Jan 112008

Well, well, well. It seems the big telecom companies (you remember, the ones wanting immunity for assisting Dick Cheney and King George in their illegal wiretapping scheme because of the dire consequences to national security), have been having to cut off the phone lines providing wiretap information to the feds because the FBI can’t pay their bills on time.

The New York Times is reporting on an FBI audit that found that several wiretaps were cut off because the FBI was so behind on paying their bill.

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 and intelligence 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.

So let me get this straight…

  • The telecom companies just HAD to provide the government with the illegal wiretaps because of the obvious threats to national security.
  • Now, because they were really just protecting all of us, they expect the government to give them immunity.
  • The Congress probably will give them immunity in a couple of weeks.
  • But when the bills didn’t get paid, it wasn’t really an important enough threat to national security to keep the wiretaps open.

As one writer put, I guess they believed the government when they said the warrant was in the mail, but not when they said the check was in the mail.

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