Monday, June 13, 2005

I'm taking my bat and ball and going home.

This via Harry.

Republican Senator Sensenbrenner picks up his bat and ball and calls a premature end to the Judicial Committee hearing into renewal of Patriot act sunset clauses. There's a video of the fiasco to witness some good old fashioned jackboots on dissent.

This morning Rep. Sensenbrenner, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee was leading a committee hearing looking into the renewal of Patriot Act

Mr. Sensenbrenner decided that he didn't like the tone of the meeting and simply got up and left but not before he criticized the witnesses who came and gave their testimony to the committee.

After he left the microphones were switched on and off while the Democratic members of the committee continued to discuss the renewal of the Patriot Act

I can see now why the Senate Intelligence committe wanted to expand law enforcement powers in a closed session. These pesky people asking questions and encouraging debate seem to be holding things up.


  • Of the Judiciary Committee members currently serving from the Democratic Party, Berman, Delahunt, Lofgren, Meehan, Schiff, Weiner and Wexler voted in favor of the initial act. This, in spite of the fact they knew the character and intentions of its authors and sponsors very well. The nine others either voted against or weren't in office at the time. None of the others have had the guts to risk arrest or do anything else that would seriously impede the progress of fascism.

    The temper tantrum Sensenbrenner threw is his style. He knew very well that it would be televised. It's red meat for the wingnuts, who enjoy what they'll see as the humiliation of the Democrats. Sensenbrenner was rubbing it in for the few who still care.

    It's a dog and pony show :-( The battle for civil liberties has been a losing one for over thirty years.

    By Blogger Deleted, at 11:41 am  

  • Thanks for a follow up on this and an explanation on the intricacies of the situation. It's sometimes why I find it difficult to comment on your blog regarding things political, the US machine is indeed a strange beast.

    Was the initial vote was at a time when the Dems were cowering and shell shocked after the 9/11 attacks? I seem to recall only one or two speaking out against this whole deal (and they were in congress if I recall correctly)and they seemed to be effectively silenced.

    It doesn't seem to be until much later, only the start of this year ......some three years later, that there seemed to be ANY sort of robust debate on the subject from the Dems.

    But at the time late 2001/early 2002 it was classic wedge politics, where you were damned for suggesting that the security and safety of the homeland wasn't of the highest order. The same thing occurred in Oz. The Labor party floundered and flopped around trying to find anything to be in opposition about.

    The term "bipartisan support" was thrown around a lot.

    And if the Labor party were in power at the time, things would not have been much different, we'd just be in the same boat as the UK with the Labor party steering the ship under the USA's orders.

    By Blogger Johnno, at 7:45 am  

  • The act passed the Senate on the 25th October, 2001. John Kerry wrote some of it; specifically, the sections on money laundering. There was 1 vote against it in the Senate and 62 against in the House. One of the people who voted against was Nadler, Representative from New York State, who is also currently on the Judiciary committee. Some of the more rebellious libertarian communities have passed resolutions against it.

    I used to have an easier time accepting the possibility that many of the Aye votes came from understandable, even forgiveable, minor flaws. But now I think it came exclusively from callous disregard and an inability to reason beyond narrow, short term self-interest. I read some comments addressed to the House today from a Democrat who wants to repeal the amendment against presidents sitting for more than two terms. There is no possible good for the country that can come from further empowering the executive branch. It can, however, help his career.

    I have a half-assed hope that we here in the States can somehow get the doctrine of preemptive, fatuous stupidity discredited and thereby ease off some of the malignant influence our ruling elite exports with such aplomb.

    By Blogger Deleted, at 2:22 pm  

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