The lead editorial in yesterday’s New York Times addressed the failure of the Senate Judiciary’s FISA Bill and noted that:
The Senate (reportedly still under Democratic control) seems determined to help President Bush violate Americans’ civil liberties and undermine the constitutional separation of powers.
According to the Times, the main villains of the piece, are, of course, the supine, Republican enabling, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, and the Intelligence Committee Chair, Jay Rockefeller who pushed forward alternative legislation that reduces the ability of the court to monitor spying and that grants the big telecoms immunity. But right there with them in the editorial is our own Claire McCaskill:
The Judiciary bill died this week, with the help of other bullyable Democratic senators like Mr. Rockefeller, Claire McCaskill, Mary Landrieu and Ben Nelson. The Republicans repaid them by announcing they would block any further attempts to reach a compromise.
Makes one ashamed to be from Missouri. Not only did our our benighted Republican Senator Bond act as a sponsor of the original Protect America Act, but our Democratic Senator works to make sure that the worst provision of that legislation persist and that the well-placed corporate and Bush administration law-breakers can avoid accountability for their misdeeds.
Now that the Judiciary Bill is dead, Republicans will try to evoke cloture and close the debate on the Intellilgence bill, forcing a vote on it as it now stands. As blogger Glen Greenwald notes in an excellent posting well worth reading in its entirey.
… even if Democrats prevent the Republicans’ cloture vote on Monday, that will mean we’ll just be right back to where we were before that happened: with a series of votes that will almost certainly end in the Senate with some form of retroactive immunity and vastly expanded warrantless eavesdropping powers. So it isn’t as though there is some victory here yet that is complete or even all that meaningful.
Keep calling McCaskill and thank her for all that she has done for us. Let her know that we are eager to repay the favor.