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Senate Passes Telecom Immunity Bill

timothy posted about 6 years ago | from the always-been-at-war-with-oceania dept.

Privacy 1088

zehnra writes "The U.S. Senate this afternoon passed the FISA Amendments Act, broadly expanding the president's warrantless surveillance authority and unconstitutionally granting retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that participated in the president's illegal domestic wiretapping program. The House of Representatives passed the same bill last month, and President Bush is expected to sign the legislation into law shortly." The New York Times has a story, as does the Associated Press (carried here by Yahoo!). Reader Guppy points out the roll call for the vote.

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Whew, your telcos are safe. (4, Interesting)

Fred_A (10934) | about 6 years ago | (#24123703)

I'm sure you're all feeling a little bit better now right ?
Um, right ?

Re:Whew, your telcos are safe. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24123865)

For a moment there it looked like expensive lobbying might not be a good investment. What kind of country would this be if the corporations couldn't hire expensive lobbyists to bribe Members of Congress to give those corporations immunity to the crimes they committed in the past?

It would be a very alien place indeed.

Re:Whew, your telcos are safe. (4, Interesting)

hav0x (984818) | about 6 years ago | (#24123929)

Stupidly, the sad thing is everyone is less safe after this legislation goes into law.
The Telcos are just off the hook, for this particular clusterfuck.
That and your administration has close to card blanche to fuck around.
Sure glad i'm european
... gah

Remember in November. (5, Insightful)

base3 (539820) | about 6 years ago | (#24123707)

While they might not miss the relatively few votes of those of us who cared about the Republic, at least we'll be able to say we made the attempt.

Re:Remember in November. (5, Insightful)

Selfbain (624722) | about 6 years ago | (#24123725)

But you better not say it too loudly because they'll be listening.

Re:Remember in November. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24123885)

For a while I thought Obama may have been worth voting for, but now its clear that he is just a Pol and not enough better than McCain to be worth voting for. I'm going to be limiting my choice to the Libertarian or Green candidates for President this fall.

Re:Remember in November. (5, Interesting)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | about 6 years ago | (#24124011)

It's axiomatic that any person who does what is necessary to become a viable Presidential candidate will not be worth voting for.

Re:Remember in November. (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | about 6 years ago | (#24124167)

Looks like its time to form a new political party.

Guess I'll start my campaigning this year; as its going to take more than 8 years for this stuff to start to fix itself up.

Republicans, democrats, both are horrible and pitiful excuses for the most part as politicians. Both have sold out.

Re:Remember in November. (3, Insightful)

snl2587 (1177409) | about 6 years ago | (#24124069)

I'm going to be limiting my choice to the Libertarian or Green candidates for President this fall.

And that won't do a bit of good in a two-party system, unfortunately, and in fact it may just get McCain elected. I don't like the way it is, but it is what it is.

Re:Remember in November. (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 6 years ago | (#24124051)

Yet again, Ralph Nader is the *only* candidate you can trust to be tough on corporate crime. Obama couldn't even wait until he was elected to sell out his values.

Some days... (5, Insightful)

scubamage (727538) | about 6 years ago | (#24123715)

"He who trades essential liberty for temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety."

I'm thinking its time we start looking at the French Revolution for advice.

Re:Some days... (5, Interesting)

qbzzt (11136) | about 6 years ago | (#24123983)

I'm thinking its time we start looking at the French Revolution for advice.

Just remember, it ended with a Napoleon that was every bit as authoritarian as the old kings.

Re:Some days... (3, Funny)

scubamage (727538) | about 6 years ago | (#24124059)

But it also had some excellent usage of guillotines on people who had betrayed their countrymen.


cromar (1103585) | about 6 years ago | (#24123727)

I wrote my senators. Fat lot of good that shit does. They don't care. This nation needs a serious shakeup NOW.


NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 6 years ago | (#24123761)

I was somewhat surprised to see my normally idiotic senators vote the correct way for once.

