Sen. Arlen Specter went on TV to vehemently deny a Washington Post report that he had proposed legislation which included blanket amnesty for everyone involved with Bush’s warrantless spying. But lawyer Glenn Greenwald has apparently proved that the Post was right in its report—and the Specter had lied about it.
Last Friday, Walter Pincus of the Washington Post reported that Sen. Arlen Specter had proposed legislation which included blanket amnesty for anyone who has violated FISA, i.e., a “provision that seems to ensure that no one would be held criminally liable if the current program is found illegal under present law.”
That same day, the ACLU issued a Press Release objecting that Specter was trying “to win administration support by . . . creat[ing] a retroactive exception to criminal liability when warrantless wiretapping is done at the president?s direction under a claim of inherent authority.” These reports created a limited but intense backlash—there was abundant fury in the blogosphere over the notion that Congressional Republicans would attempt to shield the president and his aides from criminal liability arising out of their illegal eavesdropping conduct, and CNN’s Jack Cafferty said that Specter “has turned out to be yet another gutless Republican worm cowering in the face of pressure from the administration and fellow Republicans. “