FISA’s Political Facts

By February 13, 2008Briefly Legal, Communications

From today’s Wall Street Journal, an editorial on Tuesday’s FISA votes that wonders at Sen. Obama’s embrace of a position both damaging to national security and politically untenable.

Now and then sanity prevails, even in Washington. So it did yesterday as the Senate passed a warrantless wiretap bill for overseas terrorists while killing most of the Lilliputian attempts to tie down our war fighters.

“We lost every single battle we had on this bill,” conceded Chris Dodd, which ought to tell the Connecticut Senator something about the logic of what he was proposing. His own amendment — to deny immunity from lawsuits to telecom companies that cooperated with the government after 9/11 — didn’t even get a third of the Senate.

The bill now goes to the House, where 21 Blue Dog Democrats have indicated their support for the Senate’s version of the bill.

UPDATE CQ Politics on the politics of yet another temporary extension.

UPDATE (9:40 a.m.): A statement from Senator Clinton, who missed the votes: “As I have maintained for months, I oppose the provision contained in the bill that grants blanket retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that allegedly cooperated in the administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.”

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