June 24, 2008 – Remarks as Prepared –
Mr. President: I rise-once again-to voice my strong opposition to the misguided FISA legislation before us today. I have strong reservations about the so-called improvements made to Title I. But more than that, this legislation includes provisions which would grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that apparently have violated the privacy and the trust of millions of Americans by participating in the president’s warrantless wiretapping program. If we pass this legislation, the Senate will ratify a domestic spying regime that has already concentrated far too much unaccountable power in the president’s hands and will place the telecommunications companies above the law.I am here today to implore my colleagues to vote against cloture in the morning.
And let me make clear, at the outset of this debate, that this is not about domestic surveillance itself. We all recognize the importance of domestic surveillance – in an age of unprecedented threats. This is about illegal, unwarranted, unchecked domestic surveillance.
And that difference-the difference between surveillance that is lawful, warranted and that which is not-is everything.
[Continue Sen. Dodd’s speech here.]