Thursday, January 24, 2008

Beltway Banditry

In Washington today, telecom lobbyists have launched a full-court press to win retroactive immunity for their illegal eavesdropping on American citizens. Granting retroactive immunity will let corporate law-breakers off the hook and hamstring efforts to learn the truth about Bush's illegal spying program.

While many Americans understandably have been worrying over crime in the streets, it seems crime in the boardrooms of the Telecom corporations (that would include ATT, Verizon, and all the rest -- except U.S. West) has been running rampant. For six years they violated the U.S. Constitution and federal law by spying on thee and we.

Now, Telecom industry lobbyists and Dick Cheney are angling to have Congress grant them retroactive immunity for their past crimes. And, in the absence of real leadership from any presidential candidate other than John Edwards, Democrats in Congress are just as deeply implicated as accessories-after-the-fact as Republicans.

As Glenn Greenwald explains today --
Telecoms already have immunity under existing FISA law where they acted pursuant to written government certification or where they prove they acted in good faith (see 18 USC 2520 (d)). There is no reason that the federal courts presiding over these cases can't simply make that determination, as they do in countless other cases involving classified information.
Lots of bloggers and more traditional news sources have the low-down on what's happening, such as here and here and here. If you're short of time, Leave Us Alone! offers a succinct version. with links. Raw Story has an update for today, as well.

Click on this link to see what you can do today to defend the U.S. Constitution at no cost.

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