Monthly Archives: February 2008

Senate Puts Telcoms Above Citizens

Today in a 31-67 vote, the Senate voted to reject an amendment that sought to strike retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies, voting — not that it comes as any surprise — instead to pass an amendment granting retroactive immunity.

Below are the names of all those present for the vote today. I have included phone numbers for those who voted nay. You’ll notice that Senator Clinton couldn’t be bothered with showing up and voting, Senator Obama voted against granting the retroactive immunity while Senator McCain decided to vote in favor of retroactive immunity.

If your Senator voted in favor of granting immunity it’s ok to be outraged. Several of our Senators, both Democrat and Republican, don’t seem to care what the public thinks, wants and needs. It’s time for a recall or it’s time to take a long hard look at those who continue bending over for this administration while sticking it to every American citizen and it’s time to start holding them accountable for their actions.

Wanting to pass unconstitutional laws at the expense of millions of lives for personal pleasure and profit regardless of the consequences has gone on too long. Setting the example that it’s ok to break laws and ignore subpoenas since you won’t be punished or held accountable for breaking the law doesn’t help.

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Telecom Immunity Misadventures Continue

The two week extension of the FISA amendment expires on February 15, 2008. Senator Reid has filed for another extension, but you can bet the terror alarms will rise from the White House and Bush with his usual fashion will try to place blame on Democrats in Congress, and call them soft on terror. It’s the same old smoke coming out of the same old hole.

It’s a pretty sure bet that you can rely on more videos surfacing, and you can bet on Bush Co. using any and every lie to try to strong arm Congress and the rest of us. It’s been getting thick again since FISA is coming up for a vote again.

In typical fashion, just in time to try coercing Congress to pass the bill wanted by the administration, the propaganda generated by this administration is coming in droves. As noted by Bruce Schneier in a commentary he wrote on, the debate isn’t security versus privacy. It’s liberty versus control.

As the usual games, lies and threats of a desperate administration continue, I felt it was necessary to put the Special Commentary by Keith Olbermann on his Countdown show below (between the lines) for any who may have missed it to serve as a reminder.

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Another Case Of White House Censorship

Another prime example of the White House attempting to censor and silence the media was revealed yesterday. Below is a post from Crooks and Liars about how CBS caved in to pressure from the White House, aided by a Senator, to kill a story with damning evidence of illegal Bush-style justice and politics.

This is an outrageous atrocity that has been going on for several years now, and it has done serious damage to this country as well as a lot of the world. It’s past time to hold this administration, as well as all of those lawmakers (or lawbreakers, depending on who you’re referring to) accountable for their actions.

Congress and the media are supposed to be the eyes and ears of the American public. Congress and the media have grown richer turning blind and dumb while Americans have been terrorized by their own government and financially ruined. You can turn the tables and start doing something about it.

Between the lines below is the post from Crooks and Liars. Below the post is my rant to CBS.

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A Legacy of Fear and Lies

Below is commentary written by the former head of counterterrorism at the National Security Council for the Bush administration and some links to more information.

Bush legacy: Setting a standard in fear-mongering article published last week in The Philadelphia Inquirer: 

By Richard A. Clarke

When I left the Bush administration in 2003, it was clear to me that its strategy for defeating terrorism was leaving our nation more vulnerable and our people in a perilous place. Not only did its policies misappropriate resources, weaken the moral standing of America, and threaten long-standing legal and constitutional provisions, but the president also employed misleading and reckless rhetoric to perpetuate his agenda.

This week’s State of the Union proved nothing has changed.

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Using Fear and Threats To Pass Spy Laws

Once again, President Bush — in a 12-page letter to Senate leaders from Attorney General Michael Mukasey and National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell — has reportedly issued another veto threat as the debate to update terrorist surveillance laws continues, once again putting telecom immunity above protecting the public.

The threat comes as lawmakers are preparing to vote on an update to a 1978 surveillance law without violating privacy rights — Democrats are trying to deny retroactive immunity for telecoms that helped the government spy on U.S. residents after the attacks of 9/11 (although it allegedly started days after taking office), and Republicans continue to rubber stamp the Bush administration’s illegal activities at the cost of every American.

In the letter sent to Senate leaders and top Democrats and Republicans of the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence committees, Mukasey and McConnell wrote “if the president is sent a bill that does not provide the U.S. intelligence agencies the tools they need to protect the nation, the president will veto the bill.”

Once again, just like last August before the ‘Protect America Act’ was passed, McConnell has resorted to his usual lies and fearmongering — “Al Qaeda is improving its ability to attack within the United States by recruiting and training new operatives.” As I’ve noted a few times in the past, McConnell has done a fabulous job of destroying his credibility while Mukasey has done a fabulous job of proving himself to be a mirror image of the former Attorney General he replaced.

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