Monday, December 17, 2007

Feingold Statement

Probably futile. Too many Senate Democrats love their big daddy Republicans and just know that they wouldn't mislead them.

“I am certain that over the course of this week, we will hear a number of arguments about why the Judiciary bill will hamper the fight against terrorism. Let me say now to my colleagues: Do not believe everything you hear. Last week I sat with many of you in the secure room in the Capitol, S-407, and listened to arguments made by the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General. And I can tell you with absolute certainty that several of the examples they gave were simply wrong. Simply false. I am happy to have a classified meeting with anyone in this body who wishes to discuss this.”

“Mr. President, this grant of automatic immunity is simply unjustified. There is already an immunity provision in current law that has been there since FISA was negotiated – with the participation of the telecommunications industry – in the late 1970s. The law is clear. Companies already have immunity from civil liability when they cooperate with a government request for assistance – as long as they receive a court order, or the Attorney General certifies that a court order is not required and all statutory requirements have been met. This is not about whether the companies had good intentions or acted in good faith. It is about whether they complied with this statutory immunity provision, which has applied to them for 30 years. If the companies followed that law, they should get immunity. If they did not follow that law, they should not get immunity. A court should make that decision, not Congress. It’s that simple.”

Obviously the smart thing to do is to reward people who have a proven record of corruption with even more unaccountable powers. It's the serious thing to do.