Thursday, March 13, 2008

McCaskill lets me down yet again

Claire McCaskill just can't get it right. She continues to disappoint spectacularly. I don't think she's even trying to represent her constituents any longer. She knows we all pretty much hate her by this point, and she is pinning her hopes for a political future on Obama being elected and appointing her head of the GAO or something. But as far as I can tell, she has pretty much written off having a career in the Senate. That's what it looks like, anyway, her performance has been so lame.

I am really pissed off at her over FISA. For me, it's all about the Constitution, and I put a pretty steep premium on the Fourth Amendment. So when I get a weak-kneed, pathetic response like this, I crank up the livid a couple of notches, and go right to full-tilt, write-a-check-to-the-ACLU outraged.

Dear [Blue Girl]

Thank you for contacting me regarding efforts to revise the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, also known as FISA. I appreciate hearing from you, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.

On February 12, 2008, after months of debate, the Senate passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2007 (S.2248) by a vote of 68-29. I voted in favor of this effort to modernize the 30-year-old FISA in order to allow us to effectively monitor terrorist communications overseas.

As the FISA Amendments Act was debated on the Senate floor, I voted in favor of three amendments introduced by Senator Feingold (D-WI), all of which sought to add further safeguards against Executive Branch surveillance on innocent Americans. Unfortunately, these amendments failed to garner enough votes to pass. However, the Senate-passed FISA Amendments Act does include several measures to improve our national security without violating the constitutionally protected privacy rights and civil liberties of law-abiding Americans. For example, it would require the government to obtain a warrant whenever the target of surveillance is a U.S. citizen as well as bolster the authority of the FISA courts to oversee the eavesdropping activities of the National Security Agency.

As you may know, I joined 18 other Democrats in voting against Senator Dodd’s (D-CT) amendment to remove provisions granting retroactive immunity to the telecommunications companies (telecoms) that cooperated with the Bush Administration’s wiretapping program. Please keep in mind that this is a limited immunity that applies solely to the telecoms, not the government. I just don’t think we should punish these companies for their good-faith reliance on government assurances that they were assisting in a legal effort to combat terrorism. If the government violated our surveillance laws by eavesdropping without the necessary warrants, then it is the Administration – not the telecoms – that needs to be held accountable. That’s why I supported Senator Specter’s (R-PA) amendment, which would have substituted the federal government in place of telecoms as the defendant in lawsuits, allowing existing legal actions to move forward in an appropriate manner. While this measure was rejected, the underlying legislation would still allow citizens to sue the government for past violations and telecoms for future violations of the new law. As your United States Senator, I remain determined to get to the bottom of any government misconduct. (emphasis added)

Currently, the Senate-passed FISA legislation needs to be reconciled with the House-passed version. I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind as Congress continues to debate this important issue.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future regarding other matters of interest or concern to you.
All best,
Senator Claire McCaskill
Claire, you ignorant slut. The telecoms have fully staffed legal departments , and I presume that all of those attorneys on staff took at least one course in Constitutional Law when they were in law school, and presumably the Fourth Amendment was addressed.

Those attorneys knew that the government was asking them to abrogate the Constitution, and gave the go-ahead anyway. Hell, they probably insisted on indemnity contracts to make the government the payer in any future awards because they knew damn good and well what they were signing off on.

And now, this crazy woman wants to immunize them, and in so doing, immunize this criminal president. That's what her "solution" amounts to - let the telecoms (who donate a significant amount of money to McCaskill) skate away with no consequence, and the American taxpayers foot the bill for damage awards, and Bush skates away scott free?

What the fuck, over?

Get this through your bleached-blond head, Claire. You have been had. Immunity isn't about protecting the telecoms. It's about protecting Bush. He would never, in a million years, fight this hard if his ass wasn't the one in jeopardy, and you ought to know it.

If you want to get to the bottom of it, you oppose immunity for these companies - who started spying on us before September 11, by the way - and you let the civil courts sort it out. The discovery process of a civil trial is the best chance we have of determining the real, bedrock truth about just how far these criminal bastards have gone.

By insisting on immunity, McCaskill is aiding and abetting the criminal Bush.

Hold her accountable for that.

Not one dime, not one moment of my time.