Author Topic: Telecom immunity: how stupid do you think we are?  (Read 8147 times)

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Offline Dig

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Telecom immunity: how stupid do you think we are?
« on: February 12, 2008, 11:39:24 am »

The Senate is voting again on the FISA bill. They’ve already thrown out Feinstein’s exclusivity amendment (57-41), Feingold/Webb/Tester’s amendment to protect communications involving persons inside the United States (35-63), and the Dodd/Feingold amendment to get rid of retroactive immunity for the telcos (31-67).

Here are excerpts of Dodd’s speech on the Senate Floor:
“This is our defining question, the question that confronts every generation: The rule of law, or the rule of men? How many times must we get the wrong answer?

“To those who say that this is just about a few telecoms, I answer: This is about contempt for the law, large and small.

“We are deceiving ourselves when we talk about the U.S. attorneys issue, the habeas issue, the torture issue, the rendition issue, the secrecy issue. As if each one were an isolated case! As if each one were an accident! When we speak of them as isolated, we are keeping our politics cripplingly small; and as long as we keep this small, the rule of men is winning.

“There is only one issue here. Only one: the law issue. Does the president serve the law, or does the law serve the president? Each insult to our Constitution comes from the same source; each springs from the same mindset; and if we attack this contempt for the law at any point, we will wound it at all points.

“That is why I’m here today: Retroactive immunity is on the table today; but also at issue is the entire ideology that justifies it, the same ideology behind torture and executive lawlessness. Immunity is a disgrace in itself, but it is far worse in what it represents. It tells us that some believe in the courts only so long as their verdict goes their way. It puts secrecy above sunshine and fiat above law.”
----------------------------------------------------
So in short it looks like the Senate got it wrong again and our civil liberties and the rule of law remain at stake. Great job, guys. Represent for the people, or something.

So what’s next? (Because, dear God, there’s got to be something…) Well, Reid is expected to oppose cloture (closing of debate on the bill and moving forward to voting on its passage) and to oppose the bill’s passage. Will stay updated. In the mean time, you can go to Daily Kos to read their liveblogging on the issue.
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Offline gEEk squad

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Re: New FISA law remains unconstitutional due to Dodd amendment failure today
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2008, 01:49:42 pm »
But the telecoms only did this because they are such patriots and love America so much. How dare you question their patriotism!




 ::)

Offline Dig

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All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Dig

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Re: Chris Dodd back on c-span2
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2008, 02:10:07 pm »
Senate backs retroactive immunity for telecoms
Posted February 12th, 2008 at 12:50 pm
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/14557.html



It seemed like a modest hurdle. The FISA bill currently under consideration in the Senate includes a ridiculous measure that extends retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that apparently broke the law in turning over information about Americans’ communications to the Bush administration. An amendment would have stripped this provision from the legislation. All we needed was a simple majority of the chamber.

We didn’t even come close.

Let there be no doubt: a majority of senators, and a large number of Democrats, think the telecoms should not suffer the hazard of accountability for cooperating with the administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) took to the floor last night to give a speech asking, “This is our defining question, the question that confronts every generation: The rule of law, or the rule of men?” The resounding answer: the rule of men.

The Senate voted on the Dodd/Feingold amendment, which would have stripped retroactive immunity from the surveillance bill just now. The final tally was 31-67; crossing over to vote nay were Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Evan Bayh (D-IA), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ken Salazar (D-CO), Tom Carper (D-DE), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Jim Webb (D-VA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Kent Conrad (D-ND), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).

Presidential candidates Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Barack Obama (D-IL) were present for the vote – voting nay and yea, respectively.

Hillary Clinton and Lindsey Graham did not vote .

It’s hard to overstate how disappointing this is.

For the 18 Dems who went along with this nonsense, I’d love to hear an explanation. For the Republicans, not even one GOP senator was willing to take a stand for the rule of law. Not one.

Chris Dodd can’t be faulted for failing to make the case.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Dig

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Dodd is really spreading some serious truth.

it is getting so ridiculous that they actually call themselves lawmakers when it is overly obvious that they are law breakers.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

JTCoyoté

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Re: New FISA law remains unconstitutional due to Dodd amendment failure today
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2008, 02:32:33 pm »
He is still at it!!!! They will hold it open as long as his filibuster continues... under the rules he can keep it up until the Constitution is upheld... now that his amendment is defeated it may take the House to kill it... But even at that....
DODD IS BACK ON C-SPAN2 LIVE WITH HIS FILIBUSTER OF THE FISA BILL IMMUNITY CLAUSE, NOW!!!!

