Sen. Chris Dodd Speaks in Opposition to FISA Bill on Floor of U.S. Senate:
Mr. President: I rise—once again—to voice my strong opposition to the misguided FISA legislation before us today. I have strong reservations about the so-called improvements made to Title I. But more than that, this legislation includes provisions which would grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that apparently have violated the privacy and the trust of millions of Americans by participating in the president’s warrantless wiretapping program. If we pass this legislation, the Senate will ratify a domestic spying regime that has already concentrated far too much unaccountable power in the president’s hands and will place the telecommunications companies above the law.
As all of my colleagues know, I have long fought against retroactive immunity, because I believe, quite simply, it is an abandonment of the rule of law. I’ve fought this with everything I had in me—and I haven’t waged this fight alone.
None of our fellow Americans will have their day in court.
What they will have is a government that has sanctioned lawlessness.
I am here today because of a pattern—a pattern of abuse against civil liberties and the rule of law. Against the Constitution—of which we are custodians, temporary though that status may be.
And I would add that had these abuses been committed by a president of my own party, I would have opposed them, every bit as vigorously.
I am here today because warrantless wiretapping is merely the latest link in a long chain of abuses.
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The State Department announced today that U.S. Ambassador to Albania John L. Withers II is under investigation by the Department's inspector general for his alleged role in the fast-broadening scandal over Pentagon contractor AEY, Inc., which supplied ammunition made in China decades ago to U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
A former high-ranking Justice Department official broke the law and another official violated department policies by weighing the political leanings of law students and young attorneys who were applying for coveted internships and jobs, according to a Justice Department watchdog's report made public Tuesday.
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