20 June 2008
Okay everyone, get out your copies of the US Constitution, and a red pen, and draw a line through Amendement 4:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
While I was very pleased with the Supreme Court's recent decision to reinstate Habeus Corpus by allowing the detainees at Guantanamo Bay the right to appear in federal court, * I am extremly displeased at the House for sending President Bush's FISA bill through by a vote of 293-129.
This so called 'compromise' is in fact a capitulation to the President and the major telecomunications companies. It retains the provisions that would, (*retroactively* mind you!) protect telecomm companies from privacy lawsuits for cooperating with the Bush administration's patently illegal and gob-smackingly unconstitutional warrantless wiretapping. I am personally ashamed of both Steny Hoyer (D- MD) and Nancy D'Allesandro Pellosi (D-CA, born in Baltimore) for caving in to the administration. (Ms. Pellosi appears to be trying to get her photo in the dictionary next to the phrase 'flip-flop' when she talks about this issue)
UPDATE:(Future President) Obama has come out with a statement of mixed support: Yes to the idea of FISA, but no to telecom immunity. He says, as President, he'll seek repeal of that provision.
Salon's Glenn Greenwald has covered this extensively today.
Are we that filled with fear? Have the terrorists truly 'won' so badly that we need to give up our freedoms so blithely? What exactly are we trying to protect if such basics as freedom from government intrusion and the ability to seek redress for illegality and wrongs are being tossed aside? What kind of country are we living in -- and what tattered pieces of the Consitution will be left for future generations?
A sad day. Sad, just sad....
* FYI: Check out the independent and increasingly irreplaceable McClatchy newspapers group's 8-month long investigation into the goings-on at Guantanamo Bay. The report shows that the REAL threat to our security is how we've decided who to detain, and how they've been treated once incarcerated ("For some detainees who went home far more militant than when they arrived, Guantanamo became a school for jihad, or Islamic holy war.") For the strong of stomach only.....