February 14, 2006
-- by Gary Boatwright
Russ Feingold delivered an eloquent and passionate speech on the Senate floor denouncing Bush's wireless wiretapping program.
The Democrats have failed their party, their base and their country with a recent behind the scenes agreement on Bush's wiretapping legislation. A Salon article by Russ Feingold details the bitter truth. (watch 30 second ad for day pass)
It seemed like a watershed moment for the Democratic Party. At the end of 2005, Democrats, along with a small band of Republicans, stopped a bad Patriot Act reauthorization bill in its tracks.
Surprise, surprise! The Democratic leadership has failed to protect our freedom, liberty and Constitutional rights one more time.
Expect Democrats and some Republicans to insist that they have won some significant improvements to the Patriot Act. Don't believe it. The few minor concessions they got from the White House are a fig leaf to disguise a complete about-face. Thanks to this deal, the White House will be emboldened in its fear-mongering, Democrats will be perceived as timid, and the American people will still face the prospect of government intrusion into their private affairs. Some deal.
STF readers can read the lengthy list of curtailed freedoms that Feingold catalogs in his article. Feingold concludes:
These are some of the provisions of the Patriot Act that pose the biggest threats to our freedoms, yet some Democrats are happily supporting a deal that leaves them firmly in place. That's hardly a victory for our party, or for the effort to protect our liberties as we fight terrorism.
It took a long time for Democrats to step up and challenge the administration's baseless assertions that the Patriot Act could not be changed without threatening the security of the American people. When we finally did so, when we decided to make the case that we can fight terrorism and protect our American principles at the same time, *it looked like Democrats were finally ready to stand on principle and offer strong leadership*.
Is anyone even a little bit surprised that the Democratic Party has caved in to political pressure and taken the easy way out one more time? Feingold asks the key question:
If Democrats aren't going to stand up to an executive who disdains the other branches of government and doesn't worry about trampling on the rights of innocent Americans, what do we stand for?
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In the privacy disclosure I got from my health insurance company, they pointed out that they're required to give my medical information to the Dept. of Homeland Security if they request it, and that they can't tell me whether or not they've done this. I am not amused. How intrusive can the government be, and I'm not even supposed to know about it? Everything about us, everything we do, and, for that matter, don't do, is watched and recorded. Good God! I didn't get a flu shot! I guess I'm at best a public health risk!
Don't underestimate the seriousness of this situation. Or take it for granted that it's OK because you haven't done anything "wrong" and don't plan to. Not when we're living in a country as paranoid as this one.
Posted by: MJ at February 15, 2006 6:08 AM
We fought the Soviets and I fought the Soviets because they had a fatally flawed, intolerable system of government where (and think about this):
The government was always right and never apologized;
Any dissent was suppressed, ridiculed, banned or worse;
Secret prisons were denied and never acknowledged or spoken about;
The torture of captives (in Lubyanka) was condoned;
State incarceration was not subject to the checks and balances of a legal system;
Economic plans, like for oil, were established/determined in closed sessions between politicos, commissars and production managers, far outside public view, and where government claimed privilege in so doing;
Wages were set at the lowest common denominator, no matter what Bloc country you were in;
Government agents had access to your medical records, your library records, your telephone, and your e-mail.
A place where judicial power and judicial review were proclaimed concepts, but simply ignored in application;
Where criminal records of young adults were closed to all but the military;
Where a Constitution was a mere facade and ignored by state actors.
I got this from here, written by a retired CIA agent.
Posted by: Davey at February 15, 2006 9:06 AM
To whomever posted about Democrats who supported the Patriot Act, CAn you tell us their names and states?
Posted by: tdee at February 15, 2006 8:34 PM
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