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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Courts Need to Do What Congress Failed to Do

Good Morning Papamoka Bloggers - One of the greatest battles fought against the despicable Bush Administration and the Republicans over the past few years involved immunity for the telecoms.

Earlier this year the Bushies sought to immunize people and companies who broke the law. They were being sued by many groups because they willingly gave our private customer data to US intelligence agencies before and after 9/11 WITHOUT a warrant. My own AT&T was one of the worst corporate "snitches," but there were others. I was a big supporter of those lawsuits.

For those who weren't aware of the battle, it involved a heated Congress where many fought very hard to keep it from passing. The domestic spying bill that angered so many of us passed in July. In a bold and unprecedented move, Congress voted to kill the lawsuits and grant retroactive amnesty to any phone companies that helped with the surveillance.

American history will never the same in my opinion. It was one of Congress' darkest moments. It reminded me of the Alien and Sedition Acts before the Civil War. Unfortunately, in one his darker moments, President-elect Barack Obama was among those who voted for the law.

Other Senate Democratic TURNCOATS who made speeches in favor of the bill and Bush were Senator John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) and my own Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA). I wrote all of them over many months and none of them gave a good answer for domestic spying or why they believed the telecoms should receive immunity for breaking the law.

So, now the battle has one last test. David Kravitz of Wired is reporting that a federal judge today in San Francisco is deciding whether to hear a case to determine if the law is constitutional. It will affect the nearly four dozen lawsuits filed by civil liberties groups and class action attorneys against AT&T, Verizon, MCI, Sprint and other carriers - they claim the cooperation violated federal wiretapping laws and the Constitution.

I think we should all keep a close eye on this case if it proceeds. Congress trashed the Constitution, so it will be interesting to see if the courts help piece it back together. I believe that a Constitutional Amendment should have been necessary to make that kind of law.

They spied on Americans WITHOUT WARRANTS guaranteed by the Constitution BEFORE AND AFTER 9/11! That is a FACT! You Republicans can argue it all you want, but there is plenty of evidence supporting it. It's even accepted by the criminals at the Bush Administration.

We are supposed to be a nation of laws, not of whatever is convenient for a particular group in power at the time. Congress FAILED us, as usual. They should have voted against that law. Diane Feinstein FAILED me.

It should not be allowed to stand. We can't write any more letters to our Senators, for that time has come and gone. All we can do is HOPE that the courts do their job. All we can do is HOPE that sanity returns to those in power again.

Michael Boh
Papamoka's Left Coast Contributor
from Our Rants & Raves Blog

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Blogger B.J. said...

Michael: Sometimes it seems like HOPE is all this country has left. I will send you a link via Papamoka to a tidbit about your Sen. Feinstein, a woman I've always admired. It sure gave me pause! I realize I am getting away from the subject of your post.

I do NOT condone spying on Americans, but will reserve judgment on Congress as I did NOT hear all their arguments defending their votes. You know, sometimes Supreme Court decisions don't make any sense whatsoever UNTIL you read the justices' opinions. I feel it’s the same way with Congress. In debate before votes, reasons are made clear for how votes are cast. Unfortunately, we cannot always be glued to C-SPAN or read the Congressional Record.

I yield to knowledge far superior to mine as to why decisions are made about the inner workings of our intelligence gathering. BJ

12:29 AM  

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