However, I'm disappointed that Obama voted yes. He'll be getting some angry email from me.


bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about 6 years ago | (#24124025)

The biggest surprise to me is that Obama didn't even have the modicum of sense required to abstain. McCain did, and we all know he supports immunity. Why didn't it occur to Obama that, even if he couldn't vote nay, voting yea is going to turn off all but his most die-hard supporters?


sm62704 (957197) | about 6 years ago | (#24124111)

Of the two Corporate Party candidates, one voted "yes" and the other didn't vote at all. I urge everyone to vote Green, Libertarian, or Constitution Party this November.


martinw89 (1229324) | about 6 years ago | (#24123783)

Yeah I called mine also. I wrote when they didn't answer. I don't see a shakeup happening because so many people are oblivious as to what just occurred and what it means.


Kenshin (43036) | about 6 years ago | (#24123825)

I wrote my senators. Fat lot of good that shit does.

You probably forgot to put a few $100 bills in the envelopes.


martinw89 (1229324) | about 6 years ago | (#24123923)

You probably forgot to put a few $100 bills in the envelopes.

..., 'cause the lobbyists certainly didn't.

We had one. (4, Insightful)

Grendel Drago (41496) | about 6 years ago | (#24123851)

Don't you remember 2006? When the largest upheaval in Congressional history happened, giving a clear mandate to our lawmakers to end the war? Somehow that didn't happen. Somehow the legislative groundwork got laid for another war in the meantime.

My congresscritters happened to be on the right side of this. If yours were not, I strongly suggest calling their offices and informing them that (if they're Democrats) your donations next election cycle will be going to their challenger in the primary. And then, of course, following through on that.

So anyone who disagrees with you is a traitor? (3, Insightful)

unassimilatible (225662) | about 6 years ago | (#24124085)

I happen to believe that companies acting in good faith to help after 9/11, and who were given assurances that they would be immune from legal sanction, should in fact be immune from legal sanction.

I feel reasonable minds can disagree on matters of public policy. But to you I am a traitor?

What is the standard for flamebait here anyway? I am confused.

Damnit (5, Insightful)

martinw89 (1229324) | about 6 years ago | (#24123729)

I have no words for how cheated I feel right now.

Re:Damnit (1)

von_rick (944421) | about 6 years ago | (#24123815)

But it still can't top the feeling of betrayal when I learned that Santa wasn't real.

So this... (1, Flamebait)

elemnt14 (1319289) | about 6 years ago | (#24123733) how you guys want to play. Fine whatever. Except you better be looking over your shoulders constantly. This is not the end. It is only the beginning.

Encrypted Email & Phones (2, Insightful)

McFly69 (603543) | about 6 years ago | (#24123741)

I see that not only there will be an increased usage of encrypted emails but there will be a new market for encrypted phones (hand set to hand set). Where do I get one?

Re:Encrypted Email & Phones (2, Insightful)

base3 (539820) | about 6 years ago | (#24123791)

You'll never see a mass market consumer level plug and go solution for this that isn't backdoored to hell and back.

habeas corpus (2, Insightful)

bughunter (10093) | about 6 years ago | (#24123749)

Well, at least if we're nabbed for sedition because we Godwined George Dubya on the phone with our grandma, we'll have a right to address the charges in front of a Judge.




Re:habeas corpus (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 6 years ago | (#24123821)

Oh, don't worry. They'll gladly show the judge the corpse.

Stark Realities (1)

KudyardRipling (1063612) | about 6 years ago | (#24123769)

It's time to order more of those 'THIS PHONE IS TAPPED' stickers from CrimethInc.

I didn't know Obama was supporting this (5, Informative)

Aggrajag (716041) | about 6 years ago | (#24123781)

"Obama (D-IL), Yea"

Re:I didn't know Obama was supporting this (5, Insightful)

martinw89 (1229324) | about 6 years ago | (#24123827)

I feel so naive for thinking there was a candidate from one of the two major parties who actually stood for what's right.

Re:I didn't know Obama was supporting this (5, Funny)

lgw (121541) | about 6 years ago | (#24124145)

McCain abstained, which I guess makes him a "moderate" on the issue of screwing us over at every opportunity.

