Pretty damn good for a lame duck huh?
After more than a year of heated political wrangling, the Senate handed the White House a major victory Tuesday by voting to broaden the government’s spy powers after giving legal protection to phone companies that cooperated in President Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping program.
The Senate rejected a series of amendments that would have restricted the government’s surveillance powers and eliminated immunity for the phone carriers, and it voted in convincing fashion — 69 to 29 — to end debate and bring the issue to a final vote. That vote on the overall billwas an almost identical 68 to 29.
The House has already rejected the idea of immunity for the phone companies, and Democratic leaders reacted angrily to the Senate vote. But Congressional officials said it appeared that the House would ultimately be forced to accept some sort of legal protection for the phone carriers in negotiations between the two chambers this week.
The Senate debate amounted to a proxy vote not only on the president’s warrantless wiretapping program, but also on a range of other issues that tested the president’s wartime authority, from secret detentions to wiretapping issues. The discussion in effect presaged the debate over national security that will play out this year in the presidential and congressional elections.
Senator Dodd, that bastion of liberal idiocy tried his best to stall a bill that will protect this country and failed miserably.
He appears to have flunked the test on the Constitution also:
Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, who spoke on the Senate floor for more than 20 hours in an unsuccessful effort to stall the wiretapping bill, said the vote would be remembered by future generations as a test of whether the country heeds “the rule of law or the rule of men.”
But with Democrats defecting to the White House plan, he acknowledged that the national security issue had won the day in the Senate, even among many of his Democratic colleagues. “Unfortunately, those who are advocating this notion that you have to give up liberties to be more secure are apparently prevailing,” Mr. Dodd said. “They’re convincing people that we’re at risk either politically, or at risk as a nation.”
First, we are NOT giving up any liberties. I doubt Sen. Dodd raises much of a fuss when he goes through customs upon entering and leaving this country. Or when his luggage and personal property is subject to a warrantless search through that same customs line. No, he doesn’t raise a fuss because he understands it is patently legal and justified. Doug Ross gives a great example, using a make believe trip to Egypt to make his point:
In preparation for the trip, of course, you’ll need a passport that represents permission to leave and re-enter the country.
Once you get to the airport, you’ll go through security, where your person and belongings can be searched without a warrant.
And because you’re traveling on an international flight, you and your baggage will also go through Customs.
Customs may elect to detain you, search you and your belongings again, all without a warrant.
Any and all belongs, including your clothing, can be searched.
After submitting to these various — entirely legal — inspections, you are free to continue your trip. Provided, of course, you are not concealing contraband or other illegal items.
But apparently he doesn’t feel the same about calls going into and out of this country, to suspected terrorists at that! Physically leaving, ok for warrantless searches. Electronically leaving, not ok.
Where in the world do these liberals come up with this kind of stuff.
On the telephone company immunity portion of the bill all I can say is well done! Its just a fact that our intelligence agencies do not have the the kind of facilities or ability to effectively carry out the type of international surveillance needed to ensure al-Qaeda or any other group attacks us again. The help of our telephone companies is needed and required to be effective. If those companies have to defend against hundreds of lawsuits because they help to monitor international calls, the burden would just be too much. The Vice President:
As Attorney General Mukasey has said, “Even if you believe the lawsuits will ultimately be dismissed, as we do, the prospect of having to defend against these massive claims is an enormous burden; the companies also may suffer significant business and reputational harm” from allegations they cannot even respond to publicly. One might even suppose that without liability protection for past activities to aid the government, the private sector might be extremely reluctant to comply with future requests from the government — even though the requests are necessary to protect American lives. That risk is unacceptable to the President. It should be unacceptable to the United States Congress. Liability protection, retroactive to 9/11, is the right thing to do. It’s the right way to help us prevent another 9/11 down the road.
