Josh Patashnik at TNR unpacks the Democrats’ latest cave in on civil liberties. In a nutshell: The telecoms get immunity, the Bush administration makes sure that the program never sees the light of day, but FISA maintains exclusivity over intelligence wiretaps — a provision Bush is sure to ignore, citing his dictatorial prerogatives in wartime.
Another classic move in line with my recent magazine piece, “The Senate Caves!”
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UPDATE: In a dispiriting reality-check, Obama joins the spelunkers…
It is not all that I would want. But given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as President, I will carefully monitor the program, review the report by the Inspectors General, and work with the Congress to take any additional steps I deem necessary to protect the lives — and the liberty — of the American people.