I was going to try and post the pertinent details of what happened with changes to FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act). It appears according to TalkLeft that the compromise Democrats had worked out was trashed and they caved to Bush’s demands (The FISA Upshot)/ There are troubling aspects to this bill not the least of which is the Justice Department or really Attorney General Alberto “I Don’t recall” Gonzales will be given greater powers over the program. Letting the inmates run the asylum is a clue to how much these revisions will further erode the civil liberties of every American. What the White House Doesn’t Like About the FISA Fix– Oversight
First, the bill does not immunize telecommunications companies for violating FISA during the past six years. It does offer immunization for their participation in programs authorized under the proposed bill.
All legal challenges to the Bushies program have been thrown out of court except one with administration lawyers arguing that any court proceedings would compromise national security. From now on it looks as though any communications company that cooperates will get automatic legal immunity so even filing suit would be a waste of time. The administration with the consent of a weak kneed Congress will be able to treat everyone and anyone as a suspect. Not much of a change from current state of affairs they have just formalized the series of rubber stamps and given telecommunications companies more protection from liability. More Tales from the “Unitary” Executive (or, What’s Going On with the FISA Fix/Mess?) – the short version is the Whitehouse had agreed to what many consider extraordinary expansion of FISA then at the last minute said that wasn’t enough they wanted more and of course played the we’re all gonna die card because Democrats won’t give President 29% Approval Rating what he wants. As Democrats and their pollsters sit around scratching their heads over why their approval rating isn’t much better then Bush’s look no further then their failure to face down Bush over the most fundamental violations of American values and legal precedent. As Marty Lederman points out the original FISA law was debated and hearings were held over the course of 3 years. Is there hope. yes, if the House stands its ground. Then again remember that regardless of the final revamp of FISA, Gonzo loyalty to Bush first, the rule of law last will be in charge.
Almost as regularly as Old Faithfuls eruptions we seem to have some kind of prostitution eruption associated with Republicans, Scott Thomas Beauchamp
And it turns out that the Weekly Standard, which did one of the slimiest hatchet-jobs under the byline of Michael Goldfarb, relied in large part on the word of a former porn star-cum-prostitute (who is currently being investigated by the Marine Corps for soliciting private donations to fund a deployment to Iraq he apparently never made) to level its charges that the TNR pieces were fabrications.
In an effort to undermine a New Republic article by Army Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp about alleged inappropriate conduct by U.S. troops in Iraq, an article by Weekly Standard reporter Matthew Goldfarb relied on Marine Cpl. Matt Sanchez as the only military source identified by name but did not reveal facts that weigh on the credibility of Sanchez’s attacks on The New Republic article: that Sanchez, whose website describes him as a “Marine Reservist” who is “[p]resently in Iraq interviewing the troops,” has reportedly been under investigation by the Marines over allegations that he bilked private donors out of $12,000 for a deployment to Iraq he never made and that he apparently once worked as a male escort. He has also admitted to having been in gay porn films, a fact he has acknowledged “leaving … off my curriculum vitae.”
So in the frenzy of the right-wing hate fest they seem to have brought a notorious right-wing nut case into the limelight. As I was writing this the right-wing blogs that refer to Sanchez as their ultimate authority and the final word on Beauchamp’s credibility includes – Confederate Yankee, Flopping Aces, Weekly Standard, baldilocks, michellemalkin.com, Townhall.com, Wake up America, Power Line, A Blog For All, QandO and Little Green Footballs. So lets all stand and give a big salute to these paragons of credibility for siting a male prostitute/con man as their unassailable rock solid source. The facts don’t support their attacks on Beauchamp and his fellow soldiers, but in some ways as is usually the case that isn’t the point. They threw a little feast for the crumb eaters that hang out in their comment sections who dutifully ate all the little bits, their hate satiated crawled off to sleep content that their echo chamber had assured them their tidy twisted world view is still intact.
“For every credibility gap there is a gullibility fill.” – Richard Clopton