Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Warrantless Surveillance and the Lookalike Parties
To no one's surprise, the Senate completely caved in Feb. 12 and provided the White House and the National Security Agency everything it wanted in gutting the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, including full indemnity for phone companies that get conned into performing illegal surveillance. The New York Times was smart enough to realize that the big issue was not simply how much of FISA was destroyed, or to what extent carriers could parade their "get out of jail free" cards, but rather the degree to which cowed Democrats in both houses of Congress, even when in a majority position, give the president everything he wants so as not to look "soft on terrorism." As the Times article points out, this does not bode well for Guantanamo, waterboarding, extraordinary renditions, habeas corpus, or much of anything else in the Bush imperial presidency. It's nice to have two lookalike parties - note that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton did not vote.