Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A message to Silvestre Reyes about Telcom Immunity

(Note: Congressman Silvestre Reyes, D-TX, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, sent a widely publicized and strongly worded letter on 2008-02-14 to (p)Resident Bush regarding his objections to the FISA bill provisions for Telcom Immunity.)

Wow.. for a little while there, I was impressed...

After reading your letter, which included such gems as:

If our nation is left vulnerable in the coming months, it will not be because we don’t have enough domestic spying powers. It will be because your Administration has not done enough to defeat terrorist organizations – including al Qaeda -- that have gained strength since 9/11. We do not have nearly enough linguists to translate the reams of information we currently collect. We do not have enough intelligence officers who can penetrate the hardest targets, such as al Qaeda. We have surged so many intelligence resources into Iraq that we have taken our eye off the ball in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As a result, you have allowed al Qaeda to reconstitute itself on your watch.

You have also suggested that Congress must grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies. As someone who has been briefed on our most sensitive intelligence programs, I can see no argument why the future security of our country depends on whether past actions of telecommunications companies are immunized.

The issue of telecom liability should be carefully considered based on a full review of the documents that your Administration withheld from Congress for eight months. However, it is an insult to the intelligence of the American people to say that we will be vulnerable unless we grant immunity for actions that happened years ago...

...I, for one, do not intend to back down – not to the terrorists and not to anyone, including a President, who wants Americans to cower in fear.

We are a strong nation. We cannot allow ourselves to be scared into suspending the Constitution. If we do that, we might as well call the terrorists and tell them that they have won.

As recently as February 24th, Congressman Reyes was on the record as being anti-telcom-immunity in an article in the Washington Post, co-written with Jay Rockefeller, Patrick Leahy, and John Conyers

Well, it was nice while it lasted...

According to this article from Crooks & Liars, Silvestre Reyes Says The House Is About Ready To Approve FISA Bill—WITH Immunity!!!

Here is a similar article at the "Wake Up, America" blog

And a truly damning appraisal, compliments of Scholars & Rogues, entitled: The Reyes Doctrine: speak loudly and cower like a whipped cur

Yes, folks... proving once again that talk is cheap, a highly-placed member of the so-called "opposition" party has told the American public exactly what they wanted to hear, only to support the criminal policies of the Bush Administration when it came time to "walk the walk..."

As I wrote on his Facebook fan page,

You caved on Telecom Immunity???? After all that tough talk, you sold us out... threw us under the bus... What do they have on you? Or were you just a shill all along??? Remember - those who do not fight this regime are guilty of aiding and abetting War Criminals - as well as guilty of violating their sworn, solemn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution... perhaps you should start thinking about some sort of Congressional Immunity bill... you might just need it...

In the words of the Chimp, himself: You're either with us (the American people) or you're against us (in cahoots with the administration)

Remember: Democrats can be war criminals, too...

"...Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."