Glenn Greenwald’s column at Salon.com shows how business is really done in the bowels of Washington D.C. Yes, it’s always been ugly. But has it ever been this ugly?
Speaking of the disease of the Washington Establishment, yet another report, this one from the Washington Post, indicates that “Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee have said there is consensus that the [telecom] companies should have some form of relief” for past lawbreaking with regard to allowing the Bush administration’s warrantless eavesdropping on their customers in violation of the law.
The same article details the generally commendable effort of some House Democrats at least to compel the telecoms to disclose what they actually did here, but the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee — the Dianne Feinsteins and Jay Rockefellers — are pronouncing a “consensus” that telecoms should receive amnesty even though they have no idea what the telecoms actually did and have little interest in finding out. I’m in the process of trying to work with the ACLU and other groups and bloggers to determine what, if anything, can be done to derail this absolute travesty, but as is often the case when there is bipartisan Beltway support for some corrupt Establishment-protecting measure, outside pressures are irrelevant.
The behavior of telecoms and their bipartisan cast of lobbyists and advisors, meeting in secret with key Democratic Senators and administration officials to concoct their amnesty scheme, becomes an impenetrable process. This is a perfect microcosm of the Beltway disease.