Tired of choosing the lesser of two evils? Vote Cthulhu in '08! No more years!

Re:I didn't know Obama was supporting this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24123871)

Clinton (D-NY), Nay

Re:I didn't know Obama was supporting this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24123959)

Well maybe now Obama will pick Clinton as his running-mate to sure up the liberal vote.

Living under a rock? (3, Informative)

MushMouth (5650) | about 6 years ago | (#24123897)

Christ wake up, Obama has a history of crap like this.

Re:I didn't know Obama was supporting this (1)

elemnt14 (1319289) | about 6 years ago | (#24123907)

What is funny is that one of his main points is open information. Even on his site the "Vote against the FISA" group is the largest with a ton of people part of that group. Some change he wants to make.

Re:I didn't know Obama was supporting this (3, Funny)

akzeac (862521) | about 6 years ago | (#24123987)

Wow, you said something against Obama. The moderation rollercoaster will be fun to see.

Re:I didn't know Obama was supporting this (5, Informative)

ozziegt (865751) | about 6 years ago | (#24124045)

His explanation is here: [] b Still BS though.

Re:I didn't know Obama was supporting this (5, Informative)

akzeac (862521) | about 6 years ago | (#24124151)

And here's Greenwald's trashing [] of that explanation.

Re:I didn't know Obama was supporting this (0, Flamebait)

pembo13 (770295) | about 6 years ago | (#24124091)

Why wouldn't he?

How about the chick.. Clinton D-NY NAY (1)

q2a (519813) | about 6 years ago | (#24124169)

"Clinton (D-NY), Nay" Too bad she's out of the race..

Slashdot helped bury this. (1, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 6 years ago | (#24124173)

This is yet the second time i'm mentioning slashdot helped bury this.

I'm an old school moderate, which, since 1994, means I'm "OMG PINKO LEFTIST GODLESS COMMIE ENEMY OF THE STATE", and I sacrificed karma by the pana-max shipfull pointing this out.

All to no avail, the leftist version of the moronic bushite scum we love to hate descended upon my posts and anyone who dared to agree with my assertions this man should be examined under the same scepticism as any other beltway sellout with zealous fury, "-1 troll" mods in hand.

If you hate the irrational blindness of bush supporters, then mod someone calling for skepticism of Obama, you are a hypocrite.

Re:I didn't know Obama was supporting this (4, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | about 6 years ago | (#24124175)

Clinton (the original, not frickin' Hillary) signed the DMCA into law. Democrats aren't everything the people are led to believe they are. They're just as bad as their republican equivalents when it comes to corporate lobbyists.

The entire system has gotten completely out of hand. We need to change it so that there is no way for a company to financially reward a politician for listening to them. We also need to make it so that companies aren't even allowed to lobby politicians in the first place.

Mother (1)

gdog05 (975196) | about 6 years ago | (#24123785)

Fu%ker!!!! There. Now what do we do about it? What measures can be taken to have this changed?

bye bye miss american pie... (1)

isotope23 (210590) | about 6 years ago | (#24123795)

All your freedoms is belong to USA....


In Corporate Amerika wires tap you....

Re:bye bye miss american pie... (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about 6 years ago | (#24124003)

Well, a police state is a lot safer.

More On Immunity (5, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 6 years ago | (#24123799)

From CNN []

Question: Will telecommunications firms be prosecuted for helping the intelligence community conduct warrantless surveillance of Americans?

Benson: Although the Bush administration had wanted the telephone providers who cooperated with the surveillance program to receive outright retroactive immunity, this bill sets up a process for judicial review.

A U.S. District Court judge hearing a pending case will determine whether the telecommunications provider received from the government letters which indicated the president had authorized the warrantless surveillance and that the program was considered lawful. If so, the lawsuit will be thrown out.

Opponents argue this is a sham and say that the telecommunications are essentially being granted retroactive immunity because Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence (DNI), testified at a congressional hearing that all of the telephone carriers did receive government certifications.

Some Republican supporters have called this process a "formality" and even Democratic proponents indicate it is likely that most, if not all, of the cases against the telephone companies will be dismissed.

