American Culture

One man stands: Chris Dodd to filibuster FISA spy legislation


By Martin Bosworth

Today Chris Dodd is going to take the floor of the Senate chamber and not let go of it in order to prevent the passage of legislation that would not only reauthorize and extend the NSA surveillance program on millions of Americans, but would grant retroactive immunity from prosecution to the telecom companies that participated in this illegal program.

Thank You, Chris Dodd has more details about what this means and what you can do to help. I also recommend Scarecrow’s post at Firedoglake for some eloquent thoughts on why our system of government must be preserved. Russ Feingold has also pledged to stand with Dodd.

Here’s what Dodd himself has to say about the legislation and his opposition:

“Providing retroactive immunity to companies that may have violated the law will set a dangerous precedent,” said Dodd. “Companies who violated the trust of thousands of their customers will be immune to prosecution and the details of their actions will stay hidden. The President, and his Administration, has consistently used scare tactics in an attempt to force Congress to pass FISA legislation that provides retroactive immunity. I urge my colleagues to stand up to this administration and this President and say enough is enough.”

I do not exaggerate when I say that this is not only an important day in modern politics, but an important day in our country’s history. Here’s where we will find out if the Senate has the guts and heart to stand behind one of their most principled members and support the Constitution. Here is where the Senators running for President–Biden, Clinton, and Obama–have a perfect chance to demonstrate real leadership and stand in unity with their colleague. Here is where we, as a country, must stand at the crossroads and ask ourselves what path we will take.

Do we continue to follow the path of fear, of a climate of paranoia and suspicion that justifies egregious acts in the name of a war we don’t actually seem to be winning? Do we support a vast governmental intrusion into our private lives to build databases on our activity, which are then sold to the highest corporate bidder?

Or do we stand up and say “No. No more. No more spying. No more lying. No more lawbreaking. No more fear. No more disrespect for the values that made our country great?”

A lot of people talk a lot about patriotism and supporting your country. But what does that mean? Is it patriotic to turn a blind eye to something you know–you know–is wrong out of fear? Is it patriotic to refuse to dissent as our president willingly admits to illegally invading the lives of his own citizens–the people that pay his salary and put him in office?

That’s not patriotism. That’s moral cowardice. And Chris Dodd’s stand is a way of saying that we’ve had enough of that.

If you’ve had enough…if you want to stand with Dodd…if you want to stand up and say “No more,” then show your support. As a favorite fictional hero of mine once said, it’s time to stand and be true.

Dodd is going to stand for us. Will you stand with him?

3 replies »

  1. Here is where the Senators running for President–Biden, Clinton, and Obama–have a perfect chance to demonstrate real leadership and stand in unity with their colleague. Am I missing something here? Stand in unity with their colleague who is also running for president. This sentence seems to diminish Chris Dodds leadership, the only senator running for president who is actually taking a leadership role in the senate on an important issue, not just out campaigning for the nomination and talking about the issues.

  2. Dodds may have had a real “Amazing Grace”, or not. Remember, he did vote for unconstitutional laws that need to be rescinded ASAP, such as Patriot Act I & II, among others.

    On the other hand, in the House, Dennis Kucinich has never voted for any of these unconstitutional laws, or for the illegal war, or to fund the illegal war.

    Kucinich is the only candidate of either party who has a long record of fighting for the people instead of for the fascist corporatocracy.