Thursday, January 24, 2008

Nelson Mounts Fence on FISA

During the U.S. Senate debate on FISA legislation this morning, Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson endorsed Diane Feinstein's supposed "compromise" amendment on telecom immunity. He added, however, that if the amendment fails (as the Republican minority surely will see that it does) he intends to vote for the Bush administration bill -- which immunizes telecoms for past law-breaking and purports to give the president exclusive power to order wiretaps of American citizens -- even though Nelson's special access to intelligence documents leaves him "not sure" whether telecoms and the Bush administration acted lawfully in the past.

In other words, Nelson once again is straddling the fence while the Bush administration strangles the U.S. Constitution. He does it so often, Nelson must have splinters where his manhood once resided.

1-24-08 pm

This afternoon Florida's Bill Nelson voted along with Bush-Cheney administration supporters to "table" the Senate Judiciary Committee version of the FISA legislation. As Chris Dodd (D-CT) pointed out during the morning debate, the only appreciable difference between the two bills is that the Judiciary Committee bill protects constitutional rights of American citizens and offers some degree of a check against abuse of presidential power while the Intelligence Committee bill does not. The motion to table succeeded, 60-36.

corrected 1/24 pm

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