There’s nothing like a debate over warrantless wiretapping to clarify how the two parties really feel about government. On Friday, the Senate voted to reauthorize the government’s warrantless surveillance program, with hawkish Democrats joining with Republicans to block every effort to curtail the government’s sweeping spying powers.
As the Senate debated the renewal of the government’s warrantless wiretapping powers on Thursday, Republicans who have accused President Barack Obama of covering up his involvement in the death of an American ambassador urged that his administration be given sweeping spying powers. Democrats who accused George W. Bush of shredding the Constitution with warrantless wiretapping four years ago sung a different tune this week, with the administration itself quietly urging passage of the surveillance bill with no changes, and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) accusing her Democratic colleagues of not understanding the threat of terrorism.
“There is a view by some that this country no longer needs to fear an attack,” Feinstein said.
— Adam Serwer, writing in Mother Jones.
If you are interested, here is the floor statement by Senator Ron Wyden who argues for reasonable limitations on the powers of the bill, and a transparent discussion of how the bill is actually being implemented.
- Warrantless Wiretapping Approved Yet Again, This Time With Barely a Fight (motherjones.com)
- GOP and Feinstein join to fulfill Obama’s demand for renewed warrantless eavesdropping | Glenn Greenwald (guardian.co.uk)
- Senate Debates FISA Amid Concerns Over Warrantless Wiretapping (legaltimes.typepad.com)