Friday, May 2, 2008

Blue Dogs Plotting to Hand Another Victory to Bush

(Short refresher: "telecom amnesty" means that companies that illegally spied on innocent Americans' phone calls, emails and text messages will be immune from liability in civil lawsuits. That, in turn, means that we spied-on citizens have no way to find out exactly what the companies did and who in the White House unConstitutionally ordered them to break the law, starting in February 2001 - seven months BEFORE 9-11.)

Well, now we know why DINO Ben Chandler chose this week to announce that he is endorsing and giving his super delegate vote to Barack Obama: to distract us from his Blue Dog buddies in the House of Representatives working behind the scenes to give Smirky/Darth the telecom amnesty real Democrats denied them in February.

Yes, Ben voted to reject amnesty in the re-authorization of the patriot act, and I was one of the many who wrote to thank him. But remember how surprised we all were that House dems suddenly discovered the "testicular fortitude" required to defy Smirky/Darth, after more than a year of fellating the White House on command?

As Glenn Greenwald reports, it appears we horrible cynics were correct - it was a trick.

Are House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and a small handful of "Blue Dog" Democrats working in secret to reverse one of the only worthwhile acts of Congressional Democrats since they were given control of Congress in 2006: namely, the refusal to vest the President with vast new warrantless eavesdropping powers and bequeath lawbreaking telecoms with amnesty? It certainly appears that way.

Numerous reports -- both public and otherwise -- suggest that Hoyer is negotiating with Jay Rockefeller to write a new FISA bill that would be agreeable to the White House and the Senate. Their strategy is to craft a bill that they can pretend is something short of amnesty for telecoms but which, in every meaningful respect, ensures an end to the telecom lawsuits. It goes without saying that no "compromise" will be acceptable to Rockefeller or the White House unless there is a guaranteed end to those lawsuits, i.e., unless the bill grants amnesty to lawbreaking telecoms.

Did you really think that Smirky-Darth were just going to loll around the White House for the next 8 months waiting for the Democrats to finally gather the courage to impeach them? They're going to be working non-stop, every day, now right through January 20, deleting emails, shredding documents, disappearing witnesses, muzzling the press, and throwing up legal roadblocks to the Righteous Justice rolling toward them.

No, I don't know that Ben Chandler is among the Blue Dogs plotting to hand amnesty to Bush, Cheney and all their sub-demons, but his record hardly gives reassurance.

Thank and congratulate him for endorsing Obama, but add a plea for his continued courage in resisted telecom amnesty in any FISA reauthorization.

As What Constitution? writes in Greenwald's comments:

Blanket and retroactive immunity for felonious and unconstitutional invasions of privacy is an affront to the Constitution of the United States, an attack upon the Rule of Law (without which this country cannot function as a democracy), and really really stupid.

Cross-posted at BlueGrassRoots.