At a time when the Bush White House has NO respect for national security - not for undercover CIA operations it casually publicizes ("outs") as means of smearing critics; not for overseeing gross corruption and contract fraud in billion dollar Iraq contracts; not for following through on the 9-11 Commission recommendations until forced to by the Democrat controlled congress...
And at a time when the Bush administration also demonstrates that they have NO RESPECT FOR THE LAW, with President Bush using "signing statements" as a line-item veto, and with his personal counsel, now attorney general, Alberto Gonzales lying repeatedly (and badly) to Senate investigations...
despite those demonstratable illegalities, failures, and 'abuses' of the Bush administration, the COWARDLY SENATORS of the Democratic Party practically line up to kiss the emperor's ring, this time giving the Bush-Rove-Cheney administration UNLIMITED ABILITIES to SPY ON ANY AMERICAN THEY CHOOSE.
THE COWARDLY SENATORS of Harry Reid's 110th Congress - the end of American democracy?
Senate passes Bush-backed spy bill
by By Thomas Ferraro and Richard Cowan, Reuters
Sat Aug 4, 2007
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Democratic-led U.S. Senate, amid warnings of further attacks on the United States, approved a bill on Friday that would allow President George W. Bush to maintain his controversial domestic spying program.
On a vote of 60-28, the Senate sent the measure to the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives for consideration as early as Saturday as lawmakers push to begin a month-long recess.
Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said earlier he needed the legislation "in order to protect the nation from attacks that are being planned today to inflict mass casualties on the United States."
The Senate bill was needed, congressional aides said, because of restrictions recently imposed by a secret court on the ability of U.S. spy agencies to intercept telephone calls and e-mails of suspected terrorists overseas.
Offered by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, no relation to the national intelligence director, the bill would allow the administration to continue the warrantless surveillance but require it to describe to a secret federal court the procedures it uses in targeting foreign suspects.
The Senate defeated, on a 45-43 vote, a Democratic alternative, which would have placed tighter controls on the spying and provided for independent assessments of the attorney general's implementation of the measure.
The Senate votes came shortly after Republicans in the House rejected as inadequate a competing Democratic measure.
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid criticized the Senate-passed bill, saying it "authorizes warrantless searches and surveillance of American phone calls, e-mails, homes, offices and personal records for however long (it takes for) an appeal to a court of review."
If signed into law, the Senate bill would expire in six months. During that period, Congress would seek to write permanent legislation.