From Glenn Greenwald a deal has been reached on FISA legislation that gives the Bush administration everything it wants. Under the proposed deal, likely to be voted on tomorrow, the President would have wide powers to eavesdrop on the communications of Americans without any judicial oversight. How about that retroactive teleco amnesty? (also from Glenn)
[A] civil action may not lie or be maintained in a Federal or State court against any person for providing assistance to an element of the intelligence community, and shall be properly dismissed, if the Attorney General certifies to the district court of the United States in which such action is pending that . . . (4) the assistance alleged to have been provided . . . was –
(A) in connection with intelligence activity involving communications that was (i) authorized by the President during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on January 17, 2007 and (ii) designed to prevent or detect a terrorist attack, or activities in preparation of a terrorist attack, against the United States” and
(B) the subject of a written request or directive . . . indicating that the activity was (i) authorized by the President; and (ii) determined to be lawful.
More on the flip side
Under this bill, we would have two justice systems in this country. Under one justice system, the super-rich and large corporations can break the law with impunity, then ask their Congressional pals to pretty please give them a get out of jail free card. The other justice system, the one in which most Americans will know, brings the full-weight of the justice system to bear on someone who has committed even the most minor criminal infraction. That a Democratic-led Congress would capitulate on this, for no other reason than the fear of being called weak on terror is unconscionable. If the elected representatives of the American people won’t lift a finger to defend the Constitution, then we have no choice but to take up the cause ourselves. Call your congressman and Senator Kerry and tell them to oppose this awful piece of legislation. You may also want to call Democrat Presidential candidate Barack Obama and urge him to take a greater leadership role in stopping this bill. There is also a grassroots coalition forming that has raised over $200,000 to fight this legislation, you can contribute here