Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Senate approves telecom immunity

Today, the United States Senate explicity rejected the rule of law.

The Senate voted today to preserve retroactive immunity from lawsuits for telecommunications companies that cooperated with a government eavesdropping program, decisively rejecting an amendment that would have stripped the provision from a bill to modernize an electronic surveillance law.

Senators voted 67 to 31 to shelve the amendment offered by Sens. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and Russell Feingold (D-Wis.). A filibuster-proof 60 votes had been needed for the amendment to move forward.

The vote represented a victory for the Bush administration and a number of telecommunications companies -- including AT&T and Sprint Nextel -- that face dozens of lawsuits from customers seeking billions of dollars in damages.
With this, the men and women of the senate place their faith in George W. Bush's ability to resist the corrupting influence of absolute power. If this abomination gains final legislative approval, I hope it works out the way these lawmakers say it will. I am not optimistic. After all, Bush was unable to resist abusing this power when it was illegal. Liberated from all legal oversight and accountability, I find it hard to believe that the president will be able to locate a sense of restraint greater than he has demonstrated so far.