The Senate Intelligence Committee report puts into greater detail the reasons why the Senate overwhelmingly voted to give the Telecom industry immunity:
The extension of immunity in section 202 reflects the Committee’s determination that electronic communication service providers acted on a good faith belief that the President’s program, and their assistance, was lawful. The Committee’s decision to include liability relief for providers was based in significant part on its examination of the written communications from U.S. Government officials to certain providers. The Committee also considered the testimony of relevant participants in the program.
The details of the President’s program are highly classified. As with other intelligence matters, the identities of persons or entities who provide assistance to the U.S. Government are protected as vital sources and methods of intelligence. But it reveals no secrets to say–as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, this bill, and Title 18 of the U.S. Code all make clear–that electronic surveillance for law enforcement and intelligence purposes depends in great part on the cooperation of the private companies that operate the Nation’s telecommunication system.
The Committee has reviewed all of the relevant correspondence. The letters were provided to electronic communication service providers at regular intervals. All of the letters stated that the activities had been authorized by the President. All of the letters also stated that the activities had been determined to be lawful by the Attorney General, except for one letter that covered a period of less than sixty days. That letter, which like all the others stated that the activities had been authorized by the President, stated that the activities had been determined to be lawful by the Counsel to the President.
But…..and its a big but. The House isn’t too happy about the Senate version:
Because the immunity provision will likely remain intact, the House is expected to balk. The House measure does not provide immunity, and, in the eyes of the American Civil Liberties Union, provides better protections than the Senate for Americans who might get caught up in the wiretapping dragnet authorized by both the bills and the current law…
But without the Senate’s version of immunity, there are not likely 60 votes in the Senate needed to prevent a filibuster, Republicans said.
So what will the Democrats do?
Why, they will pass another two week extension and as Michael Goldfarb said, continue kicking this can down the road.
Just another star sticker to add to the list of Democrat incompetence. An exceptionally incompetent job at leading this country you Dem’s. Way to go!
Phili Steve will provide his lucid commentary in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1….
We are in need of a terrorists attack where the FBI can say ‘we had the perps under watch and lost the wiretap due to democrats nuts blocking the law’. That would destroy the democrap party for at least 50 years. Maybe even get a few of them shot by family members of those killed in the attack.
Congress is the Lame Duck.
Needless to say the Kos kids and FDL are none to happy and the even more left blogs are getting a bit unsocial in some of their posts and comments about this.
We do not need any more terrorist attacks or Americans killing each other. Please leave those comments to the Code Pinkers/ANSWER/WWP/ACORN morons at DU and Kos.
I thought this would constitute “supporting the president in the GWOT”?
Aren’t you Conservatives even willing to give the Democrats credit when they do provide something President Bush wants?
Or are you too bound up in your partisian hatred to ever give Democrats credit for anything positive, ever (Republican party Rules generally do forbid Conservatives from saying anything that is not in line with partisian politics,I know, but I thought you might make this one exception).
Responses to this post will be, of course, personally abusive of me and not one single Conservative will admit that I had a point about your partisian behavior
Poor Steve, your persecution and projection complex is growing.
Yes, portions of the Democratics in power do what is correct when the cameras are off them sometimes. However, I fully expect them to keep screaming to their base and the media that the “Bush Police State” is coming and other assorted absurdities. Also note that “Democratic leaders reacted angrily to the Senate vote” disputes your comment, as does Senator Dodd’s remarks about supposed losses in liberty.
Your partisan attacks against conservatives saying it is some “Republican party Rules” BS, is as usual, a bait for your new persecution complex. Of course, when anyone responds to your baseless attacks, your cry “help help, I’m being repressed”.
Typical, and wrong as usual.
Exactly as I predicted. Even if the Democrats take an action of which you approve, you (as are all Conservatives) are completely incapable of saying even one complimentary item. That was my point, that Conservatives are so beholden to the Republican Party that they can only echo Republican Talking Points, which is exactly what I have seen on this thread.
