Also posted at Planet Orange.
We’ve been hearing from Bush at least since October–Congress must listen to him to keep America safe:
Today the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees are considering a proposed bill that instead of making the Protect America Act permanent would take us backward
He goes on to make sure we know that:
Keeping this authority is critical to keeping America safe
And that those patriotic telecoms were acting in America’s best interest:
And it must grant liability protection to companies who are facing multi-billion-dollar lawsuits only because they are believed to have assisted in the efforts to defend our nation following the 9/11 attacks.
So what do we find out today?
Those patriotic telecoms were ‘patriotic’ to the extent they were getting paid. When the bills went due, wiretaps came down:
In at least one case, a wiretap used in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act investigation “was halted due to untimely payment,” the audit found. FISA wiretaps are used in the government’s most sensitive and secretive criminal investigations, and allow eavesdropping on suspected terrorists or spies.
“We also found that late payments have resulted in telecommunications carriers actually disconnecting phone lines established to deliver surveillance results to the FBI, resulting in lost evidence,” according to the audit by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine
Sad to see there are bounds to that Patriotism. These corporations were so concerned with our safety that they allowed Bush to wiretap without warrants, then cut them off when the funds ran out. Sick.