JTCoyoté

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repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but
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Offline Dig

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Re: New FISA law remains unconstitutional due to Dodd amendment failure today
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2008, 02:34:41 pm »
He is still at it!!!! They will hold it open as long as his filibuster continues... under the rules he can keep it up until the Constitution is upheld... and to that....
DODD IS BACK ON C-SPAN2 LIVE WITH HIS FILIBUSTER OF THE FISA BILL IMMUNITY CLAUSE, NOW!!!!

JTCoyoté

“I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose
to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to
repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but
to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution...”

~Barry Goldwater


i wish that were the case, but he had no support and the bill passed the senate and heading to the house. 

just another piece of illegal law making.

total corruption.

i do not fault Dodd. 

i do fault the now overly obvious dictator of this country David Rockefeller and the true prince of darkness, jay rockefeller who voted against Dodd.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline ekt8750

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Re: New FISA law remains unconstitutional due to Dodd amendment failure today
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2008, 02:49:35 pm »
i do fault the now overly obvious dictator of this country David Rockefeller and the true prince of darkness, jay rockefeller who voted against Dodd.

It's really sick how that slimebag gets to be on the Senate. It's one thing to buy off puppets to do your bidding but another to Beelzebub himself casting votes.
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Offline rphope

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Re: New FISA law remains unconstitutional due to Dodd amendment failure today
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2008, 07:22:58 pm »
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release February 12, 2008
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

After a full debate, the Senate today cast a strong, bipartisan vote in support of legislation that will ensure that our intelligence professionals continue to have the critical tools they need to protect the Nation.
This good bill passed by the Senate provides a long-term foundation for our Intelligence Community to monitor the communications of foreign terrorists in ways that are timely and effective and that also protect the liberties of Americans. It will keep closed dangerous intelligence gaps that threatened our security. And this bill improves on the Protect America Act passed last summer by providing fair and just liability protection to those private companies who have been sued for billions of dollars only because they are believed to have done the right thing and assisted the Nation after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
I commend senators from both sides of the aisle who came together to pass this important bill. I thank Leaders Reid and McConnell and the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senators Rockefeller  and Bond, for finishing work on this bill. Today the Senate demonstrated that protecting our Nation is not a partisan issue.
The House of Representatives now has an opportunity to put aside narrow partisan concerns and come together to pass this bipartisan bill and send it to my desk without delay. Our intelligence professionals and private sector partners need the certainty of long-term legislation that will allow us to keep programs in place to protect the Nation, so that the flow of critical intelligence information is not interrupted.

Offline Dig

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Telecom immunity: how stupid do you think we are?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2008, 09:19:23 pm »
Telecom immunity: how stupid do you think we are?
http://www.scholarsandrogues.com/2008/02/12/telecom-immunity-how-stupid-do-you-think-we-are/
Posted on February 12, 2008 by Dr. Slammy




It’s FISA Day in your Senate - amazing how this was scheduled for Potomac Primary Day, huh? - and Matt Browner Hamlin has the agenda up at Holdfast.

My big issue is item #4: retroactive immunity for telecoms. Verizon and AT&T have done all they can to pretend that they had no idea that their participation in warrantless wiretapping might be, you know, a full-monty assault on the Constitution itself. I mean, shucks, they wuz just doing what the president wanted them to, and if you can’t trust the White House who can you trust?

Here’s what Sen. Russ Feingold had to say on the matter:

 

Let’s pay close attention to this part:

The telephone companies and the government have been operating under this simple framework for 30 years. The companies have experienced, highly trained, and highly compensated lawyers who know this law inside and out.In view of this history, it is inconceivable that any telephone companies that allegedly cooperated with the administration’s warrantless wiretapping program did not know what their obligations were. And it is just as implausible that those companies believed they were entitled to simply assume the lawfulness of a government request for assistance. This whole effort to obtain retroactive immunity is based on an assumption that doesn’t hold water.

I’d give anything to have a transcript of the conversations that went on in the respective telco legal departments over this, because I’ve dealt with corporate lawyers. Even more to the point, I worked in a telco and dealt with telco lawyers.

I’m with Feingold - I call bullshit. Of all the lies that the American public has been asked to endure since early 2001, this is easily one of the biggest. In terms of plausibility, this far surpasses the whole Iraq/WMD debacle, because in that case there was actually evidence to be fudged. Here we’re simply asked to accept that some of the nation’s finest corporate lawyers saw nothing remotely wrong with a program that a pre-law student with middling marks at a third-rate community college could tell you was iffy at best.

