24 January 2008

Cheney Wants Retroactive Immunity for Telecom Companies

Does it concern anyone else that the Vice President of the Unites States is asking that corporations who (may have) violated the rights of Americans and others be given retroactive immunity?

Dick Cheney spoke at the Heritage Foundation yesterday and asked that we update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and make the temporary "Protect America ACT of 2007" PERMANENT? On top of that he is requesting that Congress give telecom companies and their execs complete retroactive immunity.

The introduction, given by Edwin Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation is a telling prelude:
"...you are always and will always be welcome at the Heritage Foundation. Mr. Vice president at heritage, we firmly believe that congress should not impose restrictions on the ability of the executive branch to carry out one of its primary constitutionally mandated functions. Namely, protecting Americans from acts of war by foreign enemies."

In his speech, Dick Cheney declares that,
"The relative safety of the 6 years and 4months since 9/11 is not an accident, but an achievement."
"Liability protection, retroactive to 9/11 is the right thing to do...It's the right way to help us prevent another 9/11 down the road."
If you are going to give immunity for an illegal action, do it beforehand. Otherwise, it can only be viewed as a corporation colluding with the United States government in illegal activities.

1 comment:

cwysocki said...

The telecom companies are between a rock and a hard place here. They did what the Justice Dept told them to do, and then Congress stepped in and said "whoa".

If they disregarded the Justice Dept, they ran the risk of being prosecuted for obstruction of justice.

Now, with Congress investigating their actions, they are in danger of being prosecuted for privacy violations.

It's only fair to indemnify them for acting in good faith.

If Congress is truly concerned about the privacy violations, then go after the originators of the surveillance. Except, of course, Congress originated the program by passing the Patriot Act. Congress would never sanction itself, and bloviating in front of the tv cameras is too much fun to pass up, so they are going after the telecom execs and some low-level staffers at Justice.

It's kabuki theater, and the VP wants to put a stop to it.