Joe Lieberman, Steny Hoyer, Diane Feinstein….these are the Senators who have betrayed the country, pretending to be Democrats, while supporting the greed and kill philosophy of the GOP of Karl Rove and George W. Bush. Now we can add Jay Rockefeller to the list.
When the history books pillory the Republicans for their assault on civil liberties in the post-9/11 era, they should put a little asterisk next to “Republicans”–in memory of Democrat Jay Rockefeller.
In his role first as ranking member and now as chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Rockefeller has been run over, bypassed, steamrolled and otherwise hoodwinked by the White House on so many occasions that he’s become something of a laughingstock among civil libertarians–at least among the more charitable of them. Whether he was antagonistic to civil liberties or simply ineffectual will be another question for the historians.
The latest surrender has come on the FISA bill, where the Senate version (.pdf) that emerged from a closed hearing last night included, to no one’s surprise, retroactive immunity for the telecommunications companies who cooperated with the President’s warrantless surveillance program. (In the years before the program was revealed by The New York Times, Rockefeller’s opposition to it consisted of fretting to the Vice President in a hand-written letter.)
“Political” contributions to Rockefeller from the telecom industry have gone from zero to large in the last year. He’s a disgrace.