FISA Cave In

FISA Cave In


I can hardly muster the energy to express adequate frustration over the House Democrats willingness to cave-in to the absurd and odious position that telecomm companies should receive blanket, retroactive immunity for the thousands of instances of non-warranted wiretaps they engaged in after (and maybe before!) 9/11. I’ll outsource, instead, to Glenn Greenwald, who makes this, quite accurate, point:

And now, after picking this fight and letting it rage for weeks, they are going to do what they always do — just meekly give in to the President, yet again generating a tidal wave of headlines trumpeting how they bowed, surrendered, caved in, and lost to the President. They’re going to cast the appearance that they engaged this battle and once again got crushed, that they ran away in fear because of the fear-mongering ads that were run and the attacks from the President. They further demoralize their own base and increase the contempt in which their base justifiably holds them (if that’s possible). It’s almost as though they purposely picked the path that imposed on themselves all of the political costs with no benefits.

Even with their ultimate, total compliance with the President’s orders, they’re still going to be attacked as having Made Us Less Safe — by waiting weeks to capitulate, rather than doing so immediately, they opened up critical intelligence gaps, caused us to lose vital intelligence, made us less safe, etc. But now, they have no way to defend themselves against those accusations because, at the end of the day, they are admitting that the President was right all along, that telecom amnesty and warrantless eavesdropping are good and important things that the President should have had all along. So why didn’t they just give it to him before the law expired? It was a loss for them on every level.

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