The friggin' ratbastards have agreed to provide immunity to the Telco's and institute sweeping changes as to how our government can spy upon us. They are calling it..cough..choke..a compromise. From the WSJ via The Carpetbagger Report:
After more than a year of partisan acrimony over government surveillance powers, Democratic and Republican leaders have agreed to a bipartisan deal that would be the most sweeping rewrite of spy powers in three decades. The House is likely to vote on the measure Friday, House aides said. […]
The new agreement broadens the authority to spy on people in the U.S. and provides conditional legal immunity to companies that helped the government eavesdrop after the 2001 terrorist attacks, according to congressional aides in both parties.
The deal, if adopted, would bring the spy activities of a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program permanently under the law. That would allow the government, in certain circumstances, to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens without a specific warrant. It would also expand government spy powers to monitor communications between the U.S. and overseas to collect intelligence on topics beyond terrorism.
As Steve notes, Glen Greenwald's pov on this is spot on. The fucking Blue Dogs were the ones championing this bullshittery to enable our government a free rein on spying without a warrant and providing the fucking Telco's with retroactive immunity. They played the fear factor card just like the Rethugs do..and evidently it has worked..even Obama has jumped on this fucking bandwagon. From Greenwald:
So all the Attorney General has to do is recite those magic words -- the President requested this eavesdropping and did it in order to save us from the Terrorists -- and the minute he utters those words, the courts are required to dismiss the lawsuits against the telecoms, no matter how illegal their behavior was.
That's the "compromise" Steny Hoyer negotiated and which he is now -- according to very credible reports -- pressuring every member of the Democratic caucus to support. It's full-scale, unconditional amnesty with no inquiry into whether anyone broke the law. In the U.S. now, thanks to the Democratic Congress, we'll have a new law based on the premise that the President has the power to order private actors to break the law, and when he issues such an order, the private actors will be protected from liability of any kind on the ground that the Leader told them to do it -- the very theory that the Nuremberg Trial rejected.(emphasis Greenwalds)
With Democrats such as these in office..who is really our enemy? Seriously folks..who? The Rethugs only need to enlist the help of the fucking Blue Dogs and snap..it gets done.