Two responses ought to quickly lay this parade of foolishness to rest. First, I’ve seen telecom lawyers throw up roadblocks over innocuous official communications due to little more than arguments over comma placement. Legal departments in these kinds of companies are legendary in their aversion to risk, and they can imagine risk in places that wouldn’t bother a textbook paranoid schizophrenic.

Second, Joe Nacchio realized it was illegal and politely declined. Let me repeat: Joe Freakin’ Nacchio, a guy whose epic lust for power and cash has him facing prison and brazilians of dollars in fines. When a deal is too crooked for the devil himself, I don’t want to hear a damned word about how Legal thought it was all kittens and rainbows.

The Senate needs to nard-stomp this immunity crap and then start summoning attorneys at Verizon and AT&T. Bring a stick, too. Somebody will eventually sing, and once you get one on record the dominoes will start to fall.

Meanwhile, stop insulting our intelligence.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Dig

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Re: Telecom immunity: how stupid do you think we are?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2008, 09:52:38 pm »
Oops: White House spokesman admits telecoms spied
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Oops_White_House_spokesman_admits_telecoms_0212.html
John Byrne Published: Tuesday February 12, 2008



Oops.

On the eve of a vote to give telephone companies immunity for their alleged participation in the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretap program, White House spokesperson Dana Perino admitted that the companies actually spied.

Because they were patriotic.

"The telephone companies that were alleged to have helped their country after 9/11 did so because they are patriotic and they certainly helped us and they helped us save lives," Perino told reporters at Tuesday's press briefing.

The admission, while possibly a verbal slip-up, was first noticed by Ryan Singer, of Wired.

The Senate gave the phone companies immunity by a 69-29 vote. It passed wiretapping bill in its entirety just before 6pm ET, 68-29.

Earlier this afternoon, the immunity measure's staunchest opponent, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), announced he would abandon his effort to block the bill with a filibuster, arguing that the House, which has passed an immunity-free bill, would be a better place to try to strip immunity from Congress's final piece of legislation.

"We lost every single battle we had on this bill," Dodd said on a conference call Tuesday with reporters and bloggers. "And the question is now, Can we do better with the House carrying the ball on this bill?"

The bill to update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, including a provision granting retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that facilitated government spying, passed the Senate on a 68-29 vote Tuesday evening.

-----------------------------------

Guess she forgot her big girl panties.
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Offline Dig

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Re: Telecom immunity: how stupid do you think we are?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2008, 09:53:46 pm »
Gov't acknowledges discussing lawsuits with telecom company
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Govt_acknowledges_discussing_lawsuits_with_telecom_0212.html
Nick Juliano Published: Tuesday February 12, 2008





A US government attorney working for the Director of National Intelligence secretly discussed pending litigation with a telecommunications carrier, a top Intelligence official acknowledged this month. But much remains unknown about when the conversation took place or what advice the government attorney may have offered, as the Intelligence Director works to keep notes of the conversation classified.

In a filing released as part its ongoing lawsuit with a privacy watchdog, the government for the first time revealed the contents of a telephone message slip it previously withheld from a Freedom of Information Act response. A DNI administrative assistant took a message from a telecommunications company representative and gave the telco rep's name and number to a govenrment lawyer, who returned the phone call and took notes on the message slip, according to the filing.

The disclosure comes at the Senate is preparing for a final vote on a bill that would grant legal immunity to the telecommunications companies. Senate Democrats find themselves in precisely the situation they hoped to avoid in working to update a foreign surveillance law, and the push for immunity has created some deep divisions between the Senate and the House, as Roll Call reports.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed a FOIA request for all documents concerning discussions or exchanges between Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell or others in his office and telecommunications carriers regarding efforts to update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Hundreds of pages of documents were released in November and December detailing McConnell's discussions with Congress.

The lawyer called to discuss "the various options that may be available to address the litigation facing the telecommunications carriers" and the two disussed "options such as court orders and legislation," such as the telecom-immunizing FISA update to be voted on Tuesday. The government argued that releasing the identity of the telecommunications company it talked to would be an unwarranted invasion of privacy and could aid terrorists seeking to subvert US surveillance methods.

"Confirmation by the ODNI that the US Government does or does not have a relationship with a particular telecommunications carrier for an intelligence activity would provide our adversaries with a road map, instructing them about which communications modes and personnel remain safe or are successfully defeating the US government's capabilities," wrote Ronald L. Burgess, Director of Intelligence Staff.