A Conservative “even handed” approach would have been, “While I disagree with the Democrats on other items, they did do the right thing this time…”. However you, like every single other Conservative, everywhere, are completely incapable of making any such statement. I attribute it to your 100% party allegiance. You might attribute it to your undying hatred of anyone who is not politically alligned with “The Party”. Either way, you are displaying Conservatives total partisian allegiance to the Republican Party: Now and forever.
And all the condescension and patronizing comments, childish name-calling, and digressions cannot alter the proven behavior on display in this thread.
Sorry if this is something you do not like to hear. I know that Conservatives cannot stand even the slightest criticism, believing themselves to be perfect. But those are the facts on display.
Thank you Steve for proving my points about you partisan attacks and very thin skin. It was “exactly as I predicted” and you did not fail to come through. Please seek help for your persecution, projection, family angst, and other issues.
This followed your baseless attacks, yet again, on conservatives. I DID say that some Dems break with their party and do the correct thing for America at times. I also pointed out that senior Dems were angry at the break from the Party, which contradicted your claims. For “condescension and patronizing comments”, look at your own posts.
Thanks again for proving my point and obervations on your predicted responses and disproving your own persecution issues and blanket partisan attacks.
Steve is absolutely right. The Democrats support for FISA is an example of how President Bush was right, how Democrats were wrong to oppose, and how they have finally come to their senses by putting their partisan, “oppose for opposition’s sake” them behind their patriotic duty. I’m glad Democrats agree with President Bush, and I eagerly look forward to seeing how they explain their “opposition for opposition’s sake” to the base they misled on the topic for so long.
“However you, like every single other Conservative, everywhere, are completely incapable of making any such statement”
Man, that’s an awfully broad brush. How do you possibly manage to wield it without hitting the walls of Mommy’s basement?
By the way Stevie, have you answered those difficult questions yet from the waterboarding thread?
Of course not.
Re: “By the way Stevie, have you answered those difficult questions yet from the waterboarding thread?”
What’s to “answer”? I belive that government sanctioned torture of prisoners debasses our country and what it stands for. It is also a recruiting tool for al Qaeda that likely recruits ten converts for every one we torture. (and I said as much on the thread).
You, like all Conservatives, love to see people tortured. You justify it with references to fictional scenarios, such as “24” that do not happen in real life (despite evidence-less references you post of pictures of buildings that are “claimed” to have been saved.)
Conservatives love to see people suffer, whether through poverty or torture, they cheer on death and pain, as we see on a daily basis on this site. The concept of a “Compassionate Conservative” was indeed just a campaign ploy of George W. Bush: something that Conservatives treat as a joke now.
I belive that torture is a disgrace, no matter how many fictional scenarios you try to bring up. You, on the other hand, love to see people tortured, you (as do all Conservatives) celebrate torture. That makes you no different from the Saudi Ruling Family, or the tyrants in Bejing. You just justify it with differnt words.
Go ahead, prove me wrong. Post a line saying that “torture is wrong”. You can’t. And what does that make you? A “good Conservative” that is what it makes you.
I do not “love to see people suffer,” and no one here does.
“Conservatives love to see people suffer”-Steve
You’ve called me a conservative in the past. Please show me how you think I love to see people suffer, or fire up that other braincell of yours and dig deep for an apology that might come close to sounding genuine.
Ok Steve, I will take you up on your continued, ignorant, and unfounded attacks. BTW, the next time you cry “woes me, I am being attacked in a childish manner”, I will add this to the long list of your moronic comments. “Moronic” being the nicest word I can find to describe your pathetic, hateful LIES.
Torture is wrong. We, however, DO NOT TORTURE. Islamofascists who cut off heads/hands/feet, apply hot electric irons to people, bake children and return them to their families, electrify people, etc torture. What we, the military, do is in line with US regulations and laws as stated by the US Congress. You cannot see the difference in your hate and party-fed lies. Democrats in congress, however, can and have.
