I am a loyal and committed Democrat. However, my first loyalty is to our Constitution. Unquestionably, the Democratic Party's capitulation to the Bush Administration with respect to the FISA protocol is a disgrace. My favorite Democrat, Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold issued the following statement about it on June 19th:
“The proposed FISA deal is not a compromise; it is a capitulation. The House and Senate should not be taking up this bill, which effectively guarantees immunity for telecom companies alleged to have participated in the President’s illegal program, and which fails to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans at home. Allowing courts to review the question of immunity is meaningless when the same legislation essentially requires the court to grant immunity. And under this bill, the government can still sweep up and keep the international communications of innocent Americans in the U.S. with no connection to suspected terrorists, with very few safeguards to protect against abuse of this power. Instead of cutting bad deals on both FISA and funding for the war in Iraq, Democrats should be standing up to the flawed and dangerous policies of this administration.”Refer to the YouTube video below for another scathing perspective from George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley.
Note how Turley describes the capitulation as a form of immunity for the Democratic Party's leadership which looked the other way during the worst of the Bush Administration's civil liberty abuses in recent years. While I support the Democratic Party, their current generation of leadership is an abysmal failure and needs to be jettisoned forthwith. In the meantime, we must pressure the party leadership as much as possible to move in a more civil libertarian direction. Click here to contact your representative in the House and here to lobby your Senators. This is important.