Wired's Ryan Singel notes the government has declared the document Top Secret.

"To highlight the fact it was not an official document, the government reveals that the attorney who wrote on the slip left it on his desk for several weeks and then just filed it in an 'unofficial' FISA folder," he writes. "It's unclear if that's official policy for handling Top Secret documents or not."

The government does not say when the phone call took place, although it is most likely sometime after February 2006, when USA Today reported that Sprint, MCI and AT&T cooperated with the National Security Agency's post-9/11 warrantless wiretapping program. EFF filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T the next month; there are about 40 lawsuits pending against those companies alleging they violated laws protecting customers' privacy in cooperating with the government's program.

"A majority of international calls are handled by long-distance carriers AT&T, MCI and Sprint. All three own 'gateway' switches capable of routing calls to points around the globe," the paper reported. "AT&T was recently acquired by SBC Communications, which has since adopted the AT&T name as its corporate moniker. MCI, formerly known as WorldCom, was recently acquired by Verizon. Sprint recently merged with Nextel."

Details of the warrantless wiretapping program remain secret, and as the Wall Street Journal reported after the companies' cooperation was disclosed, even company CEO's may not have known the full details of how the government was accessing their customers' telephone calls, e-mails and faxes.

"Internally ... Verizon Communications Inc., which recently acquired MCI, and the former SBC, which recently acquired and took the name AT&T, have encountered a confusing situation," the paper reported. "Workers who hold security clearance at the acquired firms can't always legally talk about details of their work to workers who don't have such clearance at the new parent company, people familiar with the situation say."

The EFF is continuing to fight for the full message slip to be released, and it will argue its case against the government in federal court March 7, Singel reports.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline trixi1

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Re: Telecom immunity: how stupid do you think we are?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2008, 02:27:53 pm »
In light of this, increase awareness.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/13/us/13fisa.html?_r=3&hp=&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin


“Holding all the Democrats together on this,” Senator Harry Reid said of the FISA bill, “is not something that’s doable.”

Quote
February 13, 2008
Senate Votes to Expand Spy Powers
By ERIC LICHTBLAU

WASHINGTON — After more than a year of wrangling, the Senate handed the White House a major victory on Tuesday by voting to broaden the government’s spy powers and to give legal protection to phone companies that cooperated in President Bush’s program of eavesdropping without warrants.

One by one, the Senate rejected amendments that would have imposed greater civil liberties checks on the government’s surveillance powers. Finally, the Senate voted 68 to 29 to approve legislation that the White House had been pushing for months. Mr. Bush hailed the vote and urged the House to move quickly in following the Senate’s lead.

The outcome in the Senate amounted, in effect, to a broader proxy vote in support of Mr. Bush’s wiretapping program. The wide-ranging debate before the final vote presaged discussion that will play out this year in the presidential and Congressional elections on other issues testing the president’s wartime authority, including secret detentions, torture and Iraq war financing.

Republicans hailed the reworking of the surveillance law as essential to protecting national security, but some Democrats and many liberal advocacy groups saw the outcome as another example of the Democrats’ fears of being branded weak on terrorism.

“Some people around here get cold feet when threatened by the administration,” said Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who leads the Judiciary Committee and who had unsuccessfully pushed a much more restrictive set of surveillance measures.

Among the presidential contenders, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, voted in favor of the final measure, while the two Democrats, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, did not vote. Mr. Obama did oppose immunity on a key earlier motion to end debate. Mrs. Clinton, campaigning in Texas, issued a statement saying she would have voted to oppose the final measure.

The measure extends, for at least six years, many of the broad new surveillance powers that Congress hastily approved last August just before its summer recess. Intelligence officials said court rulings had left dangerous gaps in their ability to intercept terrorist communications.

The bill, which had the strong backing of the White House, allows the government to eavesdrop on large bundles of foreign-based communications on its own authority so long as Americans are not the targets. A secret intelligence court, which traditionally has issued individual warrants before wiretapping began, would review the procedures set up by the executive branch only after the fact to determine whether there were abuses involving Americans.

“This is a dramatic restructuring” of surveillance law, said Michael Sussmann, a former Justice Department intelligence lawyer who represents several telecommunication companies. “And the thing that’s so dramatic about this is that you’ve removed the court review. There may be some checks after the fact, but the administration is picking the targets.”

The Senate plan also adds one provision considered critical by the White House: shielding phone companies from any legal liability for their roles in the eavesdropping program approved by Mr. Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks. The program allowed the National Security Agency to eavesdrop without warrants on the international communications of Americans suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda.

