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.