Gov't Trying Everything Possible Not To Give Up Telco Immunity Lobbying Records

from the not-so-transparent dept

Remember last month, when a court ordered the Obama administration to turn over records of who lobbied the administration for retroactive immunity for telcos concerning the warrantless wiretapping program? Yeah… well, it turns out the Obama administration isn’t so keen on actually living up to that. First, it asked for a 60 day delay, so it could think about appealing (i.e., “give us time to stall, since telco immunity is being debated in Congress now, and we don’t want this info out until afterwards”). However, the court said no, and said to hand over the info. And… yet again, the administration has now filed an emergency motion asking for 30 days to consider an appeal. It’s difficult to see what this is other than a pure stall tactic. If the court already rejected the 60 day delay, why would it now turn around and grant a 30 day delay. All this is really serving to do is make people a lot more suspicious about what those records might show.

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Comments on “Gov't Trying Everything Possible Not To Give Up Telco Immunity Lobbying Records”

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HolaJohnny (profile) says:

Re: Short Answer

“You Lie!” Sorry. I had to be the first to make a Joe Wilson reference. In all honesty I think they all lie. It is just a matter of whether we catch them with their hand in the cookie jar or if they manage to throw up that governmental smoke screen. Personally I think we need to start calling Shenanigans any time they make excuses for this sort of behavior.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: WTF

The reality is there’s nothing you can do. Using rebellion/violence is ridiculous when you can solve the problem with votes.

The problem is the vast majority of voters in this country don’t care. And you telling them to care is infinitely more offensive to them than telco lawbreaking.

The problem isn’t telco’s or dishonest leaders, it’s people who tolerate it. McCain and Obama both lied in national televised debates. Did anyone really think the next president wouldn’t always lie when it benefited them?

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 WTF

Who the fuck are we suppose to vote for? Democrats suck so we vote for Republicans, Republicans suck so we vote for Democrats. There is no political way for a third party to get voted into the office. Even if the majority of the citizens vote for a third party there is nothing forcing our Senators to vote the way we do, nor is there really a process for them to.

Then we get into the E-Voting machine conspiracy theory, but I’ll let that to our resident conspiracy nut, Dark Helmet.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 WTF

Oddly, I know absolutely NOTHING about e-Voting machines or possible conspiracies surrounding them. I’m more read up on the global banking syndicates, their history, and the plethora of groups and “clubs” that have arisen out of their interests.

Globalism cares not for individual elections. The key to the conspiracies I see in action aren’t to alter the votes to pick the man they want, but to make sure only the men they want are on the ballot, making the voting process meaningless.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 WTF

You can’t solve the problem with votes. No matter who is put in office, that position WILL be abused. Come on now, thousands of years of the history of government makes that obvious. There has never been a type of government, nor a specific implementation of one, that has not been subject to corruption.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

A. Love the name

B. They DO mean something, just not what we think. If we all actually voted the banker-backed politicians out of office, they would simply change the government to something more authoritarian and stay in power. The only way, unfortunately, to really affect true change in our corrupt government would take a VAST amount of rebellion and bloodshed. Sadly, I don’t see that happening….

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Then perhaps said ammo should be used not against the puppet politicians, but against the syndicates DH has mentioned. Strike at the serpent’s head, and all that.”

Personally I advocate a more peaceful response on OUR side. The bloodshed will be ours, but I think it’s important for global support that the popular uprising not be the first to strike with violence. There are ways to combat the international banks. I suggest a few relatively easy steps:

1. Research your banks and bank locally: Make sure your bank isn’t owned by a multinational conglomerate. Anything affiliated with the Morgans, Rothschilds, Stanleys, or Rockefellers should be immediately nixed. Also, any bank owned in any significant part by members of the CFR or Trilateral Commission. BANK LOCALLY for any financing needs.

2. Pay in cash. The biggest trick ever pulled on the people of he world was interest enslavement via cumulative debt. Not owing people money is a very powerful thing.

