Preserving equal treatment under the law

PHOTO: House leaders Hoyer and Pelosi with President Bush

I noted Monday that Congressional Democrats were planning to grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications corporations (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) who aided the Bush administration in illegally spying on us. (Read my explanation of the telecom immunity issue here and/or check out this scathing NY Times editorial)

The Hill and Dow Jones are reporting that this is indeed the case. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer – a Democrat – has reached a deal with the Bush administration that will keep our courts from ever judging if what the telecoms did was illegal. It’s probably no coincidence that the telecoms give tons of money to these a**holes.

In response, Glenn Greenwald is helping launch a campaign to stop the new immunity deal or, at the very least, make the perpetrators pay politically for their treachery. This is how Greenwald described the campaign on Tuesday:

The message of the campaign we are going to launch will be that ordinary Americans who run afoul even of the pettiest laws, such as alleged minor drug possession offenses and the like, have the full weight of the criminal justice system smash mercilessly down upon them. People and small businesses who are sued in court are required to defend themselves no matter the expense. Steny Hoyer and his comrades do nothing to oppose that.

Instead, Hoyer spends his time in Washington expending enormous amounts of his political capital and energy working to obtain amnesty for the nation’s richest and most powerful telecom corporations which, for years, broke far more serious laws in enabling the Bush administration illegally to spy on Americans. Hoyer is working to perpetuate a two-tiered system of justice in America where rich corporations with lobbyists and big campaign contributions are literally allowed to break our most serious laws and receive retroactive amnesty, while ordinary citizens have their lives destroyed over the pettiest offenses, as America turns itself into the world’s largest prison state.

…for the moment, the goal is to work together to raise as much money as possible for this specific campaign to impede the corrupt FISA/telecom amnesty deal, the enablers in Congressional leadership and various vulnerable supporters of it. Even if they manage to pass this bill — and everything will be done to stop it — a coalition of this sort can generate very serious resources to undermine those responsible.

You can contribute here.

As I noted Monday, the Democratic party is just the less despicable political party. Defeating Republicans is essential, but reforming the Democratic party or offering a better alternative is the next highest priority. Democrats need to know there will be a political cost for selling out their constinuency.


  1. Ian

    Haha… give money. Right. Who is Glenn Greenwald exactly? A guy who runs an internet blog?

  2. Chris

    With a lot of clout… his campaign has raised over $115,000 in less than two days. He’s created a coalition with Ron Paul fund raisers, the ACLU and lots of other big names in the “blogosphere.”

  3. Sheepywoman

    Grass roots baby! Take those mo-fo’s down. Isn’t it intersting that we are one of the few nations with only two dominant parties? Where are my choices?!? What if I don’t like anyone? Tough luck b/c it’s automatically assumed the indies won’t get a chance. Raise hell Ron Paul!

  4. Ian

    Raise hell Kucinich! When is he just going to finally lose it, go AWOL from the Democrats and pull a Nader? I would consider voting for the hobbit.