The Real Importance of Telecom Immunity to the Cheney Administration

 Congress, Constitution, Crime, Politics, Presidency, Society, The Courts  Comments Off on The Real Importance of Telecom Immunity to the Cheney Administration
Mar 142008

Well, the House seems to be sticking to their guns, and not passing a FISA bill that will grant immunity to the telecom industry for illegal spying. This is critically important, because it’s the last best hope to have the illegal surveillance activities of the current Cheney Administration see the light of day.

During a press conference on February 28, George Bush finally went rogue on Dick, and accidentally told the truth about the reason for telecom immunity.

Allowing the lawsuits to proceed could aid our enemies, because the litigation process could lead to the disclosure of information about how we conduct surveillance.

The part about aiding our enemies is the usual administration fear mongering BS, but the rest reveals a truth that Dick probably didn’t want exposed.

The truth is that Federal Courts receive and rule on secret and classified information on a fairly regular basis, and those secrets seem better kept than most of the Administration’s secrets (when it suits them to harm someone they don’t like…see Valery Plame). The FISA law provided for those procedures a long time ago, and they have worked just fine. When FISA was originally passed by Congress, they knew that preventing courts from ever having access to anything deemed “secret” would allow government officials to break any laws their little hearts desired, and then just declare it related to national security.

The real reason the Cheney Administration doesn’t want a court to ever hear a telecom spying case is because those lawsuits are the absolute last hope for ever learning what the administration did when they spied on Americans for years in violation of the law. Dismissing the cases based on a grant of amnesty would ensure that their spying activities stay concealed, buried forever, and just as important, that no court ever rules on the legality of what they did.

It amazes me how this aspect of telecom amnesty is never discussed, and how little interest it generates among journalists — whose role, theoretically, is to uncover secret government actions?

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