Monday, December 17, 2007

Another Hero Today - Sen. Chris Dodd

The weakling today- Senate Majority Leader Reid.

The hero refused to back down and was prepared to filibuster over giving phone companies retroactive immunity for wiretapping without court orders. The weakling did not honor the hold that Sen. Dodd had placed on the bill and forced the first actual, as opposed to symbolic, filibuster in a long time. After hours of Dodd being on the floor it was apparent he would really filibuster and drag Senate business to a halt.

Reid and Bush and the Republicans and the phone companies lost and the bill is delayed until next year.

See also Political Animal as well as Greenwald.

Allow me to highlight that this wiretapping program started before 9/11 - just after Bush took office. It wasn't aimed at terrorists which weren't even on this administration's radar screen.

Who knows what it was aimed after - people seem to have forgotten Nixon's wiretapping and IRS shenanigans. Same type of programs all with promises it was all for national security and they wouldn't abuse the power. This arguments works with some Republicans, like Kim du Toit who argues that Americans are the only ones moral enough to torture, but not with anyone with a lick of sense.


Kim du Toit said...

No discussion of wiretapping would be complete without mention of the Clinton-era Carnivore, which spied on EVERYBODY.

Somehow, you missed that.

and forgive me for thinking that it's just dandy to use torture against people who want to fly airliners into our buildings.

Gary said...

The Carnivore program started before Clinton and captured nearly all international calls and faxes.

Advocating torture indicates a very low score on Kohlberg's stages of moral development. And someone more than a bit lacking in common sense.

Too bad, I actually agreed with Kim about free speech zones. He's agin'em, the entire country is a free speech zone.

Gary said...

Sorry, the FBI's Carnivore program was under Clinton. That was such a limited program compared to what else was going on I assumed Kim was meaning Echelon.

The Armed Forces Security Agency massive data interception program started in the 40's and later became NSA's Echelon. The State Department previously ran communication interception programs. Related to Echelon were programs called Shamrock and Trailblazer.