Chris Dodd speaks
He tied the core corruption of the FISA bill's telecom amnesty and warranltess eavesdropping provisions into the whole litany of the Bush administration's lawless and destructive behavior over the last seven years -- from torture and rendition to the abuse of secrecy instruments and Guantanamo mock trials -- with a focus on the way in which telecom amnesty further demolishes the rule of law among our political class.
To me this has always been the core issue. It is well known that David Addington and John Yoo authored a set of documents that basically rewrote the Constitution to conform to Richard Nixon's assertion to David Frost, "If the President does it then it's not illegal".
It is also well known that ever since entering office, Dick Cheney's primary mission has been to systematically dismantle every statute, argument and interpretation that in any way impinges on the President's ability to act as a law unto himself. The result is as predictable as sunrise and the list above, including the indefinite detentions of citizens, cruel and degrading treatment of POW's, extraordinary rendition of vocal opponents (from Canada) and, need I add, the destruction of public records, follows from this as surely as day follows night.
FISA is just one battleground, but the larger war is for the soul and conscience of America.