Senate votes to immunize lawbreaking telecoms

Wiretapping made easier for the executive branch.The Senate today voted 69-28 to immunize lawbreaking telecoms, terminate the pending lawsuits against them, and to grant new warrantless eavesdropping authority to the President.  Senators Dodd, Feingold, Leahy, Bingaman and Specter offered amendments to strip the immunity provision, or delay it pending legal reviews or investigations.

Glenn Greenwald notes in Salon:

“What is most striking is that when the Congress was controlled by the GOP — when the Senate was run by Bill Frist and the House by Denny Hastert — the Bush administration attempted to have a bill passed very similar to the one that just passed today. But they were unable to do so. The administration had to wait until Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats took over Congress before being able to put a corrupt end to the scandal that began when, in December of 2005…

The Electronic Frontier Foundation called the vote a “TRAGIC, SHAMEFUL AFFRONT TO THE US CONSTITUTION” and vowed to seek the law’s reversal through legislation and legal review.

Even though Congress has failed to protect the privacy of Americans and uphold the rule of law, we will not abandon our defense of liberty. We will fight this unconstitutional grant of immunity in the courtroom and in the Congress, requesting repeal of the immunity in the next session, while seeking justice from the Judiciary.

What do you think about today’s vote?  Please comment below.

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