Saturday, June 17, 2006

Amnesty for Eavesdropping?

Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald: Specter falsely denied proposing amnesty for the Administration's illegal eavesdropping: "Absolutely not. That was an erroneous report. If anybody has violated the law, they'll be held accountable, both as to criminal conduct and as to civil conduct. And in no way did I promise amnesty or immunity or letting anybody off the hook.

As I wrote on that day, the absoluteness of Specter's denial made it seem likely that the Post had simply erred in its reporting. Although both the Post and the ACLU reported that his legislation contained such a provision, Specter so categorically denied on national television that he had done any such thing, something he seemed unlikely to do if his proposed legislation really did contain such amnesty. This conflict could not be resolved over the weekend -- or until today -- because Specter's marked-up legislation referenced by the Post was not publicly available and, therefore, could not be reviewed to determine whether Specter was telling the truth.

I have now obtained (with the help of the ACLU) a copy of Specter's marked-up proposed legislation (.pdf), which makes quite clear that Specter simply was not telling the truth when he denied proposing amnesty to the administration. The bill in question was one which Specter substituted last week in the Judiciary Committee for the prior legislation he proposed back in March (the reason the new version was not available online was because -- according to the ACLU -- he introduced it only in the Committee, but not yet on the Senate floor)."

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