It's dismal how far the current congress has gone to allow and accept lawless governmental policy. When news first broke of the warrantless wiretap programs, there was much loud derision - but the congress has reversed course in no uncertain terms. What were once vices are now habits.
Reviewing the Senate's actions, Glenn Greenwald makes a crucial point:
"Analogously, in 1973, The Washington Post won the Pulitzer Prize for its work in uncovering the Watergate abuses, and that led to what would have been the imminent bipartisan impeachment of the President until he was forced to resign in disgrace. By stark and depressing contrast, in 2006, Jim Risen, Eric Lichtblau and the NYT won Pulitzer Prizes for their work in uncovering illegal spying on Americans at the highest levels of the Government, and that led to bipartisan legislation to legalize the illegal spying programs and provide full-scale retroactive amnesty for the lawbreakers. That's the difference between a country operating under the rule of law and one that is governed by lawlessness and lawbreaking license for the politically powerful and well-connected."
The legislation now moves to the House for approval and their version of the bill currently does not include immunity. Hopefully the debate will more focused on laws and not lawlessness.