In short: They aren't outright granted immunity, but instead a hearing will be held where they will undoubtedly be granted immunity. Bloody Democrats, they never have a spine when they need one.

PS: Hello to whatever TLA is currently monitoring this

Re:More On Immunity (3, Interesting)

sesshomaru (173381) | about 6 years ago | (#24124079)

Is it a fact that the Democrats lack spine? Or is it that Democrats believe that the President should be above the law and those who aid him should be above the law. I'd say it is the latter.

Ultimately, I've always felt that watching the Democrats and Republicans is along the lines of watching a rivalry between say, Harvard and Yale (almost literally). In other words, while they might have the odd tiff, they still see each other as Ivy Leaguer's and the rest of us as schmucks.


Here's a test, what did Nancy Pelosi say was "Off the table" when she became Speaker:

A. Nuking Iran

B. Drilling in ANWAR

C. Impeaching the President or Vice President

If you answered C, you've been paying attention, are very cynical or both (likely because paying attention will inevitably lead to becoming cynical.).


pulse2600 (625694) | about 6 years ago | (#24123801)

HAHAHAHA Obama votes against a large portion of his supporter's will, both expanding surveillance and providing immunity to large corporations from criminal lawsuits! HAHAHAHA There's your change! How do you like your precious Obama now???

Re:OBAMA: YEA CLINTON: NAY (1, Insightful)

oahazmatt (868057) | about 6 years ago | (#24124029)

HAHAHAHA Obama votes against a large portion of his supporter's will, both expanding surveillance and providing immunity to large corporations from criminal lawsuits! HAHAHAHA There's your change! How do you like your precious Obama now???

Well, if a candidate making one decission the voter does not agree with is grounds for no longer support that candidate, then the voter will be out of any options, very soon.

Might explain low voter turn outs, actually.

I was going to vote for Obama. I probably still will. At least he made a decision and didn't abstain so he could plead that he never voted for it. Was it the decision I was hoping for? No. Does it change my view of how responsible he may be in Office? A little. Has it changed my vote? No.

Note: (4, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 6 years ago | (#24123805)

McCain abstained.
Obama voted yea.
Biden voted nay
Kerry voted nay
Hillary voted nay

Now you know for real who stands for freedom and change and who doesn't.

"Obama (D-IL), Yea" (5, Insightful)

Lost+Found (844289) | about 6 years ago | (#24123813)

"Change we can believe in" No change at all...

Re:"Obama (D-IL), Yea" (5, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | about 6 years ago | (#24123883)

Or, "Change, for the worse"

That is still change.

And you can balieve it. (1)

PotatoHead (12771) | about 6 years ago | (#24124117)

damn, I thought for sure they could just run the clock out on that one

Now it's clear we've got a very significant fraction of the Congress involved in this stuff. There really is no other reason to do what they just did.

Re:"Obama (D-IL), Yea" (2, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | about 6 years ago | (#24124123)

I don't see why people expect another ivy league lawyer+politician to bring change. Are people really so race sensitive that they think that because he is dark skinned his actions will be significantly different from other politicians?

Re:"Obama (D-IL), Yea" (2, Insightful)

DreamingReal (216288) | about 6 years ago | (#24124153)

"Change we can believe in" No change at all...

Obama: Change we can believe in!

Me*: Guess who just changed his vote in November bitch!

*I am one of his Illinois constituents and helped him attain his Senate seat and Illinois Democratic Primary victory. The only two votes I will ever cast for this fraud.

The good news.... (1)

Bomarc (306716) | about 6 years ago | (#24123817)

Our two senators voted 'Nay'; the bad news is that 69 other jacks voted 'Yea'. To bad that I can't vote them out of office.

Deplorable (5, Interesting) (463190) | about 6 years ago | (#24123837)


Why didn't Obama try to stop this? He could have spoken out and got the rest of the dems behind him. Instead he voted in favor of it. This is what his campaign said in October:

"To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies."

