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Senate Proceeding on Feb 11th, 2008 :: 2:36:59 to 2:55:37
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Russell Feingold

2:14:42 to 2:36:59( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Russell Feingold

Russell Feingold

2:36:46 to 2:36:59( Edit History Discussion )

Russell Feingold: him. i ask that my remaining time be reserved. i yield the floor. mr. dodd: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut is recognized. todd dodd before my colleague from --

Christopher Dodd

2:36:59 to 2:37:12( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: mr. dodd: before my colleague from wisconsin leaves the floor, let me thank him and the others associated with this. the bulk collection issues that he has raised which, not unlike this issue here, seem

Christopher Dodd

2:36:59 to 2:55:37( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Christopher Dodd

Christopher Dodd

2:37:12 to 2:37:25( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: to obvious and clear, you, wonder why it had to be the subject of debate. here the clear reaction, in fact, from leading authorities, including those that the intelligence agencies which have said categorically

Christopher Dodd

2:37:25 to 2:37:35( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: that the very actions that he wants to exclude from this legislation are prohibited under law. reverse targeting is unconstitutional. not allowed under the rule of law. and that bulk collection is not

Christopher Dodd

2:37:35 to 2:37:49( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: attainable, but this one here, the action or the reaction of those responsible in this area said were it possible, we believe we have the right to do it, even though we don't have the right to do it,

Christopher Dodd

2:37:49 to 2:37:59( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: the idea of bulk collection without following the rule of law should violate the sensibilities and the rule of law of every single member of this body. this is very important, this debate and discussion.

Christopher Dodd

2:37:59 to 2:38:10( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: it has gone on now since back in december. actually before that, the senator from wisconsin sits on both the judiciary committee and the intelligence committee, and so has been deeply involved

Christopher Dodd

2:38:10 to 2:38:21( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: in these issues for a long time. but what i want to state at the outset, madam president, is that these amendments that we're offering should not be the subject of some sort of political divide here

Christopher Dodd

2:38:21 to 2:38:34( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: between democrats, republicans, liberals, conservatives, moderates, whatever the definitions one wants to apply to people who serve here. this is about the rule of law. it is about the constitution

Christopher Dodd

2:38:34 to 2:38:47( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: of the united states. and the idea that this issue and debate should somehow be divided along those lines ought to be defensive to every single member of this body. every single one of us on the day we

Christopher Dodd

2:38:47 to 2:38:59( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: raise our right hand and take the oath of office swear to uphold the constitution of the united states. this is nothing less than what we're engaged in in this debate. we've been asked to subscribe

Christopher Dodd

2:38:59 to 2:39:10( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: to the false dichotomy, the false choice that in order for us to be more secure as a nation, we must give up some of our rights or compromise those rights. the senator from wisconsin and the senator

Christopher Dodd

2:39:10 to 2:39:21( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: from connecticut believe very firmly that quite the opposite is true. that if you begin to give up rights, you become less secure as a people and as a nation. and it is our deep concern that exactly

Christopher Dodd

2:39:21 to 2:39:33( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: -- that is exactly the path we seem to be following these days with the refusal to adopt the feingold amendments in dealing with the reverse targetin and bulk collections and what i'm fearful may be

Christopher Dodd

2:39:33 to 2:39:45( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: the case will be tried to strike title 1, title 2, excuse me of the foreign intelligence surveillance act and that is to prohibit under this legislation the retroactive immunity being sought by

Christopher Dodd

2:39:45 to 2:39:56( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: the administration and being sought by a hand full off telephone companies. let me remind our colleagues that when this proposal was first made to the intelligence committee, the proposal was to

Christopher Dodd

2:39:56 to 2:40:09( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: grant immunity to anybody involved in the collection of this information including those who authorize it had at the executive branch. so while i'm critical of what is in the intelligence committee bill

Christopher Dodd

2:40:09 to 2:40:21( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: that has been brought to us by my good friend from west virginia and my friend from missouri, senator rockefeller and senator bond. i want to begin by thanking them for having rejected the administration's

Christopher Dodd

2:40:21 to 2:40:34( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: earlier request that there be broad-based immunity brand to everyone involved in this request. but it ought to be instructive to those of us here. what was the administration evening suggesting by offering

Christopher Dodd

2:40:34 to 2:40:48( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: the idea that everyone associated with this -- with this vacuum cleaning operation to listen to every single phone conversation, every e-mail, every fax over the last five years? why were they

Christopher Dodd

2:40:48 to 2:40:56( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: seeking immunity for everyone involved in this? and i think the answer becomes abundantly clear, there's a great concern that the courts macon clued that, in fact, what was -- inconclude that, in

Christopher Dodd

2:40:56 to 2:41:09( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: fact, what was done was illegal and those that were the authors of that to convince those in the telecommunication industry that they had an obligation to comply with those requests. now, again,

Christopher Dodd

2:41:09 to 2:41:21( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: i thank the intelligence intelligence committee for narrowing this request, but it is important that people understand that the original request was far broader than the one we seek to strike here this

Christopher Dodd

2:41:21 to 2:41:34( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: evening, striking that title 2 of the bill, which would provide telecommunication corporations retroactive immunity for their warrantless an possibly -- and possibly illegal spying on their very constitution.

