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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 6:47pm

    3 branches of government?

    Who needs 'em? The Decider knows what's best for the nation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Avatar28, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 7:11pm

    What a great idea!

    This is sure to be a law that would NEVER be abused.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Cynic, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 7:46pm

    And how is this "compromise" different than Bush and his friends in the Congress taking a leak on the US Constitution? Am I being too hard on them? I don't think so.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    wulfman (profile), Jun 16th, 2008 @ 8:08pm


    When will the American people take up arms against this corrupt government we have here? After all our rights are taken away including our guns? People WAKE UP its time to write your government whether its your senator or representative or the president himself ( lot of good that will do ). The terrorists have won. Face it freedom is on its last legs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    BRADLEY STEWART, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 8:36pm


    as far as I could throw a Steinway Grand Piano and I have a bad back. He has demonstrated my belief to me for the last seven years through every agency of the Federal Government. For me my most memorable Kodak moment was during a Senate Judicary hearing dealing with the firing of the eight or nine Federal Prosecuters. Two prominant Republican Senators Orin Hatch and Jeff Sessions were in attendance. I have seen both of them at one time or another look ill dealing with something in a hearing, but I have never seen both of them in the same session look that ill. These company's knew exactly what they were doing! In the interest of explaining to President Bush and any president and any company's that works with a following president the rule of law is what this country is based on. This thing should hit the court system.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    M Prock, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 9:37pm

    Warrantless Taps

    Just be glad they are not doing this anymore.

    Everything is good again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Dan, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 10:51pm

    its payoff time

    The Dems. need to stand up to this, then we need to take a look at the second generation telco monopolies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Robert, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 11:09pm

    The real end of the USA

    If this gets passed. It gives the president the power of a king. He could tell you "go shoot that old lady, i said you could" and you would not be breaking the law. Unless the supreme court judges or on the take then they would mark this unconstitutional in a heart beat.

    So its show time. we get to see if everything the USA stood for has been destroyed or not. Our only defense, as American citizens from corrupt laws is the supreme courts. This falls into there lap, To do what CONGRESS should do, and cross this out as BAD.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    ober, Jun 17th, 2008 @ 12:00am


    If we stand by without taking action any longer then we have really lost all hopes of keeping America true to our Constitution and we'll only have ourselves to blame. It's already been degraded on so many levels.. so many levels. TAKE A STAND MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS!

    Remember the truth in what Baron Acton once wrote... "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

    It's time for ACTION!


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2008 @ 12:00am

    Re: The real end of the USA

    The supreme court has been doing a fairly good job lately. I expect this to continue. Should this law get passed, everyone who yay-says it will get voted out of office... And the justices will not rule it anything BUT unconstitutional.

    After all, they are in charge of the court... They're not going to stand back while congress limits their power!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    bob dog, Jun 17th, 2008 @ 8:39am

    I can only stand in awe. You would think that all the political milk had been extracted from this issue years ago. How many investigations do you think we need on this subject, anyhow?

    But, no. A lot of you guys are still mad about losing the 2000 election. We stole it, you know. Nobel Prize-Weiner Al Gore should be President. Then everything would be all frickin' perfect.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    hegemon13, Jun 17th, 2008 @ 10:06am

    Could be a good thing...

    Before I get flamed for the subject, please read the full comment.

    I can see one way this could turn out good, and it is the only rationale I could come up with for why the Dems would suddenly give in. If Bush signs a paper stating that he assured the telecoms that it was legal, it confirms the program. It means that Bush no longer has any sort of deniability in his role in the wiretaps. It may let the telecoms off the hook (bad), but it may put Bush and his administration ON the hook. Maybe, just maybe, this document to "free" the telecoms could be the smoking gun that leads to Bush's much-deserved impeachment.

    For the record, I am a conservative and am registered Republican. That doesn't mean I am willing to stand by and watch a president, regardless of his supposed political affiliation, dismantle our constitution. Conservatism is supposed to be about small government and maintaining the original founders' intent, not about creating a dictatorship dressed in red.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Jeffrey, Jun 19th, 2008 @ 8:30am

    Nothing new

    The Bush-Cheney Administration has famously demonstrated a complete disregard for the Constitution, the American people, the law, and anything else they deem unnecessary to their idea of how our country should be governed, why should it be any different now? The people always seem to elect the government they so richly deserve.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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