Mother and Child Reunion

That, of course, would be the reunion of Ma Bell and Big Brother in the form of the ‘telecom immunity” portion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”) repeal reform that, anticlimactically, passed the Senate yesterday 68-29. For the record, Obama voted yea, Clinton voted nay, and McCain, a big supporter ofthe measure, was campaigning in Ohio and did not vote, as if it mattered.
Many will (rightly) note Obama’s weaselly position on this (trying to tepidly support a tepid amendment to strip telecom immunity, while lending support to the law as a whole) as reminiscent of his support of Scam Alito’s Supreme Court nomination. The perfect is the enemy of the good, I suppose; so Barack will keep telling us anyway.
In the end, had Hillary Clinton been the nominee, she would have voted “yea” as well: no Democrat running for President can afford to be portrayed as “soft on terror” even if it meant officially opening concentration camps on U.S. soil. Once it came up for a vote, there was only one vote available. And that’s just it: what, in God’s name, are Pelosi and Reid (and Hoyer, and Jane Harmon and Jay Rockefeller) hiding? Because that’s what this is about, boys and girls. They were briefed on whatever the f*ck this is.
The “telecom immunity” has nothing to do with telecoms: they would ultimately (or not so ultimately) be indemnified by Big Brother, and further, they have been paid for their “cooperation.” The impetus for this is to kill lawsuits, where civil discovery would have revealed the full scope of the massive invasions of all our privacy. And these privacy invasions– Big Brother reading your e-mail and faxes and listening into your phone conversations and who knows what else (reading our mail? bugging our homes?)– could only be dealt with if we even knew what they were.
And the private phone companies couldn’t just incant the words “state secrets” and declare the game over.
Well, it seems, now they can. What difference “taking back Congress” made regarding the preservation of our liberties made… remains a huge question. Given Obama’s disappointing stance on this, one fears we might ask the same thing about the White House.
Deep sigh.