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Bush Administration And Civil Rights: Oil, Water

By - May 04, 2007

Nsa

Thank God we have a paper like the Washington Post which owns this story. Here’s their latest: Bush Wants Phone Firms Immune to Privacy Suits.

Now, why do you supposed the Bush administration wants to protect phone companies from lawsuits? Gee, that’s a tough one. From the piece:

The measure is part of a legislative package drafted by the Justice Department to relax provisions in the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that restrict the administration’s ability to intercept electronic communications in the United States. If passed, the proposed changes would forestall efforts to compel disclosure of the program’s details through Congress or the court system….

…The proposal states that “no action shall lie . . . in any court, and no penalty . . . shall be imposed . . . against any person” for giving the government information, including customer records, in connection with alleged intelligence activity the attorney general certifies “is, was, would be or would have been” intended to protect the United States from terrorist attack.

…The measure would gut Congress’s efforts to conduct inquiries into the administration’s surveillance program because a subpoenaed company or government official could invoke immunity, said Tim Sparapani, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, which has sued the government to force a halt to its wiretapping program



The worst part of this proposed legislation is that it gives blanket immunity for **past** actions. In other words, Cover Your Ass For Things You Did Wrong While Screwing Up The War on Terror. Or, Provide Immunity and Therefore Impunity To Those Who Might Have the Goods to Prove The Government Broke All Kinds of Laws.

No thanks, guys. I prefer my oligarchy with sunshine. It disinfects.

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7 thoughts on “Bush Administration And Civil Rights: Oil, Water

  1. Mike says:

    Amazing how some still see government “spooks” behind every bush. Incredible.

  2. Joseph Hunkins says:

    Whoa baby … express this as a corrolary and it seems to me you should see the thin ice of your position, e.g.:

    Company’s should NOT be required to help the Government with information when the Government is performing

    intelligence activity the attorney general certifies “is, was, would be or would have been” intended to protect the United States from terrorist attack

    huh ! ?

    If you don’t like this rule, when do you think it’s OK for a company to help the Government prevent a terror attack?

    I agree the GW crowd is far too obsessed with terrorism to the exclusion of more relevant and productive uses of our resources, but they have a right and obligation to keep an eye on the bad guys.

  3. Aaron says:

    Man, I can’t parse past the glibness in the previous 2 replies.

    I don’t read that “corrolary” from John’s statement. Basically, what the proposed legislation would do, if I’m interpreting correctly, is prevent congress or the courts from levelling any punishment for violation of laws related to the unlawful granting to the government of information.

    In other words, FISA restricts what the government can legally obtain. The proposed legislation would allow the government to request, and companies to provide, more information, in violation of FISA, and the companies providing such information would not be liable for any laws they broke, and could therefore claim immunity if called to testify about any laws the government may have broken.

    I don’t see how this is paranoid, since it’s based on actual current events (Bush has admitted to domestic wiretapping in violation of FISA, and the Justice Department really did propose this legislation).

  4. Chris Zaharias says:

    You speak from on high
    Say ‘Bush is a bad guy’
    But your book praises Google
    Who’s China’s pet poodle

    John [you've never fought in a] Battelle

  5. Chris F says:

    - Extremism is on the rise.

    - US President and UK PM trying hard to rally their countries to fight it.

    - Most of Congress and Europe want more talk, appeasement and a hold on the fighting.

    End result will be 72 million people dead.

    How do I make such a bold prediction?
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_war_ii_casualties

    We could have prevented WW-II if the American people and the Republican Congress stepped up to the plate earlier.

    We are still ahead of it this time, but our resolve is slipping.

    …doomed to repeat it…

  6. BODY GUARDS says:

    …The measure would gut Congress’s efforts to conduct inquiries into the administration’s surveillance program because a subpoenaed company or government official could invoke immunity,

    Congress could still conduct inquiries for the benefit of uncovering information for the press and the American pubic – it is just that the subjects of these investigations would not face legal penalties.

    However from a PR standpoint, both the voting public and the consumer public still could react strongly to these revelations.

    So, political careers and Stock value could be affected.

  7. Randy White says:

    Peak Oil will only exacerbate the situations… the only thing stopping all out war is financial markets that allow people to survive.

    Once those collapse, and money no longer buys enough of Maslow’s basics, it won’t be nationalism, it will be neighbor VS neighbor.

    Yee haw!

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