Tuesday, July 01, 2008

FISA Senate Vote Delayed Until After Independence Day Weekend

Senator Russ Feingold (D – Wis.) recorded a video on You Tube in reply to the voter outrage over the FISA “Compromise” Bill. Feingold, along with Senator Chris Dodd have had a temporary victory this week in delaying debate on this vote until next week.

“…we can celebrate the Constitution on July 4th, and maybe when we come back we’ll decide not to tear it up.”
We are going through a rather shameful period in our history right now, as a president who twice swore to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” a president who has the lowest approval rating in our nation’s history, now seeks to gut our constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy, one of the cornerstones of freedom that makes our country the envy of the world.

This “Compromise” bill is not a compromise. It is complete capitulation to a president whose powers are on the wane. By granting retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that did not refuse to comply with illegal government requests, the door is left wide open to anyone in government to steal any of our rights with impunity.

The telecommunications companies that bent to the will of an out-of-control government were just as traitorous as those who demanded their compliance. They knew that they were breaking the law. They knew that their acts were denying their customers their guaranteed right to privacy. Their culpability for their crimes has precedence in the Nuremburg Trials that declared this preeminent principle: the legal defense that the accused is innocent because they were “only following orders” does not exist.

Individuals and corporations (which are recognized in our laws as individuals) are not free to do whatever if they are ordered to do so. It is their obligation to refuse these orders. As a San Francisco Chronicle reader aptly pointed out “By granting immunity to companies that follow illegal orders, the only penalty that might arise would come from resisting illegal orders.”

Freedom-loving Americans of all political persuasions are united in this effort to say “No” to the threat of tyranny. Once we start on this road toward dismantling our constitution brick by brick, our enemies and opponents to the freedoms that we enjoy will have finally won.

Here is Russ Feingold’s video.

By my own estimation, the Bush administration has brought our nation to the brink of an abyss that another nation fell into at the beginning of the last century. It is time to consider the cynical words of Vladimir I. Lenin, and wonder whether they are being prescribed to once more:

“It is true that liberty is precious – so precious that it must be rationed.”

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