Christopher Dodd

2:41:34 to 2:41:45( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: much more than a fewompanies, madam president, and a few lawsuits are at stake here. madam president, equal justice is at stake, justice that does not place some corporations outside of the rule of law,

Christopher Dodd

2:41:45 to 2:42:02( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: openness is at take. an open debate on security and liberty and an end to warrantless wiretapping of americans. saint feingold has laid out the -- senator feingold has laid out the history of this

Christopher Dodd

2:42:02 to 2:42:14( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: in eloquent terms, going back to the 1970's and describing the genesis of this law. that has been amended some 30 or 35 times over the last 30, 35 years, to comply and conform the idea to the emerging

Christopher Dodd

2:42:14 to 2:42:25( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: technologies, the emerging ability of those who would d us harm to have the means to do so and the emerging technology that would allow us to collect the information that would minimize their ability

Christopher Dodd

2:42:25 to 2:42:36( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: to do just that. over the years this body has been asked to modify that law. and almost without exception it is important to-point out that this -- to point out that this senate of the united states

Christopher Dodd

2:42:36 to 2:42:47( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: body has amended that law enemy unanimously at every single turn. all of us recognize that it is critically important that we have the ability to determine those who would do us harm, how they would

Christopher Dodd

2:42:47 to 2:43:01( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: do that harm and to stop it before it happens. there's not a single member of this body who was not as deeply committed to that goal. we're all deeply understanding and committed to the idea that we

Christopher Dodd

2:43:01 to 2:43:11( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: ought to do everything that we can to protect ourselves, but we also understand and have since the 197 1970's, the importance of not only gathering the information from those who would do our injury,

Christopher Dodd

2:43:11 to 2:43:24( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: but simultaneously doing that which is critical for our survival as a nation that shprotecting the liberties, rights and -- protecting the liberties, rights and rule of law. this is what makes us unique

Christopher Dodd

2:43:24 to 2:43:36( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: as a nation. we are the first nation that insisted that we're a nation of laws and not men. that was a unique idea in the recorded history in the founding of this great republic that we were going

Christopher Dodd

2:43:36 to 2:43:51( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: going to do things different. many argued if we were looking for pure efficiency this is the last form of government that you would design. framers of the constitution were far more interested than

Christopher Dodd

2:43:51 to 2:44:04( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: efficiency, had efficiency were the goal the y would have thought of a more streamlined system. they set up a system that would determine not only how or what we did, but how we did things, an executive,

Christopher Dodd

2:44:04 to 2:44:16( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: legislative, an judicial branch and insisting that there be checks and balances, because the framers had been through a system where a king and handful of people decided the fate of not only their

Christopher Dodd

2:44:16 to 2:44:30( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: own nation, but the kol when colonies which they controlled. they set up a cumbersome less efficient system because they were teeply concerned of how -- deeply concerned of how we did things, protecting

Christopher Dodd

2:44:30 to 2:44:47( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: the law. never let a handful of individuals decide the fate of a nation. so it is important to understand the genesis of this tension which has pissed in our existed in this country for 200 years,

Christopher Dodd

2:44:47 to 2:45:05( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: protecting our security andy security and protecting liberties. we have tried from one generation to the next to keep that balance in place so that not one side or the other would dominate the issues,

Christopher Dodd

2:45:05 to 2:45:18( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: not to have the rights to liberties in such a way that we would not be able to gather information, and siems simultaneously not allow the wholesale of information. that's been the contention,

Christopher Dodd

2:45:18 to 2:45:31( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: that is what confronts us and brings us to this debate and calling upon our colleagues to support the amendment that senator feingold are offering to strike title 2 of this legislation. retroactive

Christopher Dodd

2:45:31 to 2:45:43( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: immunity stands against the principles that senator feingold outlined that i tried to describe. under retroactive immunity the law would forbid some of our fellow citizen from having their day in court.~

Christopher Dodd

2:45:43 to 2:45:54( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: on what basis are we asked to pass retroactive immunity? on trust. there are classified documents we're told to improve the case beyond a shadow of a doubt, but of course we're not allowed to see them.

