Sunday, December 16, 2007

Retroactive immunity for whatever crimes you (may) have committed.

I'll take it. How about you?

Do the American people deserve to know, not every specific, but the extent to which their rights were violated? Do they have a right to know what the legal basis was that the telecommunications corporations relied upon when they decided to help the government violate the law?

Do we have to ask the non-thinking conservative's question of AT&T et. al. : "Whaddaya got to hide?"

And did you know that Chris Dodd, the only Senator who has consistently fought against FISA-with-telecom-immunity, lost the race for Senate majority leader by one vote to Harry Reid? (I didn't.)

Do something about this bill today. And tomorrow. This is a moment for leadership on the part of the people running for president who get to vote in the Senate on this bill tomorrow. And a test of their loyalty to the oath they took to support and defend the Constitution, which carries a fourth amendment they would do well to refresh themselves with:

Privacy apart, this president's defiance of statutes by the dozens is constitutionally alarming. But the matter goes deeper still. Even if Congress were to repeal the laws securing telephone privacy, or if phone companies found loopholes to slip through when pressured by government, the Constitution's Fourth Amendment shield for ''the right of the people to be secure" from ''unreasonable searches" is a shield for all seasons, one that a lawless president, a spineless Congress, and a complacent majority of citizens -- who are conditioned to a government operating under a shroud of secrecy while individuals live out their lives in fishbowls -- cannot be permitted to destroy, for the rest of us and our children.

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