Friday, October 19, 2007

Chris Dodd draws a line in the sand

image courtesy of the National Archives

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


(Below are Chrid Dodd's statements against granting immunity to telecom companies who abetted George Bush's warrentless surveillance of U.S. citizens in violation of the FISA law)
By granting immunity to telecommunications companies that participated in the President’s terrorist surveillance program, even though such participation may have been illegal, the FISA reform bill sets a dangerous precedent by giving the President sweeping authorization to neglect the right to privacy that Americans are entitled to under the Constitution.

The President has no right to secretly eavesdrop on the conversations and activities of law abiding American citizens and anyone who has aided and abetted him in these illegal activities should be held accountable,” said Dodd. “It is unconscionable that such a basic right has been violated, and that the President is the perpetrator. I will do everything in my power to stop Congress from shielding this President’s agenda of secrecy, deception, and blatant unlawfulness.”

"While the President may think that it's right to offer immunity to those who break the law and violate the right to privacy of thousands of law-abiding Americans, I want to assure him it is not a value we have in common and I hope the same can be said of my fellow Democrats in the Senate.

"For too long we have failed to respect the rule of law and failed to protect our fundamental civil liberties. I will do what I can to see to it that no telecommunications giant that was complicit in this Administration's assault on the Constitution is given a get-out-of-jail-free card."

Update: Washington Post reporter, Rita Skeeter, worries that Dodd will lose precious campaign time by doing his job:
Whenever that big day comes, Dodd -- as the keeper of the "hold" -- must return from the campaign trail to officially block debate on the bill. That entails standing around on the Senate floor, forcing procedural votes, avoiding the furious glares of colleagues who don't share the same concerns. The standard duration of such showdowns is about a week -- time that Dodd, who is trailing badly in early primary polls, can scarcely afford.

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