This makes me ill (via NYT):
The Senate rejected a series of amendments that would have restricted the governmentâ€™s surveillance powers and eliminated immunity for the phone carriers, and it voted in convincing fashion â€” 69 to 29 â€” to end debate and bring the issue to a final vote. That vote is expected later this afternoon, with the result all but assured.
So how, exactly, can anybody say with a straight face that this warrantless surveillance is legal if we have to immunize the culpable parties? Isn’t giving them immunity basically an admission that these telecoms have been breaking the law by listening to Americans’ phone conversations? Where will it end? I’m almost scared to find out. This Congress, one of the most spineless in history, is now officially useless to me. We have officially legalized a total surveillance state, where the agents of the government are private enterprise, who are not bound by any constitution and are apparently above the law.
They say they do it to protect us from those who do us harm — but isn’t a government that respects the rule of law only when it benefits itself just as bad, if not WORSE, than any tyranny a foreign agent could unleash upon us?