Thursday, May 08, 2008

Telecoms Write Legislation To Give Themselves Immunity

The FISA debate, if not for anything else shows why Washington is broken and how we need to fix the system. At&T, Verizon and the other telecoms graciously took the time to write their own legislation for Congress so that they can get off the hook for their unconstitutional crimes when they helped George Bush spy on Americans. The problem isn't that Congress laughed in their faces, its that they are trying to 'work things out'.

From Politico:

Many Democrats want the companies held accountable for participating in the program, which was initiated in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The White House, however, has insisted that the participation of the telecoms is crucial to monitoring conversations between potential terrorists. President Bush has vowed to veto any bill that does not contain immunity.

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said Wednesday a FISA deal is “still in flux” but he described the latest developments as “promising” and said he hoped to have a solution soon.

House officials declined to discuss the specifics of the proposed immunity language by the telecoms.

Although it remains to be seen if congressional Democrats will accept the telecom companies' proposal, the communication between the two sides signifies that progress is being made.

If many Democrats want these companies to be held accountable, it is only because either they want the rule of law to be upheld or their constituents are screaming in their faces (or in the direction of their offices) to do something for them instead of corporations for a change. The only progress that should have been made is to declare the telecoms immunity legislation dead on arrival. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that George Bush will veto what the people want, nor does it take a genius to know that we can wait until we have the 44th President in office.

If for some reason "progress" is made, Democrats are going to realize they will pay for their actions by facing primary challenges in the near or somewhat near future. We must uphold the law, even if it pisses politicians big campaign donors off. I for one, really do not care for it.