Warrantless Wiretap 'Compromise' Really Just A Get Out Of Jail Free Card From The President
from the that-doesn't-seem-right dept
We’ve been following the ridiculous attempts by the administration to protect telcos who most likely broke the law in supplying warrantless wiretaps by trying to get “immunity” included in the new FISA bill. As we’ve pointed out, this makes absolutely no sense. If the administration or the telcos (or both) broke the law — then that issue should be explored. Granting anyone immunity from even being tried for breaking the law doesn’t seem appropriate. If there were special circumstances that explain why the telcos or the administration broke the law, why not at least have them come out in court rather than sweeping them all under the rug?
Unfortunately, now there’s word coming out that a new “compromise” bill is likely to be approved. However, the details suggest this isn’t a compromise. This is exactly what the administration wanted, and which some members of Congress have been fighting against. Basically, it would let the President say that he assured the telcos that their actions were legal — and that would grant them immunity. In other words, this law would basically say that as long as the President tells you something is legal, it’s automatically legal, and you can’t get in trouble for doing it. That’s not how the law is supposed to work — and is a huge abuse of power. There’s simply no way Congress should let this through, as it sets an awful precedent.