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Monday, December 17, 2007
Chris Dodd

This man is an American hero, plain and simple. "Hero" is a word that is used far too often, and it has become largely meaningless, but once in awhile, someone stands up for principle, and sadly, it's remarkable.

Senator Dodd today, stood up against the president, the Republican party, and even against his nutless fellow Senate Democrats as he filibustered against the FISA Amendments Act. This proposal, which would update the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, also would provide legal immunity to the giant telecommunications companies which handed over information about your phone conversations to the NSA following September 11, 2001. That's the sticking point.

These companies all insist that they did nothing wrong, and yet want immunity against lawsuits. Well, to paraphrase the people who are monitoring our communications, if you didn't do anything wrong, then you have nothing to be afraid of, right?

These companies have entire departments full of lawyers, and they know damn good and well that the government had no right to the information that these companies willingly handed over. I know this because I can read the Fourth Amendment, and also because of Qwest Communications.

When Qwest was approached, in some cases well before 9/11/01, they realized that the program was designed to gather significant amounts of entirely domestic communications, based on the fact that the NSA wanted access to Qwest's most localized communications switches, which primarily carry domestic calls and that only limited international traffic also passes through these switches. Qwest said to the NSA, "Get a warrant, and you can have what you want."

The government never bothered Qwest again.

So now these collaborationist companies, who just let the government spy on whoever the hell they wanted, with no legal justification, now they want protection from the law.

Call someone who gives a damn.

Chris Dodd (who is running for president, you may be surprised to find out), flew back to Washington to filibuster in order to prevent this complete giveaway of your rights to giant corporations from coming to a vote.

And it worked.

The bill was pulled from consideration until January, at which point Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (a Democrat, you may be surprised to find out), will attempt to do what the president wants, and ram this immunity bill through into law. Reid is a wishy-washy lameass in the Arlen Specter mold, who always talks a good game in terms of respecting the law, but in the end always capitulates to what the president wants, because if he doesn't, the Republicans will say he's helping Osama.

And that always works.

I'm very proud that there are still Americans in high places who are principled enough to stand up for what's great about America, able to see beyond the fear card, and who understand that our Constitution and Bill of Rights are far more important than any one, ten or million of us.

I've said it before: The terrorists can not destroy this country, no matter what kind of mayhem they wreak, and how many of us they kill. We are better than them, and we are stronger, because we have laws and rights, and freedoms that are as good as any ever codified by man.

And let us never forget that these guarantees were established by men along the lines of Chris Dodd, and not Harry Reid or George W. Bush.

Also, you should switch to Qwest. They've earned some loyalty.

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posted at 10:03 PM

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