AT&T and other major phone companies are facing some 40 lawsuits from customers who claim their actions were illegal. The Bush administration maintains that if the suits are allowed to continue in court, they could bankrupt the companies and discourage them from cooperating in future intelligence operations.

The House approved a surveillance bill in November that intentionally left out immunity for the phone companies, and leaders from the two chambers will now have to find a way to work out significant differences between their two bills.

Democratic opponents, led by Senators Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, argued that the plan effectively rewarded phone companies by providing them with legal insulation for actions that violated longstanding law and their own privacy obligations to their customers. But immunity supporters said the phone carriers acted out of patriotism after the Sept. 11 attacks in complying with what they believed in good faith was a legally binding order from the president.

“This, I believe, is the right way to go for the security of the nation,” said Senator John D. Rockefeller, the West Virginia Democrat who leads the intelligence committee. His support for the plan, after intense negotiations with the White House and his Republican colleagues, was considered critical to its passage but drew criticism from civil liberties groups because of $42,000 in contributions that Mr. Rockefeller received last year from AT&T and Verizon executives.

Senator Olympia J. Snowe, a Maine Republican on the intelligence panel, said the bill struck the right balance between protecting the rights of Americans and protecting the country “from terrorism and other foreign threats.”

Democratic opponents, who six months ago vowed to undo the results of the August surveillance vote, said they were deeply disappointed by the defection of 19 Democrats who backed the bill.

Mr. Dodd, who spoke on the floor for more than 20 hours in recent weeks in an effort to stall the bill, said future generations would view the vote as a test of whether the country heeds “the rule of law or the rule of men.”

But with Democrats splintered, Mr. Dodd acknowledged that the national security argument had won the day. “Unfortunately, those who are advocating this notion that you have to give up liberties to be more secure are apparently prevailing,” he said. “They’re convincing people that we’re at risk either politically, or at risk as a nation.”

There was a measure of frustration in the voice of Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, as he told reporters during a break in the daylong debate, “Holding all the Democrats together on this, we’ve learned a long time ago, is not something that’s doable.”

Senate Republicans predict that they will be able to persuade the House to include immunity in the final bill, especially now that the White House has agreed to give House lawmakers access to internal documents on the wiretapping program. But House Democrats vowed Tuesday to continue opposing immunity.

Congress faces a Saturday deadline for extending the current law, but Democrats want to extend the deadline for two weeks to allow more time for talks. The White House has said it opposes a further extension.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats hope to put some pressure on Republicans on Wednesday over another security-related issue by bringing up an intelligence measure that would apply Army field manual prohibitions against torture to civilian agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency.

Republicans plan to try to eliminate that provision, a vote that Democrats say will force Republicans to declare whether they condone torture. Democrats also say it could show the gap between Mr. McCain, who has opposed torture, and the administration on the issue.

“We know how we would feel if a member of the armed services captured by the enemy were, for example, waterboarded,” Mr. Reid said. “So I think that we’re headed in the right direction, and I hope that we’ll get Republican support on this.”

Carl Hulse contributed reporting from Washington.
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Offline rphope

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Re: Telecom immunity: how stupid do you think we are?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2008, 02:41:53 pm »
Fox News "Propagating the Propaganda".

This is directly from Fox not a quote from any governmental agency or elected official. Are they actually making an "Alert" injecting their opinion on this issue???

Fox News: We Decide, You Report.

http://www.foxnews.com/urgent_queue/index.html#28a2f1fe,2008-02-13


Protect America Alert:


The House Must Act Quickly To Pass Bipartisan Senate FISA Modernization Bill

House Must Act Now To Ensure Our Intelligence Officials Have The Tools They Need To Monitor The Communications Of Terrorists Overseas Quickly And Effectively And To Provide Liability Protection To Those Who Assisted The Government After The 9/11 Attacks

The House of Representatives must act now to pass a bipartisan Senate bill that will ensure our intelligence professionals continue to have the critical tools they need to protect the Nation. On Tuesday, the Senate cast a strong bipartisan vote in support of this legislation, which will ensure our intelligence professionals have the tools they need to make us safer and will also provide fair and just liability protection for companies that did the right thing and assisted in defending America after the 9/11 attacks.

Congress has had more than six months to act - there is no reason to stall this important legislation. Failure by the House to pass this bill by the end of the week, when the Protect America Act (PAA) expires, will weaken our ability to obtain vital foreign intelligence information, including the location, intentions, and capabilities of terrorists and other foreign intelligence targets abroad.

