July 8, 2008

Outright Betrayal

Tomorrow, July 9th, it is more than likely that the Senate will pass new legislation that effectively guts the Constitution of the United States. Despite the best efforts of people like Senators Chris Dodd, Russ Feingold and Patrick Leahy, a new update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) will be sent to the White House to be signed into law, and it will, without question, push this country further down the path to full police statehood. As a result of this law, not only will law-breakers escape punishment - or even investigation - because they are well connected, but the president will be given vast new latitude to spy on U.S. citizens without a warrant, vesting in him powers that are as alien to traditional American values as they would be at home in any dictatorship you can name.

Hyperbole? If only.

This is a naked assault on the fundamental and core values of our nation, and any law-maker who votes to pass the new FISA bill is in violation of his oath of office, which demands that the Constitution be defended above all other considerations. This is outright betrayal by the new Democratic majority in Congress, and it is more of the same Republican taste for authoritarianism and intrusion into the private lives of the people we have seen since George W. Bush took office. Quite simply, anyone on Capitol Hill or in the White House who is stupid enough, ignorant enough or venal enough to think that this legislation is a good idea needs to be removed from office and banished from the political landscape. It is that bad.

The contents and justification for the new FISA bill have been obfuscated at every turn, and it has been touted as a "bipartisan compromise" necessary to protect Americans. Nothing could be further from the truth. Please click on the image above and read the linked document - which is a full-page ad that will run in several major newspapers - in its entirety. Likewise, if you have the time, I highly recommend the video below, which features an interview with Daniel Ellsberg, the man who helped bring down the Nixon Administration by releasing the Pentagon Papers. [h/t Glenn Greenwald for both the ad and the video.]

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