Cash Cow vs. National Security
House of Representatives-Lawyers Lobby Holding Up Surveillance Bill
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Our House on Friday passed their version of the Terrorist Surveillance Bill leaving out the crucial text that protects communication companies from getting sued when they cooperated with the government after 9/11. There are currently over 40 lawsuits (in the billions) pending against the companies that could bring in millions for individuals and attorneys claiming that the wire-taps were illegally authorized by our government. President Bush plans to veto this version of the bill if it reach’s his desk.
WASHINGTON-AP - The House on Friday approved a Democratic bill that would set rules for the government's eavesdropping on phone calls and e-mails inside the United States.
The bill, approved as lawmakers departed for a two-week break, faces a veto threat from President Bush. The margin of House approval was 213-197, largely along party lines.
Because of the promised veto, "this vote has no impact at all," said Republican Whip Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri.
The president's main objection is that the bill does not protect from lawsuits the telecommunications companies that allowed the government to eavesdrop on their customers without a court's permission after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. White House spokesman Tony Fratto called the measure a "political ploy" designed to give Democrats cover for their failure to grant full retroactive immunity to the telecom companies.
The vote sent the bill to the Senate, which has passed its own version that includes the legal immunity for telecom companies that Bush is demanding.
Without that provision, House Republicans said, the companies won't cooperate with U.S. intelligence....... Link to full story
While Nancy Pelosi and her powerful lawyers lobby continue to play games with our national security for monetary gain, our communication companies are left high and dry by being subjected to civil lawsuits. This was the same surveillance that prevented the London bombers plot to blow up planes crossing over the Atlantic.
For the record, the Democrats are claiming that they are protecting constitutional civil rights as their reason for leaving out the protections to the telecoms. While it’s ok for the government to pick up the tab on social service programs to the tune of billions, it’s apparently not ok to intercept phone conversations that plot to blow up Americans.
We should all thank Nancy and her party for looking out for our best interest.