Buried within an article in the New York Times this morning from James Risen is this passage, strongly suggesting that Congressional Democrats are ready, as always, to do what they are told:
Mr. McConnell argued on Tuesday that the expanded surveillance powers granted under the temporary measure should be made permanent. He also pushed for a provision that would grant legal immunity to the telecommunications companies that secretly cooperated with the N.S.A. on the warrantless program. Those companies, now facing lawsuits, have never been officially identified.
Democratic Congressional aides say they believe that a deal is likely to provide protection for the companies.
Granting retroactive immunity to telecom companies for past lawbreaking is so plainly unjustifiable, even dangerous, that it ought to require no real debate. That Congressional Democrats are even considering submitting to this demand, let alone that they are likely to do so, dispels any doubt about what they really are. First, retroactive immunity turns the “rule of law” into an even greater mockery than it has been for the last six years. The central premise in granting immunity is that telecom companies did nothing wrong — even if they violated the law — because they cooperated with warrantless spying at the behest of the President.
Another reason why Congress has as low a disapproval rating as President Bunnypants. It is not that Democrats have not accomplished anything, it is that they keep pandering to Bush on these fundamental issues of the rule of law. Glenn’s predictions are especially frustrating in that Democrats have finally started listening to voters on Iraq, Republicans decide to punish the troops for their failures
“In blocking this bipartisan bill, Republicans have once again demonstrated that they are more committed to protecting the President than protecting our troops. They have shown they will allow President Bush’s flawed war strategy to continue to strain our military rather than allow the availability of troops to dictate our operations. And they believe it is in our national security interest to push our brave troops and their families beyond their breaking point.
“Democrats disagree. We care deeply about rebuilding our badly overextended military and ensuring our troops have the time to properly train, prepare for and recover from battle. And Democrats remain committed to repaying in some small measure the sacrifices our brave troops are making every day.”
That was Senator Reid’s(D) comment on today’s defeat of the Webb bill to allow greater time between troop rotations to Iraq. It was right along party lines. With Senator Warner(R) from Virginia deciding to withdraw his support at the last minute. Bush wants to continue the Bush legacy of failure, the only thing he for which the alcoholic draft dodger has excelled his entire life. If it was a personal matter no one would care, but he seems to want to beat up the troops for his failures. Before he became president daddy served as Dubya’s cushion against suffering any of the consequences for Junior’s decisions, now its the U.S. military. This is another example of Murphy’s law, the tougher the guy talks almost always the more cowardly he is. Bluster is never a substitute for substance and courage. Republicans just had a lesson in that this past January, they’re about to have another lesson in 2008.
Getting Blackwater banned from Iraq is all part of a plot by Iran. We know that must be true because Matt Sludge said so and he linked to self-styled right-wing journalist Richard Miniter, More proof “the surge is working”: Right-wingers claim even the CIA is afraid to go outside without trigger-happy Blackwater . I try not to be too judgmental about personal matters, but this right-wing circle jerk is growing larger and more intense by the day, I’m afraid someone is going to go blind.
New Military Report Acknowledges Signs of Police State in Baghdad or how to spread Bush-style democracy.
Virtually ignored in last week’s national debate on the US military surge was a report by military experts recommending that the Iraqi police service be scrapped because of its brutal sectarian character. The scathing report stopped short of acknowledging that continuing US support for the Iraqi Security Forces is in violation of the 1997 Leahy Amendment barring assistance to known human rights violators.