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Arlen Specter(R-PA) says he wants to substitute the government in the place of telco companies in the pending lawsuits concerning illegal wiretapping of American citizens. The reason is clear. He knows Bush's White House will stonewall, using national security and executive privilege excuses as it has done consistently for the last 7 years. Specter knows granting immunity to telcos doesn't look proper. So he acts like he is against that immunity while suggesting any court cases brought against the telcos be transferred to court cases against the government. Immunity by substitution. Specter knows this will prohibit the American people from finding out the full extent of the Bush White House criminality. Specter protects Junior while appearing to be against lawlessness. Arlen is slick, but still a criminal enabler. If communications corporations had their day in court, testimony and evidence could be devastating to Bush's bunch. That's why Arlen Specter, a centrist in name only, is arguing to replace telcos with the government.
Chris Dodd(D-CONN) and Russ Feingold(D-WI) argue for upholding the rule of law. It's amazing that arguments for the rule of law have to be.....well.....argued. Strange daze.
Jeff Sessions(R-AL)....resorts to pre 9-11 discussion of a wall between CIA and FBI....as if that negates new lawlessness now. Has nothing to do with the immunity bill for telcos. Brings up Mike McConnell's breathless lies of fearmongering back in August which led to the odious and unConstitutional Protect America Act.
Saxby Chambliss(R-GA).....says new immunity bill will protect Americans from.....wait for it.....terrorists. He argues that Bush didn't have everything he needed to keep us safe until the Protect America Act was passed in August. That's a lie. The point of contention has nothing to do with wiretapping "foreigners" outside the country. Nothing. Chambliss knows that's not the argument. Saxby, like many co-conspirators in Bush's reign of terror against the Constitution, likes to construct straw men to then knock down. Such a serious legislator, he is.
Jon Kyl(R-AZ) advocates for closure and a vote on immunity bill. Says we lost 2/3rds of information we could have gathered from "evildoers" because Bush couldn't break the law with impunity until August and the Protect America Act.
Kyl is one of the worst Constitution bashers in the GOP. He doesn't find ANYTHING in the Bush White House performance with which he doesn't agree. "No one's on a witchhunt against Americans... that's not what is involved here...". Kyl, a despicable guy, honestly he is, is trying to drive a phony wedge between drug wiretap and terrorist wiretap rules. Terrorists, he says, "are the most evil people in the world."
McConnell(R-KY)....I can't even repeat his bullsh*t.....it's that bad. McConnell is the WORST Senator in the Senate, hands down. Telcos, "help protect the country". Wants to get to the vote for closure.
They're voting on closure....12:18PM
R's, as expected, all voting for closure,....D's are caving. Looks like it's all over. Amendments to the immunity bill will be next. The best Americans can hope for now is NO passage of anything. This is supposed to be our "august" chamber of Congress? Please.
76-10 for closure. Jesus. 76 Senators do not see anything wrong with usurping the Court's jurisdiction and instead, granting amnesty to corporate lawbreakers without knowing even how extensive the lawlessness was. Rule of law, my ass.
So far, only Specter of the GOP'ers, has brought up the immunity part for co-conspiratorial telcos.
Reid sets rule for 60 votes on Dodd's amendment to eliminate immunity from bill. Spineless Reid and co-conspiratorial R's are using pre-planned strategy to support the criminal presidency of George W. Bush.
Barbara Boxer(D-CA) speaking up for Dodd's amendment. "A country that scares it's people rather than protects it's people." Not all companies went along with Bush's lawlessness. Boxer thanks these companies. Argues againt immunity as "irresponsible". Americans won't find out the truth. Argues for the Judiciary version of bill. "Watershed moment." Bitchslaps Sessions over his "the civil libertarians among us" comment. Shouldn't all political representatives be civil libertarians? "essence of Constitution."
Kennedy(D-MA)...voted for closure to move along....but wants Judiciary not Intelligence version. "bullying" by Bush on Protect America Act with fear. Deeply flawed as is. Fails basic rights and includes amnesty. Sunset provision unacceptable. No accountability in Intelligence version. Cover-up evidence in CIA torture tapes destruction. Puts telco immunity in that perspective. Further undermine the rule of law. Began warrantless spying before 9-11. Clear violation of FISA. Disdain for 4th amendment. Push for immunity attempt to avoid accountability. Only Bush violated FISA. Still don't know everything Bush has done. ATT&T room for sweeping up all communications by NSA...millions of Americans. 30 Justice Dept. employees threatened to resign in protest. "Blew through" restrictive laws. "Blow through laws in does not like". More difficult for prosecutors to get terrorists. Sorry record. Telcos have immunity built-in if court order or appropriate Attorney General document. Protecting those who knew requests were illegal. Premature to even talk about subject. Foolish to assume terrorists don't already know. Sheer nonsense that telcos would be hesitant to cooperate. Telcos bankrupted maybe because of massive lawbreaking?? Legislate reasonable remedies such as reward caps. Highly sophisticated lawyers in telcos. They knew. Nothing fair or just to interfere in lawsuits, taking up one side. Patriotic duty argument. Total secrecy for 5 years in their lawbreaking. Lucrative government contracts? Telcos don't pick and choose which laws to follow. Duty to follow law. Dec 2000 NSA memo to telcos to become "powerful permanent presence on America's communications networks." Aiding and abetting Bush in illegal actions. Silence, secrecy and illegality.
Blackwater, airlines.......what about their illegality? They would be next in line after telcos. Opening round. Not the end. Path to very, very dark place. Americans to die for sake of telcos according to Bush's promised veto if telcos not immunized. It's about self serving attempt to avoid accountability and keep us in the dark just like the CIA torture tapes.
Dodd...commends Kennedy. Not all telcos complied. Shows glaring problem with immunity excuses.
Kennedy.....1976 Ford's AG Levy tried to do right by bringing people together. Worked out bipartisan for FISA, only one senator voted no. Gonzales....no place for others, no sharing of info, unilateralism. Endangering prosecution of terrorists. Threatened national security.