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 Post subject: Wyden's poison pill on Bush's bad bill
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 10:24 am 
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 — The Senate Intelligence Committee voted Thursday night to approve compromise legislation that would strengthen court oversight of eavesdropping on Americans while granting telephone and Internet companies legal immunity for their role in assisting government surveillance programs since 2001.

After nearly five hours of closed discussions, Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, the Democratic chairman, and Senator Christopher S. Bond of Missouri, the Republican vice chairman, emerged to announce that the measure had been approved in a 13-to-2 vote.

“There were substantial compromises on the part of all members and, frankly, of the administration,” Mr. Rockefeller said of the measure, which would expire in six years. Two Democratic senators, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Ron Wyden of Oregon, cast the no votes.

But passage in the committee came with one unexpected hitch. In an interview after the closed session, Mr. Wyden said he had succeeded, by a vote of 9 to 6, in adding an amendment that would offer additional protections by requiring that the government get a warrant whenever it wanted to wiretap an American outside the country, like an American soldier based overseas or a business person.

“The individual freedom of an American shouldn’t depend on their physical geography,” he said.

But Mr. Wyden said the administration vigorously opposed that measure and was threatening to veto any final bill if it is included.


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/19/washi ... ref=slogin

Here's a great blog entry about the above article and the whole deal altogether:
http://www.witigonen.com/2007/10/19/fisa-poison-pill/

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:23 pm 
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Wouldn't Nixon have loved the way our government is today?


Blackwater PR firm aided Chalabi; Works to polish AT&T's image

The firm that "coached" Blackwater CEO Eric Prince for a Congressional hearing previously represented Iraq intelligence launderer Ahmed Chalabi and is now working with AT&T to repair their image in the wake of their involvement in President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program.

The communications firm BKSH, a subsidiary of public relations giant Burson-Marsteller, is run by a man with extremely close ties to the Bush Administration.

The founder and current head of BKSH is Charlie Black, whose ties with the Bush family go back to 1972, when he and Karl Rove were jockeying for control of the College Republicans in a campaign so dirty that George H.W. Bush, then head of the Republican National Committee, had to step in and sort matters out. Black then worked for Ronald Reagan's and George H.W. Bush's presidential campaigns from 1976 to 1992. He served as an adviser to George W. Bush's campaigns in 2000 and 2004 and is often quoted in news stories as an unofficial White House spokesman
.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 12:49 pm 
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Companies Seeking Immunity Donate to Senator

Executives at the two biggest phone companies contributed more than $42,000 in political donations to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV this year while seeking his support for legal immunity for businesses participating in National Security Agency eavesdropping.

Best government money can buy.

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