Friday, June 20, 2014

Meet The 123 Members Of Congress Who Want The NSA To Continue Undermining Americans' Right To Privacy


Democratic leaders for domestic spying and for more Iraq war

Last night, the House continued debating 2015 appropriations for the Department of Defense (H.R. 4870). Voting on amendments went just past 11PM and while they were going on, I at was at a lecture-- an amazing lecture-- by Glenn Greenwald. During the lecture, a version of which you can watch at the link in the last sentence, I tweeted something to the effect of Greenwald's presentation being better than a rock show. And it was. As he was wrapping it up, he tried to end on an upbeat and hopeful note, but he warned that if we're looking for real reform, the government and Congress were not the place to look. Some of those amendments voted on last night prove his point, particularly the 3 failed attempts by Barbara Lee (D-CA) to withdraw congressional authorization for war. But another amendment that passed probably would have pleased Gleenwald as much as it pleased me, and it was offered by a libertarian Republican, Thomas Massie of Kentucky.

Even before the House got to Massie and Lee, it passed an amendment the day before proposed by Alan Grayson (D-FL) to prohibit the "use of funds to enter into a contract with any offeror that has been convicted of misconduct such as theft, forgery, bribery, or violating Federal criminal tax laws." The House approved it unanimously!

All three Barbara Lee amendments failed, including the one she offered on behalf of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to require that no funds in the Department of Defense FY2015 Appropriations bill go towards combat operations in Iraq. "We must not let history repeat itself in Iraq," she said, "because the reality is there is no military solution in Iraq. This is a sectarian war with long standing roots that were flamed when we invaded Iraq in 2003. Any lasting solution must be political and take into account respect for the entire Iraqi population." CPC Chairmen Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) backed her up. Raúl: "Too many lives have already been lost in the quagmire that is Iraq. There is no 'part way' when it comes to military involvement-- what starts as a surefire military success in the eyes of politicians ends in prolonged conflict when reality sets in. We all want peace for the region, but it cannot be achieved through more American bloodshed." Keith: "Airstrikes and sending combat troops to Iraq is not the way forward. The current crisis threatens to push Iraq and the region into a wider sectarian war and can only be solved when Iraq’s minorities are given the political representation they deserve. The United States should exercise all the leverage we have with the Iraqi government and regional powers to press President Maliki into a more equitable power-sharing agreement."

The amendment failed 165-250, 44 Democrats joining 206 (all but 23) Republicans to defeat it. Who were these 44 Democrats voting against this amendment? These are the one who give people like Greenwald so little faith in the ability of Congress to effect real reform. Although Pelosi and Becerra voted with the Democrats, other Democratic House leaders-- Steny Hoyer, Jim Clyburn, Steve Israel and Debbie Wasserman Schultz-- paraded a mangey group of mostly Blue Dogs and New Dems across the aisle into the arms of the Republican warmongers.

The success of Massie's amendment limiting NSA domestic spying-- and it was a big success, having passed 293-123-- came as a surprise. It's not exactly the bill Glenn Greenwald would have written but if it ever becomes law-- I can't imagine Dianne Feinstein allowing it to get through the Senate-- it will block intelligence agencies from conducting warrantless and “backdoor” searches of U.S. communications. The amendment prohibits the search of government databases for information on U.S. citizens without a warrant and cuts off funding for the CIA and NSA to build security vulnerabilities, or "backdoors," into domestic tech products or services for surveillance purposes. Massie: "The American people are sick of being spied on." Two of Congress' worst Military-Industrial Complex whores, Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), both of whom work assiduously to allow domestic spy agencies to wreck every concept of privacy-- both could be especially nasty apparachiks in a futuristic dystopian Orwell novel-- whined that it shouldn't be allowed to be voted on. Fortunately, most House Members disagreed.

In the end 135, Republicans and 158 Democrats voted to pass it, just 94 Republican and 29 Democrats voting for more domestic spying. Again, Hoyer, Israel and Wasserman Schultz were the Democrats who collect fat checks from the Military Industrial Complex and who led slimy warmongers like Adam Schiff (Blue Dog-CA), John Barrow (Blue Dog-GA), Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ), Patrick Murphy (New Dem-FL), Jim Himes (New Dem-CT), Ron Barber (Blue Dog-AZ), and Scott Peters (New Dem-CA) to make common cause with GOP reactionaries like Buck McKeon, Michele Bachmann, Joe Pitts, Ed Royce, Fred Upton, Majority Leader McCarthy, John Kline, Eric Cantor, and Tom Cotton against the American people.

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At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suggest that, at least RIGHT NOW, Lois Capps [D-CA] — and any others of these warmongers and dupes — should concern themselves with guns — those they voted for [ ], currently being used by vicious eastern European Nazis to commit genocide against the civilian populations of southeast Ukraine:


[04:39] '"For Inna" - a video which should be circulated worldwide'


'UKRAINE: Lois Capps gets her war: Neo-Nazis burn dozens to death in Odessa; Neo-Nazi armor heading east, attacking Russian-Ukrainians'


[01:18] "Save Donbass People from Ukrainian Army!"


UKRAINE CAMPAIGN - FOR INNA! (how you can help):


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