[Cialug] Telecom Immunity
tdwalton at gmail.com
Wed Jul 9 21:53:23 CDT 2008
Today [July 7 2008] the Bush Administration released a letter
threatening to veto the upcoming FISA legislation if it included the
Bingaman Amendment, which puts both telecom immunity and the court
cases on hold until after the Inspector General reports about the
warrantless wiretapping program.
Senator Kennedy addressed this issue in his floor statement back in December:
"Think about what we've been hearing from the White House in this
debate. The President has said that American lives will be sacrificed
if Congress does not change FISA. But he has also said that he will
veto any FISA bill that does not grant retroactive immunity. No
immunity, no new FISA bill. So if we take the President at his word,
he is willing to let Americans die to protect the phone companies. The
President's insistence on immunity as a precondition for any FISA
reform is yet another example of his disrespect for honest dialogue
and for the rule of law.
"It's painfully clear what the President's request for retroactive
immunity is really about. It's a self-serving attempt to avoid legal
and political accountability and keep the American public in the dark
about this whole shameful episode."
Kind of makes you wonder just what the telecoms and the president did,
that Bush is willing to risk so much. Voting 69-28, the Senate passed
immunity, which the House already passed. The President will now sign
and it's done.
Bush Wins Passage Of Spy Bill to Protect Telecoms
Senator Feingold said, "Granting retroactive immunity under these
circumstances will undermine any new laws that we pass regarding
government surveillance. If we want companies to follow the law in the
future, it sends a terrible message, and sets a terrible precedent, to
give them a "get out of jail free" card for allegedly ignoring the law
in the past".
So, the executive branch is making laws now, by letting the phone
companies do its bidding, and the legislative branch is being judges,
by pre-empting a judge's authority to determine what's legal or not,
and we live in a country that's never had a more blatantly corrupt
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