In another display of bipartisanship our glorious US Senate has approved a FISA bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecom companies that illegally and profitably provided private customer data to the US government during the last couple of years. See this report by Glenn Greenwald for more details on this issue.

Our government needs to have the means available to protect its citizens from foreign and domestic threats. No one denies this point. But the circumvention of checks and balances is not an option because it inevitably leads to abuse of power by the "simply trust us to do the right thing" executive branch.