The Senate Bill, Passed By A Strong Bipartisan Majority, Is An Important Piece Of Legislation That Provides Our Intelligence Professionals The Tools They Need To Protect The Country

The Senate bill gives the Intelligence Community the tools it needs to keep the Nation safe. It allows the Government to continue collecting foreign intelligence information against foreign terrorists and other foreign intelligence targets located outside the United States without obtaining prior court approval. This ensures we will not reopen the dangerous intelligence gaps that existed before the passage of the PAA, which the Director of National Intelligence said meant our intelligence professionals were "missing a significant amount of foreign intelligence that we should be collecting to protect our country."

The Senate bill would provide liability protection for those companies being sued for billions of dollars only because they are believed to have assisted the Government in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks. This provision is critical to ensuring the future cooperation of electronic communication service providers - without that cooperation, the Intelligence Community cannot obtain the intelligence it needs to protect the Nation. It is also critical to protecting highly classified information regarding intelligence sources and methods.

The Senate bill is a carefully crafted, bipartisan bill and is the result of months of consideration and negotiation in the Senate. Four months ago, after thorough analysis, the Senate Intelligence Committee reported out a strong, bipartisan bill on a nearly unanimous 13-2 vote - this bill was the core of the bipartisan legislation passed by the Senate last night. As the Senate considered legislation, officials from the Intelligence Community have testified repeatedly, in open and closed hearings, to explain how the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act's (FISA) outdated provisions hampered our ability to protect the Nation from terrorists and other threats to the national security and to explain the implementation of the Protect America Act. The Administration has also provided numerous unclassified and classified briefings to Members and staff.

The Senate bill preserves the strong protections for the liberties of Americans. It leaves unchanged the strong protections FISA provides to Americans in the United States, requiring a court order to target people located in the United States for surveillance.

The Senate Bill Contains Important New Protections For The Liberties Of Americans

The Senate bill provides a new role for the FISA Court in approving surveillance targeted at Americans abroad. In order to provide additional protections to Americans, the bill requires for the first time that a court order be obtained to conduct intelligence surveillance of a United States person abroad. This is a significant increase in the involvement of the FISA Court in these surveillance activities.

The Senate bill substantially increases the role of the FISA Court in overseeing acquisitions of foreign intelligence under the bill - even though the acquisitions are targeted at foreign targets overseas. The Court will review: certifications authorizing intelligence collection that are submitted by the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence, the targeting procedures used by the Government to conduct acquisitions under the Act, and the minimization procedures used by the Government for information concerning U.S. persons. The Government must also submit to the FISA Court semiannual assessments by the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence and annual reviews by the head of any agency conducting operations under the authorities in the bill.

The Senate bill substantially increases Congressional oversight. This oversight includes the provision of written reports to the Congressional intelligence committees, including semiannual assessments by the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence, assessments by each relevant agency's Inspector General, and annual reviews by the head of any agency conducting operations under the authorities in the bill. The bill increases the FISA-related court documents that must be submitted by the Government to the Congressional intelligence and judiciary committees and requires the Government to submit any such documents from the last five years.

Offline Dig

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Harry Reid is giving an Oscar winning performance, BRAVO! BRAVO!
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2008, 03:04:07 pm »
C-SPAN 2 Replaying Harry Reid explaining why he is so weak and so powerless against the telecom immunity FISA con job.

"Heeeeelp me.....heeeeelp meeeee," he squeeks.


Telecom pays for Harry Reid's Acting Lesons!!!!!!!!!!!


Harry Reid does not care about you!!!!!!!!!


He cares about a new house in Dubai, you morons.

If I see another left wing rag talking about how Harry Reid needs our support to vote Democrats to congress I am going to puke.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Dig

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Re: Telecom immunity: how stupid do you think we are?
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2008, 03:10:30 pm »
Telecom has every single email, text, digitized phone call of every member in the house and senate

Telecom writes the legislation giving themselves immunity

Telecom can dig up dirt on any member of Congress that does not abide by their written law

They do not even need to bribe them, just intimidate them.  The DOJ says that Bush is above the law so Bush is not going to pursue any blackmail charges against telecom.

THERE IS NO CONSPIRACY!!!!!!!!!!!!


All Senators voted with their hearts.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

jimwill

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Re: Telecom immunity: how stupid do you think we are?
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2008, 03:51:35 pm »
What was that about Germans being prosecuted for war crimes? Nuremberg? Altho they were following orders? It looks to me like this is about the same thing, altho some of the teleco's submitted without even worrying about legality!