And on Dec 17:

Granting such immunity undermines the constitutional protections Americans trust the Congress to protect. Senator Obama supports a filibuster of this bill, and strongly urges others to do the same.

Oh sure, he voted for the amendments which attempted to remove or limit the immunity, but everyone already knew those would fail.

This is from his most recent statement last week:

The ability to monitor and track individuals who want to attack the United States is a vital counter-terrorism tool, and I'm persuaded that it is necessary to keep the American people safe -- particularly since certain electronic surveillance orders will begin to expire later this summer. Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and losing important surveillance tools, I've chosen to support the current compromise.

Another nail in the coffin for our constitution. This is a sad day. And to think that most of the senate voted on this WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING WHAT THEY WERE GIVING THE TELCOMS IMMUNITY FOR!!!.

This stinks of a grand-scale coverup. There is still the possibility of suing the government, and perhaps striking this bill as unconsitutional. Let's hope we get to the bottom of this and put some people in jail.

Re:Deplorable (1)

cervo (626632) | about 6 years ago | (#24124071)

The only change he will bring to Washington is that now more lobby money has to go to the Democrats instead of the Republicans.

Let the whining begin (1, Insightful)

moseman (190361) | about 6 years ago | (#24123843)

Looks like dumb ol' George got ya again.

Note: Please mod me down as appropriate for not conforming to /. standards.

Such a pity. (3, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | about 6 years ago | (#24123849)

Here I'd had hopes for Obama. Real hopes, too. But if he'd betray his country on a vote like this, then I just lost a great deal of respect for the man.

Where are the marines? (3, Interesting)

crhylove (205956) | about 6 years ago | (#24123859)

And why are they not marching on Washington to protect the constitution? If they bring the M16s, I'll be right there with the bullhorn, stretchers, and snacks. Unless they want to teach me how to use an M16.

Shear disappointment (1)

DontLickJesus (1141027) | about 6 years ago | (#24123863)

Not that this was very unexpected. While many of us held high hopes that person(s) responsible for illegal activity would actually be held accountable, it seems like that's not the way the U.S. works anymore. I would think this sets a precedent; now one can argue that changing laws grants them retroactive immunity.

I've told my wife for years we eventually will need to move the the U.K.. Looks like that just got a little closer.

Holy Christ! (2, Funny)

ckaminski (82854) | about 6 years ago | (#24123867)

The Democratic Socialist Republic of Massachusetts voted NAY/Abstain on this. I nearly had a heart attack.

tags: corruption fascism policestate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24123875)


I feel so much safer (3, Funny)

StefanJ (88986) | about 6 years ago | (#24123889)

Now the government has the tools it needs to protect us. Don't you feel more protected? I feel more protected!

My freedoms are so protected too. Freedom to write things like:

"I wish each member of the Bush administration was dipped in a vat full of Poison Oak sap, and that each senator and representative was made to take turns scratching the oozing blisters on their private parts."

Re:I feel so much safer (3, Insightful)

dfm3 (830843) | about 6 years ago | (#24124137)

Now the government has the tools it needs to protect itself. Don't you feel more protected? I feel more protected!

Fixed. ;-)

Obama for America owes me $100 (2, Interesting)

bughunter (10093) | about 6 years ago | (#24123891)

On June 16, I wrote a check for $100 to Obama for America.

On June 23, I learned that Obama would not oppose this bill, and regretted my donation.

On June 24, I called Obama for America and asked for my donation to be returned, and that I would reinstate the donation once I saw Sen. Obama "take effective steps to protect our 4th amendment rights." Needless to say, I was forwarded to a voice mailbox.

On July 9, I still have not received my refund, nor even the courtesy of a return phone call. But I went ahead and donated the $100 to Courage Campaign instead [] .

Re:Obama for America owes me $100 (2, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | about 6 years ago | (#24124073)

So what you're saying is that you tried to buy a senator's vote on legislation (for a meager $100, no less), and you're now surprised that it didn't work?

Maybe you should have considered posting that anonymously.

Grab your guns. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24123909)

I'm quite serious.

I'd fly out tomorrow with guns in tow if I knew more than 20 people would show up.