Christopher Dodd

2:45:54 to 2:46:08( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: madam president, i served in this body for 27 years, and yet i'm not allowed to see these documents. i'm told by a handful of our colleagues, all of whom i have great affection for, understand them,

Christopher Dodd

2:46:08 to 2:46:22( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: like them with our disagreements or agreements put aside. but the idea that only a handful of people here should be able to say trust me or the president should say trust me that i know what i'm talking

Christopher Dodd

2:46:22 to 2:46:36( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: about, you don't and i want you to understand exactly what i'm talking about is the case seems a stretch. neither of my colleagues are allowed to see these documents. only a handful are. there is only

Christopher Dodd

2:46:36 to 2:46:49( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: one way to settle the issues at stake today. not simply on trust, not on the opinion of a handful of individuals, as much as we m like them, but of course in our courts. we're not judges, madam

Christopher Dodd

2:46:49 to 2:47:06( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: president. we're members of the a legislative body. wherever we stand on this immunity, none of us here are judges. nor should this matter be decided by a simple majority, one or the other. real juries,

Christopher Dodd

2:47:06 to 2:47:17( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: whose courts ought to be our pride, not our impassement preserved to do jobs. by striking this, we would be doing that, a coequal branch of government, insisting that the courts ought to be the

Christopher Dodd

2:47:17 to 2:47:29( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: ones to decide whether or not the actions taken by the phone companies are legal or illegal. that's all we're asking by striking this section, madam president. let's have the courts decide. we aren't here to

Christopher Dodd

2:47:29 to 2:47:40( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: assign guilt or innocence. that's not our job as legislators in this case. we're here to hold oept court -- open the courthouse door to ensure a fair hearing the american citizen is seeking to

Christopher Dodd

2:47:40 to 2:47:53( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: redress and i for one accept the verdict of those courts. this is not a democratic or republican issue. this is the rule of law issue. it's about striking the right balance between liberty and security.

Christopher Dodd

2:47:53 to 2:48:03( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: and i absolutely reject, as i said a few minutes ago, the false dichotomy that we have to choose one over the other. the democratic president, madam president, were seeeking to grant retroactive immunity,

Christopher Dodd

2:48:03 to 2:48:14( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: i would object as passionately as i am this afternoon. this should not be a partisan issue. we should all be in the favor of allowing our courts to perform their constitutional responsibilities to determine

Christopher Dodd

2:48:14 to 2:48:29( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: whether or not these companies should be held accountable. madam president, i believe that when surveillance is fully under the rule of law, americans will only be more secure. to claim otherwise is

Christopher Dodd

2:48:29 to 2:48:42( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: an insult to our intelligence, our common sense and our proud tradition of the rule of law. i don't know how many of my colleagues have seen the wonderful movie going back many years ago called "a man

Christopher Dodd

2:48:42 to 2:48:54( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: for all seasons," the story of st. thomas phaorbgs who i might point out was the only individual i have known in history who achieved the trifecta, madam president, of being a lawyer, a saint and a

Christopher Dodd

2:48:54 to 2:49:09( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: politician, a rare combination in any generation of history. st. thomas moore, that wonderful movie, was tried for failing to live up to the responsibilities to the king. during the cross-examination,

Christopher Dodd

2:49:09 to 2:49:24( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: in that wonderful movie, he was asked by the prosecutor here if he would be willing to cut down every law in england to get his hands on the devil. and here's moore's answer -- it is a wonderful

Christopher Dodd

2:49:24 to 2:49:37( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: scene in that movie. moore replies absolutely not. i quote him here. "when the last law was down and the devil turned around on you, where would you hide all the laws? this country of ours," he said,

Christopher Dodd

2:49:37 to 2:49:49( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: "is planted thick with laws from coast to coast. man's laws, not god's. and if you cut them down, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow them?" those laws, madam president,

Christopher Dodd

2:49:49 to 2:50:02( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: were no secrecy. they know no distinctions for power or wealth. they live, that is, in openness. and when that openness has been defended, when the facts are in light where they belong, then i

Christopher Dodd

2:50:02 to 2:50:15( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: welcome all of my colleagues' ideas in the great and ongoing debate on security and liberty in this century, a debate in the open in which all of us can participate. if we begin b adopting this amendment,

Christopher Dodd

2:50:15 to 2:50:26( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: by striking out a provision granting retroactive immunity and allowing the court to do their job to determine what has happened here was legal, there are those who would argue strenuously that is what

Christopher Dodd

2:50:26 to 2:50:37( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: has occurred. none of us, of course, know that to be the case. if we don't adopt this amendment, then we'll forever not know what occurred here. it will be buried for all of history a to what happened.