“Waterboarding”, is by congressional authorization, notification, and oversite, not torture. Leftists in congress knew about these, very seldom used, and non life threatening methods and even observed them in action. They could have outlawed it right there, but did not, nor did they do anything to outlaw it later (or even now), as pointed out on this website and others. “Waterboarding”, which is the current end to US questioning/interrogation abilities for unlawful combatants, which the Law of Land Warfare (FM 27-10) states have NO protections accorded to POWs, was proven to be used in very few cases and ONLY after all other courses were tried AND it was deemed essential to gain the information. In fact, it has not been needed for most terrorists as other methods have worked. This too has been documented and overseen by congress. So by following laws, we are somehow evil? Wait, you already answered that above. No matter what “conservatives” do, they are always wrong, always out to get people, and hate everything (unless they fully agree with leftists).
You sit here and directly insult me with moronic lies like “However you, like every single other Conservative, everywhere, are completely incapable of making any such statement” (and that is just one example) and then continue your stupidity in making the above comment?!? And after making such asinine statements, you cry “I’m being attacked” when we respond to your attacks!!! Refuting your lies is not attacking, but how dare we question you. No wonder leftists have trouble reacting to islamofascism and believe the Crusades were a war of aggression by Europe. You cannot tell attack from defense!
The only “disgrace”, to use your word, here Steve is you, your idiotic “I’m being persecuted as I attack what I am told by my masters are ‘conservatives'” comments, and your hate as proven YET AGAIN.
How ironic that on a thread about the FISA laws (once called “domestic spying” by Democrats), we get to see Steve rant on about “conservatives” who “love to see people suffer.” I find it ironic because Democrats have had control of Congress for well over a year now, and they’ve not only failed to block the interrogation techniques that Steve calls torture, but the Democrats’ Congress has permitted them. If Osama Bin Laden were captured today (ignoring that Democrats have said he’s been in US custody since 2003), he could be waterboarded, chilled, fried, deprived of sleep, and so forth, and Democrats would allow it-that’s not speculation, but fact because the Democrats’ Congress still allows it.
They LOUDLY oppose it, then quietly do nothing and allow it to happen.
They LOUDLY opposed the invasion, the quietly authorized it.
They LOUDLY opposed the funding, then quietly authorized it.
They LOUDLY opposed the occupation, the quietly continue to authorize it.
They LOUDLY opposed the Patriot Act (which they co-wrote), then authorize it.
They LOUDLY opposed the 2nd Patriot Act, then they authorize it.
They LOUDLY cried BUSH LIED, demanded investigations, then when in control of Congress halted the investigations.
They LOUDLY cry about “domestic spying” then quietly authorize it.
They LOUDLY wail about “torture”, then quietly continue to allow it.
At what point does one ask if all the loud wailing from the Democratic Party leaders is just wailing, and not substantive? If it’s just spin to fuel their base, and not substance? Fact is, either their LOUD liars, or their actually more incompetent than the Bush Administration for they continue to authorize, allow, fund, and continue everything that they get their base all riled up about.
“What’s to answer?” he says.
What’s to answer.
Here are the questions again (I won’t even make you go looking for them).
See if you can answer them directly without your typical gyrations, permutations, equivocations, and random applications of moral equivalency.
1) If it were your wife, or your son or your daughter whose life would be saved by this “torture” treatment would you still be against it?
2) Our guys (you know, the good guys) captured Bin Laden’s security coordinator earlier this month.
Would you say that a little tough questioning might be in order for this guy?
Or should we just ply him with falafel and Diet Coke and hope that he fills us in on what we need to know out of the goodness of his heart?
3) Show me where anyone “here” has screamed “torture everyone”.
4) can you cite for us any comment where the poster is in favor of “torturing children” because I’m really still curious about that.
What say you?
Do you have the stones to answer the questions or will you show once again that you are speaking from your rectum?