Mike the Mad Biologist

Too bad he’s one of the few senators actually worth a damn, because he wouldn’t be a bad VP. Dodd on telecom immunity during his announcement that he would filibuster FISA:

But, we are deceiving ourselves when we talk about the U.S. attorneys issue, the habeas issue, the torture issue, the rendition issue, or the secrecy issue as if each were an isolated case! As if each one were an accident! When we speak of them as isolated, we are keeping our politics cripplingly small; and as long as we keep this small, the rule of men is winning.

There is only one issue here. Only one: the law issue.

Does the president serve the law, or does the law serve the president? Each insult to our Constitution comes from the same source; each springs from the same mindset; and if we attack this contempt for the law at any point, we will wound it at all points.

That is why I’m here today: Retroactive immunity is on the table today; but also at issue is the entire ideology that justifies it, the same ideology that defends torture and executive lawlessness. Immunity is a disgrace in itself, but it is far worse in what it represents. It tells us that some believe in the courts only so long as their verdict goes their way. That some only believe in the rule of law, so long as exceptions are made at their desire. It puts secrecy above sunshine and fiat above law.

Did the telecoms break the law? That, I don’t know.

But pass immunity…and we will never know. A handful of favored corporations will remain unchallenged. Their arguments will never be heard in a court of law. The truth behind this unprecedented domestic spying will never see light. And the cases will be closed forever….

“Law” is a word we barely hear from the supporters of immunity. They offer neither a deliberation about America’s difficult choices in the age of terrorism, nor a shared attempt to set for our times the excruciating balance between security and liberty. They merely promise a false debate on a false choice: security or liberty, but never, ever both.

I think differently. I think that America’s founding truth is unambiguous: security and liberty, one and inseparable, and never one without the other–no matter how difficult a situation, no matter what threats we face.

Secure in that truth, I offer a challenge to immunity’s supporters: You want to put a handful of corporations above the law. Could you please explain how your immunity makes any one of us any safer at all?

Sometimes we need more than ‘change.’