratic Party Complicity

23:17 Mon 06 Aug 2007
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I’m still appalled by the fact that the new wiretapping bill passed both Senate and House last Friday. 16 Senators and 41 Congresspersons crossed party lines to vote with Republicans.

The Bill makes warrantless eavesdropping far easier, legally speaking. It’s ostensibly for international communications, but the key line (as highlighted by Marty Lederman) is that it removes FISA supervision from “surveillance directed at a person reasonably believed to be located outside of the United States”—which contains two exploitable loopholes. One is “directed at”, because I could direct surveillance at someone in the UK that required me to wiretap communications between that person’s friends in the US, and claim exemption from FISA requirements. Two is “reasonably believed”, which is obviously going to apply to everything unless the new law has strict definitions and some enforcement teeth (it doesn’t).

Quite apart from the basic civil liberties objections, which are significant, there’s also the fact that the Democrats crossed party lines to vote for this knowing it would be used by this administration. This administration, including not just Bush and Cheney but also Alberto Gonzales, the same Gonzales who has almost no credibility left whatsoever yet is still in charge of the Department of Justice.

That’s one of the most maddening things about this entire affair. The Democrats were finally showing some backbone, and were investigating Gonzales and his various coverups, and had found some shocking things. Yet enough of them apparently weren’t following that, which seems insane, or decided that evidence of perjury and illegal political manipulation, not to mention the highly relevant indications that this administration had been doing something so incredibly heinous in the surveillance realm that a bunch of right-wing loyalists were ready to resign over it, was simply not important when considering giving them more power—which seems even more insane. Especially since the Republican side of this was always “if it was illegal, it was necessary because of the situation”, a point which is obviously now made much, much stronger now, as the Republicans will point to the new law as evidence that the old law was somehow too restrictive.

Dianne Feinstein was one of the Senators who voted for this, disgustingly enough. Yet another reason to fight her hard next time a primary rolls around.

Spineless, stupid, or fully invested in the machinations of the elite class against the rest of the United States? Hard to choose, really.

One Response to “Democratic Party Complicity”

  1. TruthMaker Says:

    Republican lite because of Republican fright. Goddamn Democrats need to grow a pair and start fighting for the people instead of their own re-elections. They absolutely are complicit in every abuse going forward AND retroactively in every past abuse. Way to get outsmarted by the biggest idiot to sit in the West Wing since Dan Quayle.

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