Of all the various conservative voices arguing on behalf of telecom immunity, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal has been the least coherent. Today, the far-right editors take on the 31 Democratic senators who voted for Chris Dodd’s rule-of-law amendment, specifically targeting Barack Obama.
“We lost every single battle we had on this bill,” conceded Chris Dodd, which ought to tell the Connecticut Senator something about the logic of what he was proposing. His own amendment — to deny immunity from lawsuits to telecom companies that cooperated with the government after 9/11 — didn’t even get a third of the Senate. It lost 67-31, though notably among the 31 was possible Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama. (Hillary Clinton was absent, while John McCain voted in favor.)
It says something about his national security world view, or his callowness, that Mr. Obama would vote to punish private companies that even the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee said had “acted in good faith.” Had Senator Obama prevailed, a President Obama might well have been told “no way” when he asked private Americans to help his Administration fight terrorists. Mr. Obama also voted against the overall bill, putting him in MoveOn.org territory.
Matt Browner Hamlin takes this nonsense apart, step by step.