From The Christian Science Monitor:
Washington – House Democrats are hunkering down for a long siege with President Bush over his administration’s terrorist surveillance program.
Democrats are aiming to rein in the White House’s power to wiretap without a warrant and assert “state secrecy” in key court battles.
At the heart of the dispute now is whether to grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies now facing lawsuits over their cooperation in warrantless surveillance.
The Bush administration argues that liability protection is crucial to national security. Facing multibillion-dollar class- action suits, telecommunications companies will be less willing to cooperate in antiterrorist surveillance, say top officials.
“Even prior to the expiration of the Protect America Act, we experienced significant difficulties in working with private sector companies because of the continued failure to provide liability protection for such companies,” said Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell in a Mar. 12 letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
A Senate version of the bill, negotiated with the White House, includes retroactive immunity for telecoms. It passed by a bipartisan vote of 68 to 29 on Feb. 12.
The House bill proposes an alternative fix for telecom companies facing big lawsuits: to allow a judge to determine whether the executive branch’s claim of the state secrets privilege is legitimate. It passed by a partisan vote of 213 to 197, with all Republicans and 12 Democrats voting in opposition.
Representatives [Jerry] Nadler [(D) of New York], Thomas Petri (R) of Wisconsin, John Conyers (D) of Michigan, and William Delahunt (D) of Massachusetts introduced a bill last week that would require a judge to make an independent assessment of government claims of secrecy. A similar bill is pending in the Senate.
“We can protect civil liberties and protect the country,” says freshman Rep. Paul Hodes (D) of New Hampshire. “What we did with telecoms was sound policy.”
14 responses to “Sir Veil Lance A Lot”
The “significant difficulties”, were experienced, in dealing with the private sector, when the administration forgot to pay their phone bill. Damn, these guys are full of crap.
is that nancy p?
nonnie you rock!
hi jlms! 😀
yes! you win the prize for correctly identifying nancy pelosi! keep checking your mailbox for the prize. the exercise will do you good!! 😉
chimpy keeps playing the same old song, and nobody is buying it. someone give him another banana to distract him!
😆 pretzels!! but we can still put the banana peels on the floor! 😉
you never cease to amaze me!
I second that, dcapny!
😳 thanks dcUp and nightowl! when the stats are down, and i start wondering why i bother, comments like yours encourage me to continue with the daily nonsense. mmmwwaaahhhh!!!
I meant it.
HI all you unhinged lefty raisins…..
I see your up to no good as usual…..
The picture of a gagged Pelosi gives me great pleasure….
I hate the left more than the left hates me
where have you been, hon? i knew that a gagged pelosi would give you all kinds of pleasure.
by the way, we don’t hate you. we know that you are just misguided. 😀
I know you are but what am I???
What did you guys think about the nuts invading the church with the fake blood???? I’m glad we don’t have nuts like that on the right…..
bad for business…..
know what, trm, at first glance, my reaction was that it was extremely rude to interrupt services on a day that is important to the people there. however, upon consideration (see, i really do think before i answer you), the line is now drawn very finely between church and state. if it is okay to preach about the political questions of the day and to endorse candidates (and i am not singling out either party), then why is it not correct to state one’s views in a house of worship, even if you are not the one at the pulpit? being rude seems to be the only way to be noticed and get any attention, so maybe fake blood is the way to go. beats the hell out of real blood. it seems that you can write to or call those who are supposed to represent you, but you get a form letter in response. nobody is really listening. if you want to protest, you are rounded up and put in a free speech zone, where those to whom you are directing your protest will never see or hear you. what’s left? you have to do something outrageous that will get you on the news. otherwise, you might as well sit at home and talk to yourself.