Monday, June 16, 2008

It ain't over by a long shot. But it might be.

There have been rumblings of "compromise" with respect to FISA legislation and we all know what compromise means in the current political atmosphere. Caving to the White House. Maybe not as much as Bush would like but still caving.

Yet I remain firm in my opinion that where the Constitution, including the Bill or Rights, is concerned, no concessions should be made. Period.

Mcjoan and Kagro X have articles up today at Daily Kos on what seems to be going on with respect to the AT&T and GWB Immunity Act (oh, that's supposed to be FISA legislation - well, sounds like the same thing).

Mcjoan has a great passage:
Does Nancy Pelosi have any idea how bad this sounds?

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she wants the matter settled before Congress breaks for Independence Day at the end of next week, suggesting she is ready to bring the issue to a head.

"We want to pass a bill that will be signed by the president," she said. "And that will happen before we leave for the Fourth of July. So the timing is sometime between now and then. I feel confident that that will happen."

By all means, celebrate the birth of the nation by throwing aside the Fourth Amendment and passing the Protect AT&T Act. There's nothing like optics like that, in an election year, to show a Democratic Party embracing the politics of change. Here's a clue, any bill that will be signed by the president will suck for the American people and for the Constitution. Any bill that will be signed by the president should be unacceptable to every Member of the first branch of government--the one that created the law that Bush broke--and might possibly be struck down by the third branch.
Kagro X notes that the judiciary committees seem to be overlooking in debates about judicial oversight, a rather glaring omission indeed.
The essential problem is that the people negotiating this for both parties are all people who place their faith in the intelligence community, and appear to exhibit virtually no skepticism whatsoever about a program designed to permit the gathering of incredibly detailed intelligence about everything done by everyone, with no checks, no oversight, and really, no obligation by the actual government (as opposed to the contractors who actually do this work) to actually get it right and keep their noses out of places even they say it doesn't belong.

Democrats in Congress who will be asked to vote for this "deal" need to hold out for something negotiated by people who actually know and understand the issues at the center of the dispute. And they're not getting it so long as the judiciary issues are being dictated by intelligence people. That's a miserable failure of oversight by the intelligence side, which is overreaching, and the judiciary side, which is underrepresented and underperforming.
--the BB

1 comment:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Un-fecking-believable! Irony abounds. In order to get the president to sign the bill, we know that it must be greatly flawed. What's the rush? To save the Constitution, we will have to destroy it.