Post the GPS and GMT and I'll be there.

Bloody traitors. (3, Informative)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about 6 years ago | (#24123915)

I am appalled to see such an idiotic piece of legislation pass. Does the rule of law mean NOTHING in our country any more? I may as well tell CmdrTaco that it's ok to shoot his neighbor, and then get him immunity just because I said so. Shame on you, senators. Shame on each and every one of you who voted for this godforsaken bill.

Seriously, fuck it. I don't know what the point is any more. Our government not only has a complete lack of respect for the rights of the American citizen, but also a lack of respect for OUR OWN GODDAMNED LAWS. Why should you and I act any differently than them? What, other than the point of a gun, is supposed to keep us from ignoring laws just because we feel like it?

Senators who voted against the bill, I applaud you, but your valiant efforts were for naught. There are 69 traitors in our Senate, rendering you impotent.

Well... (1)

all5n (1239664) | about 6 years ago | (#24123935)

If all our telecom companies are put out of business by lawyers looking to make a quick buck off of this, how can we make phone calls at all?

I think this bill makes the best of a bad situation for the telecom companies, which are a critical component of our economy. Do you think they will likely be believe the "trust me" line again when asked to do something like this?

I think not.

Time for UNIVERSAL ENCRYPTION (3, Interesting)

maillemaker (924053) | about 6 years ago | (#24123947)

It's time for encryption of electronic communications to be the standard rather than the exception.

Make it too expensive to eavesdrop.

I hear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24123955)'s good to be the king - Mel Brooks

Unconstitutional? (3, Interesting)

hardburn (141468) | about 6 years ago | (#24123965)

Can somebody explain the constitutional argument here? I can understand the illegal nature of warrentless wiretapping, but not the retroactively granting amnesty part. That seems like something that'd be within congress' power to grant, should it so choose.

Where on this earth can a body move to be free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24123973)

I'm open to suggestions for the free-est place on the planet since the free-stock around here is dropping like a rock. Anyone?

File traders are terrorists! (1)

StefanJ (88986) | about 6 years ago | (#24123979)

If you illegally download MP3s and videos, you are depriving American corporations of their rights to benefit from their intellectual property. This means the government can't collect taxes to fund the War on Terror. Therefore, file traders are in league with terrorists. So, it's OK to use Echelon or Total Information Awareness or the Friendly Neighbor Network or whatever they call it to track down file traders.

good bye (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24123985)

Blame EVERYONE. With a 60%+ voter apathy for the last 24+ years the USA deserves everything it gets. When GW and his boys got in again I packed up and moved.

The US Constitution is the greatest achievement of civilized man. The raping of that document is the greatest crime. -me

Time for the Supreme Court to step in (4, Insightful)

plazman30 (531348) | about 6 years ago | (#24124017)

The Supreme Court needs to step in and strike this down. Someone needs to bring a lawsuit and get it sent up to the Supreme Court.

When FISA courts can grant RETROACTIVE warrants, why does the Bush administration insist on not getting a warrant?

Because they were doing far more than just looking for terrorists.

A true sad day in the US.

Glad I voted for Ron Paul. I'll be using him as a write in come November.

CLICK ... .. ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24124021)

Shit, I think my phone's been tapped.

It's already starting!

See you in Room 101... (1)

PseudoThink (576121) | about 6 years ago | (#24124027)

I'm glad I'll be able to say "I was there, and I tried to stop it" when the grandkids ask if I remembered when America started down the path of forming a surveillance society.

Good Job Americans! (1)

scubamage (727538) | about 6 years ago | (#24124033)

" ... Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man,

the People have abdicated our duties; for the people who once upon a time

handed out military command, high civil office, legions - everything, now

restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things:

bread and circuses"

My fellow Americans, we have failed ourselves. This is why the second Amendment was invented, as clearly explained in the declaration of independence. Do you think they would have voted this way if 3/4ths of the nation was standing, armed, in front of the senate? Our apathy has doomed this nation to becoming an Orwellian police state.

