Move On Joins The FISA Bandwagon

And cheers to them for that:

In a move that will up the pressure on Hillary and Barack Obama to stand firm against the Senate telecom immunity FISA bill, MoveOn and a dozen top progressive blogs will launch an all-out campaign tomorrow to pressure the two Senators into publicly declaring their support for Chris Dodd's threat to place a hold on and filibuster the bill, Election Central has learned. . . . If Hillary and Obama don't comply, Green added, "it would send an unfortunate signal to Democratic voters about whether they're willing to stand up to George Bush. The idea is to get Democrats to stand on principle and exercise the powers of their office to stop Bush from covering up how far he went in illegally spying on the private emails and phone calls of innocent Americans."

Well done Move On.

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    It's not just wiretapping being immunized (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by scribe on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 04:45:35 PM EST
    it is also black-bag jobs on your house, your office, your computer, anywhere....

    I commented on this over here, but here's the link to the CNET article, too.

    From the article, analyzing the statutory language as it now stands, stuff like this will be immunized:

    Let's translate that. A hotel manager who lets FBI agents into a guest's room to copy a laptop's hard drive in secret would not be liable. An apartment manager who gives Homeland Security the key to a tenant's unit to place a key logger in a PC would not be liable. A private security firm that divulges a customer's alarm code would not be liable. A university that agrees to forward a student's e-mail messages to the Defense Department would not be liable. An antivirus company that helps the NSA implant spyware in an unsuspecting customer's computer would not be liable.

    No court order is required. And if an eventual lawsuit accuses the hotel manager or antivirus firm of unlawful activities, it'll be thrown out of court as long as the attorney general or the director of national intelligence can provide a "certification." The "certification" is, of course, secret--all a judge may say publicly is that the rules were followed, and then dismiss the case.

    And Hillary still can't see her way clear to join Dodd?

    And Obama, still mute on this issue?

    And they want my vote?

    Oh, and thinking a little more about this (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by scribe on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 04:58:54 PM EST
    one has to be struck by the fact that, per the statutory language, if the AG gives a certification, then the civil suit against the helper is dismissed.

    But, there is no requirement in the legislation that the AG give such a certification.  In other words, it's wholly discretionary.  If he gives it to you, you're covered.  If not, you're out there exposed to the civil suit.  And, when you try to defend the civil suit by arguing "the government made me do it", they turn around and pull a Nacchio on you.  They claim their activities are protected from disclosure by the State Secrets privilege and, if you get too insistent on it, either charge you with some bogus crime, or decide you've been exposed to classified information (like their torture victims in Gitmo, who can't tell their lawyers what's been done to them) and have to shut up (or be prosecuted for disclosing classified information).

    Nice way of enforcing Republican compliance, dontcha think?


    At the pleasure of the king? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Edger on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 05:10:11 PM EST
    Pretty much. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by scribe on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 05:14:53 PM EST
    What (none / 0) (#6)
    by Edger on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 05:18:54 PM EST
    State are you in? You don't need to name it, but ss it on this list?

    I'm alternately in two states: (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by scribe on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 05:37:14 PM EST



    And sometimes in a third:  Altered (This one, most recently fueled by some nice, cheap store-brand California tawny port).


    Quantum lawyerin' ? (none / 0) (#12)
    by Edger on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 05:39:48 PM EST
    Yup. (none / 0) (#16)
    by scribe on Wed Oct 24, 2007 at 11:21:08 AM EST
    I'm like Deadeye Dick, sorta:  both here in this dimension (Legislative) and not (nope, Executive), at the same time.  Assuming, of course, you accept the existence of time (either place, Deadeye's not susceptible to oversight).

    And you oughta see my psi function....


    Yup (none / 0) (#14)
    by manys on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 07:24:13 PM EST
    if the AG gives a certification, then the civil suit against the helper is dismissed.

    This is a nice bit of lock-in, as you note. To keep these helpers playing ball, the government can say "keep doing as we wish and you stay protected."


    Someone get the smelling salts! (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by kovie on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 05:21:48 PM EST
    Because John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are about to get the vapors over this outrageous calumny! Ah do declare this shall not stand! The evil Islamofascist Jihadis are on the verge of overruning and utterly destroying our precious and fragile western civilization (none of which is based on Arab and Muslim culture, of course, such is the unique genius of western civ), and those awful hippie Dems want to let them in! Oh the humanity! We do they hate America so?

    Heh. (none / 0) (#8)
    by Edger on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 05:28:19 PM EST
    Maybe they'll both have a stroke....

    Nah, Pubs don't die (none / 0) (#15)
    by kovie on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 10:27:59 PM EST
    They just get old and slowly fade away, like "Filibustah" Thurmond, "Tubes" Stevens and "Pajamas" Pete Domenici.

    dodd, fisa and the war (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by selise on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 05:32:41 PM EST
    from dave lindorff on senator dodd's FISA immunity hold and filibuster threat:

    In so doing, he gave the lie to the fraud that has been perpetrated by Pelosi and Reid that they and the Democrats are "powerless" to stop the war unless they have "60 votes" in the Senate.


    Dodd, however, is showing that they can prevent bad legislation by being the ones doing the filibustering, and that they then only need 41 votes-something they clearly could muster if the party's leadership were behind it.

    So Dodd is testing out this theory on the stinking betrayal of a bill the Democrats have come up with for the NSA. If he succeeds in blocking that bill, he will finally have to put his money where his mouth is, and anti-war bonifides by placing a similar hold on Bush's new request for $46 billion more for the Iraq War.

    That in turn would put the Democrats to the test. If, after running a campaign last fall promising they would end Bush's war, and after failing miserably to do so for the past 10 months in power in Congress, they did not support a filibuster against further funding, they would stand exposed as the worst kind of charlatans and fraudsters.

    Dodd, meanwhile, just two and a half months ahead of the start of the primary season, has a golden chance to vault himself to the head of the Democratic pack by making a genuine, concrete effort to end the war.

    It wouldn't matter if he failed. If Sen. Dodd were to put a hold on funding for the war, and were then to stand in the well of the Senate and filibuster any effort to pass such a bill, forcing his Democratic colleagues to expose themselves finally as being either for ending the war or continuing it, he would be an instant star of the anti-war movement. The 80-90 percent of Democrats who are opposed to the war would stampede to his support. Obama and Clinton, who are in the Senate with Dodd, would be forced to decide whether they wanted to continue to play to the party's right wing and its corporate funders, or whether they would cast their lot with the peace wing.

    He holds the reins. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Edger on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 05:36:11 PM EST
    He's going to be taking some heavy incoming....

    I suspect that (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Edger on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 05:59:27 PM EST
    we're going to see rather quickly that there is a lot more "heavyweight" substance to Chris Dodd than we already think there is.

    Good (none / 0) (#1)
    by Edger on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 04:43:10 PM EST
    Is MoveOn seeing the writing on the wall now, that's been visible in 18 foot high blinding neon letters to the rest of the world?