Roadblock for Telecom Immunity
Senate Judiciary Leaders Resist Leniency for Surveillance
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 1, 2007; Page A06
In a blow to the Bush administration, the Senate Judiciary Committee‘s top Democrat and Republican expressed reluctance yesterday to granting blanket immunity to telecommunications carriers sued for assisting the government’s warrantless surveillance program.
Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) and the ranking Republican, Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), had said that before even considering such a proposal, they would need to see the legal documents underpinning the program, which began after Sept. 11, 2001, and were put under court oversight in January.
. . . But Leahy said yesterday that he had a “grave concern” about blanket immunity, saying that “it seems to grant . . . amnesty for telecommunications carriers for warrantless surveillance activities.”
The activities seem to be “in violation of the privacy rights of Americans” and of federal domestic surveillance law, he said, noting that he is still “carefully considering” what is in the documents.
Maybe I have my legislation mixed, but I thought Senator Chris Dodd put a ‘hold’ on this entire piece of Cheney darkness, effectively killing it. Apparently not.
But Leahy can’t have his cake and eat it. This ‘forgiveness’ of spying on Americans and Mukasey’s ‘forgiveness’ of waterboard torture are among the tenets of Bush philosophy the Democratic Party was entrusted and elected to undo.
Undo is not the same as undon’t, Senator Leahy.