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.