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October 27, 2007


please wait for brunch. I'm riveted

Telcos' actions are independent of the government's. They are liable for them, just as a military officer is personally liable for following an illegal order and a CFO is personally liable for knowingly filing false financial statements for his corporate employer. Separate crimes, separate penalties.

The Telcos know by heart the statutes that prohibit them from giving information to the government. They are as skilled as David Addington in evaluating the government's claims excepting them from those prohibitions. They weren't witless creatures responding to Dick Cheney's whip and chair.

It's easy to imagine Cheney holding court over spilled whisky, empty shotgun shells and the remnants of hand-rolled cigars, implying to his Telco boys (like Libby) that they’ll have immunity. Easier to imagine him hinting at the rapid approval of bonus and career procuring mega-deals (Cingular, Sprint, Bell South, etc.), while leaving unspoken his threats of denied government contracts and the abuse of the regulatory process that is these companies’ daily bread.

Cheney now has to make good; he does not ask nicely. But let's not allow Congress to think that granting Telco immunity is normal, behind-the-wood shed politicking. Let's make loud and clear that there will be an electoral price to pay for shredding the Constitution and caving in to Dick Cheney. Or else, like the Eloys feeding the Morlocks in H.G. Wells' Time Machine, we will be complicit in our own demise.

I like /snark this part of the Senate's report:

"Given the scope of the civil damages suits, and the current spotlight associated with providing any assistance to the intelligence community, the Committee was concerned that, without retroactive immunity, the private sector might be unwilling to cooperate with lawful Government requests in the future without unnecessary court involvement and protracted litigation."

What, a FISA warrant is just a piece of paper?

I'm gob-smacked that the SSCI folks who wrote this drivel would expect us to see anything but a total cave-in to the poor, poor, woefully ill-represented Telcos.

Why, the poor Telcos had such incompetent legal beagles that who could blame them for falling for Junya's tricks.

"Oh lawdy, we be goin' to the poorhouse. All because we jest couldn't say no."

Well, at least the SSCI shows concern for protecting the welfare of some people. That's a start. Now if only we could expand the SSCI's conception of defending the welfare to include that of the people of the United States...
No retroactive immunity. Imagine the business opportunities (and jobs) that await the American people when and if the telco's are destroyed by civil litigation. Even the republicans could get excited about this.

There ought to be provisions making it a criminal offense to misuse the State Secrets claim (yes I know that would kind of eviscerate the matter; I don't care the principle sucks to start with) AND a corollary provision tolling (extending) the statute of limitations on any crime committed OR covered up through invocation of a State Secrets claim. What is being reported on in general in this extended series of "Pancake Posts"; is pure horse manure. The Administration has supplied the telcos with immunity for conspiring with the criminal acts of the Administration and, then, willfully and wrongfully prevented the telcos from gaining that immunity until the original criminal acts of the Administration have been effectively immunized. This is a scam worthy of a top notch Mississippi Delta flim flam man. How in the world is anybody biting off on this?

bmaz, I do believe you're smarter that these senators. They obviously will fall for anything.

"I trust this Administration not to invoke State Secrets just to hide its own lawbreaking. Really I do."

I am holding the Easter Bunny hostage, would you care to pet him MT? He's so cute and trusting, kinda like you - ok, I know you're being facetious, so am I!

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