Ex Post Facto (5, Interesting)

chinakow (83588) | about 6 years ago | (#24124039)

Doesn't this fly in the face of article 1 section 9 [] of the constitution? In paragraph 3 is states, "No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed." That seems rather straightforward to me and since this decriminalizes something after the fact it sounds like an Ex Post Facto law to me.

Ok....time for the Supreme Court (3, Insightful)

Seakip18 (1106315) | about 6 years ago | (#24124049)

To fulfill it's balance power. Oh...what? um..They support it? Who would appoint judges that would?.....Oh....Dang. Guess it'll be up to the next wave of judges to do the right thing.....if that even it exists by the time they get there.

The death of accountability (1)

devnullkac (223246) | about 6 years ago | (#24124063)

The measure will also require reviews by the inspectors general from several agencies to determine how the program was operated. Democrats said that the reviews should provide accountability that had been missing from the debate over the wiretaps.

That's an optimistic assessment. A similar review of politicization of hiring in the Justice department recently found significant violation of department procedure, but there was no accountability to be had because the perpetrators had already left the department and there are no criminal penalties to be applied.

I am confident that any such review of the wiretapping programs will find inappropriate actions confined to long-gone political appointees giving inappropriate but unquestionable directives.

McCain didn't vote? (1)

zmjjmz (1264856) | about 6 years ago | (#24124077)

And here I was sure he'd vote Yea.

Just waiting for this to come next... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24124083)

On other news:

Senate declares that they will support Bush in a new search for 'weapons of mass destructions' in other countries of the world.

Vichy Dems, gotta hate 'em (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 6 years ago | (#24124093)

Never would have happened if those fuckers had some sack. Castrati Choir, they are, they can sing the song we want to hear but there's no balls to follow through with it. We gonna jail Rove for refusing to testify before Congress? Yeah, sure, we'll get back to you on that.

Call (1)

Rinisari (521266) | about 6 years ago | (#24124095)

Call your Senators now and remind them who they are supposed to serve--the people, not the government, not private corporations.

Also, look into your state's "vote of no confidence" proceedings. There must be at least one state with enough people and gumption to unseat a senator or representative because of this passage, especially when Dubya signs it.

Thanks a lot, you traitorous sons of bitches (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | about 6 years ago | (#24124103)

Obama, agent of change?

Republicans believe in limited government?

Rule of law trumps rule of kings?

I think not. Same old, same old.

Thus we proceed to an animal farm world where words take on new meanings and some are more equal than others.

The actual impact (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24124125)

In between reading the legislation (which none of you will do) and reading only the summary, you might consider reading some analysis of this by someone who Is A Lawyer:

Dean explains why current legislation regarding FISA would not hamper the next president's ability to push forward with criminal charges; cites the position regarding possible criminal charges that Obama had previously voiced; and describes the pardon dilemma with which President Bush may be faced if Obama continues to adhere to that position.

Article here: []

To whoever is wiretapping this: (1)

scubamage (727538) | about 6 years ago | (#24124129)

Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb, Osama Osama Osama Osama, Jihad Jihad Jihad Jihad, Bush Bush Bush, Washington, Septemeber motherf*cking eleventh.

Come and throw me in Gitmo you bastards. Its better to die on my feet than live in chains of your f*cking police state.

Go RUSS!! (1)

D+iz+a+n+k+Meister (609493) | about 6 years ago | (#24124131)

Feingold (D-WI), Nay

Long time supporter (3, Insightful)

wwwgregcom (313240) | about 6 years ago | (#24124143)

I have supported Obama since last August. I have the bumper sticker and T-shirt to prove it. Mr. Obama just lost my support. His telecom position was one of the key reasons I supported him. The bumper sticker has already been removed.

unconstitutional immunity! (1)

obaloney (1038568) | about 6 years ago | (#24124161)

U.S. Constitution, Article One, Section Nine (limits on powers of Congress):

No... ex post facto Law [] shall be passed.

Supreme Court (1)

the4thdimension (1151939) | about 6 years ago | (#24124183)

All we can hope for now is that a case makes it to the Supreme Court and they find the law unconstitutional.
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