Christopher Dodd

2:50:37 to 2:50:48( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: and we will have set the precedent that on the mere word or request of an administration, any future administration that telecommunications companies or other who can collect millions and millions of volumes

Christopher Dodd

2:50:48 to 2:51:02( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: of data about us may be asked at some future point, maybe the next time, madam president, it will be medical records. maybe it will be financial records here that all of us would like to think are

Christopher Dodd

2:51:02 to 2:51:14( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: being held private. maybe those records under some argument will be turned over. when does this stop? when do we say here, no, there's a means by which we do this? and that has been what fisa has tried

Christopher Dodd

2:51:14 to 2:51:25( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: to establish over the last 35 years, to strike that balance between liberty and security. if we set the precedent with the rejection of this amendment, then we open the door, i think regretfully, for

Christopher Dodd

2:51:25 to 2:51:36( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: not only this administration but for future ones to engage in the very practice that would deprive us of that balance between liberty and security. and so when the vote occurs tomorrow on this amendment

Christopher Dodd

2:51:36 to 2:51:49( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: that senator feingold and i have offered, i urge my colleagues to step out of the role of being asked by an administration or others to support them. i'm deeply disappointed that the president has

2:51:49 to 2:52:01( Edit History Discussion )

suggested he would veto the fisa legislation if this amendment is not defeated. the idea that an american president would suggest we ought to put aside the foreign intelligence surveillance act

Christopher Dodd

2:52:01 to 2:52:11( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: merely to protect a handful of companies here who seek immunity to deny us the opportunity to determine whether or not what they did was legal or illegal seems to go way beyond what we need to

Christopher Dodd

2:52:11 to 2:52:23( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: be doing at this very hour, where our security is at risk, as we all know and understand. the best way to handle this, in my view, is to accept this amendment, adopt this amendment, send the fisa

Christopher Dodd

2:52:23 to 2:52:33( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: bill down to the president for his signature. i believe despite his warnings to the contrary, he will sign this into law. i don't want to believe an american president would put us at risk by denying

Christopher Dodd

2:52:33 to 2:52:45( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: these courts to be able to do their jobs, to grant warrants and court orders to gather information to keep us secure merely because a handful of companies decideed to comply with an administration

Christopher Dodd

2:52:45 to 2:52:55( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: without a court order. i've said this repeatedly over the past several months but it deserves being repeated again tonight, not all the telephone companies comply with that request. if all of them had,

Christopher Dodd

2:52:55 to 2:53:09( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: it might strengthen the arguments that everyone dider it. although i've never bought that argument. that's the argument, madam president, used at the nuremberg trials in 1945 and 1946, that because there

Christopher Dodd

2:53:09 to 2:53:19( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: was an order on high that we had an obligation to comply with, because we were asked to do it, we had to comply with it. that was the argument that 21 defendants at nuremberg made in 1945 and 1946. i don't want

Christopher Dodd

2:53:19 to 2:53:32( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: to suggest to you, madam president, because there were those who said no to the request. give us a court order, they said, and we will comply. but in the absence of a court order, the implication

Christopher Dodd

2:53:32 to 2:53:42( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: was we don't think we have the authority to turn over all of our telephone, our records, communications of our customers to the bush administration. and they didn't do so. and the court order was never

Christopher Dodd

2:53:42 to 2:53:54( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: forthcoming. that ought to be instructive to people about what was going on here. why wasn't the court order forthcoming? why didn't they go to the fisa courts, which were created, as senator feingold

Christopher Dodd

2:53:54 to 2:54:04( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: said, exactly for that purpose? and why did some companies say no when others said yes. that ought to be instructive as well as we consider this debate and the outcome of this amendment. for all

Christopher Dodd

2:54:04 to 2:54:13( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: of those arguments and the ones eloquently imposed by senator feingold, we urge our colleagues to accept this amendment, to vote for it, and to give us a chance to go forward and let the courts do that

Christopher Dodd

2:54:13 to 2:54:24( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: work and determine the legality or illegality of these actions. as i said earlier, madam president, i will accept that result of the courts. and there's plenty of ample precedent over the years

Christopher Dodd

2:54:24 to 2:54:36( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: where our courts have handled matters like this here where secrecy and means and methods certainly need to be protected. they demonstrated the ability to do that over and over and over again. that ought

Christopher Dodd

2:54:36 to 2:54:47( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: not to be the issue. but if we're able to do that, then i think we strengthen our country and come closer to maintaining that balance between security and the rule of law that generations throughout

Christopher Dodd

2:54:47 to 2:54:57( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: our nation's history have struggled with and done a very good job, i might add, of maintaining that healthy balance. to reject this amendment i think destroys that balance, does great damage to that

Christopher Dodd

2:54:57 to 2:55:37( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: balance. and i think we'll regret that in the years to come. with that, madam president, i yield the floor on this. i know there are others that want to be heard on this amendment and others, and so

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