Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), who along with Russ Feingold has been the fiercest defender of Constitutional rights, took to the floor last night to deliver a two-hour impassioned speech in defense of the rule of law, and offered a scathing critique of the sham FISA bill about to become law.
"Mr President, I had hoped that I would not have to come to the floor under these circumstances again. I've fought this with everything I have in me. Today we are being asked to pass the so-called compromise that was reached by some of our colleagues and approved by the other body, the House of Representatives. I'm here this evening to say that I will not and I can not support this legislation. This legislation goes against everyhting I've stood for, everything this body ought to stand for in my view."
I'm somewhat of a CSPAN junkie, but Dodd's sincere respect and concern for this country's sacred principles and his passionate defense last night of those principles was the most uplifting yet depressing thing I have ever seen; uplifting because it proved to me that there are leaders out there who still give a damn, but depressing because, with rare exceptions, he is alone. When the history of the Bush years is written and future generations look back and wonder how we sank so low, how an abject failure like George W. Bush successfully transformed our national character, at least we can look back to times like these and know that there were some true patriots sounding the alarm.
Glenn Greenwald sums up the floor speech thusly:
Chris Dodd went to the Senate floor last night to speak against the FISA bill and delivered one of the most compelling and inspired speeches by a prominent politician that I've heard in quite some time. He tied the core corruption of the FISA bill's telecom amnesty and warranltess eavesdropping provisions into the whole litany of the Bush administration's lawless and destructive behavior over the last seven years -- from torture and rendition to the abuse of secrecy instruments and Guantanamo mock trials -- with a focus on the way in which telecom amnesty further demolishes the rule of law among our political class.
YouTube NCDem has another great clip: