“IMMUNITY” IS NOT the word that should be being used to highlight and headline stories regarding the case of the telecoms and the FISA bill. “Retroactive immunity” is not even right. These terms put the focus of this story on the telecoms. It belongs on the White House. If the word is going to be used at all, it should be along the lines of “Bush seeking protection for possible White House crimes with immunity request.”?
Here’s my Senator on this:
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., an intelligence committee member, fears the language would go far beyond protecting private companies and their employees, also giving cover to any government officials who may have broken the law.
“I and others are going to make sure that anything that is done is done in a narrow, targeted way,” Wyden said.
“Giving cover to government officials who may have broken the law.” Like Alberto Gonazales, Dick Cheney, and George Bush, along with a host of others.
Most people here know that this is what’s going on, but I think headlines should reflect that, and the “Bush seeking immunity for telecoms” isn’t forwarding that correct message. This is about stopping the dozens of lawsuits currently ongoing against the telecoms – and explicitly to stop what would be revealed in those cases were allowed to go through.
And they’re not just waiting for this FISA bill, they’re desperately fighting in court to get the cases squashed even without this legislation. And they may win.
SAn appeals court in San Francisco is weighing the government’s argument that these cases should be thrown out on the grounds that the subject matter is a “state secret” and that its disclosure would jeopardize national security.
More from Wired:
The telecoms are defending themselves against some 50 lawsuits seeking damages and a halt to the cooperation. Nearly all of those are consolidated in a San Francisco federal court, where lawyers for the government, rights groups, and the telecoms are waiting for the 9th Circuit Appeals Court to rule on whether the suits must be dismissed on the grounds that they will endanger national security.
Why doesn’t the Bush administration want these suits to go through? It’s not national security. It’s just not. They’re lying. They are covering their own asses.
Editor’s note: I am not a crook. Nor a lawyer. Please inform me of any ridiculous errors I may have made.