3. Stay off the grid wherever you can. Prepay cell phones work just fine, and you can even get pretty ones with lots of toys and internet connections on them.

4. Fight for liberties (that span across both major political parties). Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean you should take away something from someone else. Abortion, guns, education options, free all that shit up. Voice your opinion but take away no one’s right to choose and/or defend themselves.

Just a few thoughts on a dreary Chicago morning….

Gene Cavanaugh (profile) says:

Telco immunity

I can’t see this as being embarrassing to anyone but the Republican administration (including in Congress) which depends on big money to stay in power.
I interpret this as Obama continuing his attempts to mend the “bipartisan” divide by extending an olive branch.
Isn’t it interesting that “bipartisan”, at one time, meant working together? It now means “doing it the Republican way, or else”!

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

You must be getting bad info. We’re entirely on the up and up. That’s why 3 of our last 5 governors have had comfy state-paid housing, and some of them even hobnob with what are clearly A-list celebs like Heidi and Spencer.

Our city Mayors get elected term after term because they’re good and honest (or superevil and corrupt, one of those two).

You should see our parking meter system…works perfectly! No hiccups!

(This comment was approved by the United States Olympic Committee and does not reflect the opinion of anyone with marginal use of their gray matter)

Freedom says:

This isn't about protecting the TelCos...

Let’s just all remember that this isn’t about protecting the TelCos. This is about protecting the government and the officials in it from going to jail! The TelCos were strong armed into doing things for “National Security” and basic, fundmental laws were broken in the process.

The only reason I can see that Obama is doing this is that both Republicians and Democrats were involved.

I’m on neither side of the political isle – they both frankly make me sick and have shown that they’ll abuse their power when given a chance. This should highlight to those that think Obama can do no wrong and is a principled leader that he is just like most politicans right now. The truth is, you should judge a man by his actions and not by his words! His words are pretty, but his actions show the extreme ugliness of his character and total lack of principled leadership.


Anonymous Coward says:

Per the EFF website extolling “victory:

But in today’s order, the judge ruled that as the communications were with Congress and lobbyists, the exemptions did not apply.

Assuming this to be true and the basis for a decision in favor of the EFF’s FOIA request, the court’s alleged statement to the FOIA exemptions do not apply is non-sensical.

As I understand the facts, the FOIA request was directed to documents in the possession of two executive agencies. Last time I looked executive agencies are not Congress. Hence, for the court to supposedly rule in favor on the basis described by the EFF is totally out of “whack” with FOIA and its enumerated exceptions (about 7 in total).

I can well understand why the executive branch would not look kindly on what appears to be a fundamental misunderstanding and misapplication of FOIA. If the agencies to decide nevertheless to comply, it would likely be as the result of what the “boss” has said, and not because the law so mandates.

Again, this is NOT a battle about the public’s right to know, and suggestions to the contrary are truly disingenuous. This is a battle about the right of individual plaintiffs to pursue claims they had pending in our courts that were summarily dismissed when immunity was granted. What the EFF and its allies are really trying to do is give back to these plaintiffs the right for their lawsuits to continue.

Of course, it is appropriate to consider whether or not it is fair to allow private rights of action against telephone companies who were almost certainly strong-armed into compliance with the wishes of the USG. It is also appropriate to consider the extent to which the disclosure of certain documents may inflict substantial damage on ongoing national security investigations.

It is not a question that admits to an easy answer. Things in life are not always black and white.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

As I understand the facts, the FOIA request was directed to documents in the possession of two executive agencies. Last time I looked executive agencies are not Congress.

The court didn’t that say they were either. The court was saying that the communications were:
a. between the executive agencies and Congress
b. between the executive agencies and lobbyists.

Understand now?

elpookie says:


Next stop, 9th Cir. Depending on the panel they draw, extension may be granted but it is doubtful. Then emergency request to the USSCt. Do no recall the Justice responsible for requests from this Cir. but delay is in the cards. If not, there will be production but it will be so heavly re-dacted (nationa security/executive privilege) that it will be meaningless.

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