(Pach is off to New York where his dad is very very sick. Please keep him in your prayers — jh)
Steny Hoyer is reported to be working with Jay Rockefeller to achieve George Bush’s fondest wish, to give retroactive immunity to the telecos (and members of the Cheney administration who worked with them). Only they plan to call it a "bipartisan" agreement, immunity that isn’t immunity — and then pat themselves on the head for their big victory.
Their strategy is to craft a bill that they can pretend is something short of amnesty for telecoms but which, in every meaningful respect, ensures an end to the telecom lawsuits. It goes without saying that no "compromise" will be acceptable to Rockefeller or the White House unless there is a guaranteed end to those lawsuits, i.e., unless the bill grants amnesty to lawbreaking telecoms.
As Glenn goes on to note, every House Democrat with the exception of five Blue Dogs rejected the Rockefeller/Cheney Senate bill. And why Chris Carney wants to walk straight into the meat grinder is anyone’s guess, but there he is in The Hill:
Vulnerable freshman Democrats and Blue Dogs say the issue demands action.
"Overall, it’s very important," said Rep. Chris Carney (D-Pa.), a freshman member of the Blue Dog Coalition who often votes against his leadership.
Carney said that a compromise should protect national security and also respect civil liberties. "I’ve been in favor of the Senate bill. We’ll see what happens," he said.
There is no public outcry to "free Dick Cheney." There is no constituency ready to storm the halls of Congress unless the telecoms are given immunity, just a lot of K Street money pouring into the coffers of the Blue Dogs. If Steny, Jello Jay and Carney have their way, it will be virtually impossible to discover the extent of the crimes of the telecos (and the Bushies) for spying on American citizens.
We’ve now raised over $64,000 for an campaign to push back against the fearmongering ads targeted at Democratic freshmen on FISA (see YouTube). If you’d like to contribute to the campaign which we’ll be launching soon, you can do so here.
We’re not stupid, Steny. We get it.