Senator Dodd asks for Citizen cosponsors to FISA bill

“Stand with me again on retroactive immunity,” says Sen. Chris Dodd in a new email.

Nijma, (no, he didn’t say “Nijma” but he used my first name)

For the last nine months, when retroactive immunity has surfaced, we have been able to delay its passage.

We were able to stop it in December because I had an army behind me.

Two months later, it stalled again — this time in the House.

And last week, we managed to delay action one last time.

But when the Senate returns from the July 4th recess, we will vote on FISA legislation that includes retroactive immunity for telecom companies that may have illegally helped the Bush administration spy without warrant.
It’s a bad bill and we need action to stop retroactive immunity from becoming law.

I’ve introduced an amendment with Senator Feingold to strip immunity from the bill.
This amendment has the support of Majority Leader Reid and Senator Obama, but it needs 51 votes to pass.

Will you sign on as a citizen co-sponsor of our amendment?
Sign on now!

Together, we can prevent this assault on our Constitution.
Let’s do it one more time. With your help, we can stop the further erosion of the rule of law.

We’ll be in touch soon.
Chris Dodd

Well, I’m a bit conflicted here. Dodd is ignoring one of the most glaring problems with the FISA bill. It allows for search and seizure without a warrant.

And he sends it out NOW? When half of the country skipped out of work early for the holiday and the country is at a standstill?

And then there’s that bit buried in the middle of the FISA bill that says you can’t take this bill through the court systems to determine whether or not it’s constitutional. So should I sign on as a citizen cosponsor even though Dodd’s amendment only talks about retroactive immunity? Is that the list they will wiretap first if the bill goes into law?

“Stop the further erosion…”

The amendment isn’t really expected to pass. It would give Obama a fig leaf to hide behind when he votes in favor of FISA, as he again said today he would do. Another amendment would keep the FISA thing in the news cycle once again–oh, wait, it hasn’t been in the news at all. But maybe forcing a vote would make senators show their colors on this issue. Doubtless there would be discussion of contributions received from telecom lobbyists. Would this be useful for the next election season?

I really have to sleep on this, Senator.

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