How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Telecoms: Bush Calls On All Americans to “Thank” the Telecoms

As President Bush appears to be winning over House Democrats to join their Senate counterparts in granting immunity, President Bush says in this video that it is not enough to wipe out roughly 40 civil liberties lawsuits — citizens need to say “thank you” to the telecom companies for their “patriotic” actions. The fact that the program constitutes a crime under our laws is besides the point. The real issue is who will thank telecoms for not allowing a bunch of laws stand in the way of warrantless surveillance of their customers.

In a video that rivals the puppy throwing incident in Iraq, Bush is shown here rallying the public for a collective act of appreciation. It appears nothing says I Love You to a telecom company so much as legal immunity.

Now the question is, should these lawsuits be allowed to proceed, or should any company that may have helped save American lives be thanked for performing a patriotic service; should those who stepped forward to say we’re going to help defend America have to go to the courthouse to defend themselves, or should the Congress and the President say thank you for doing your patriotic duty? I believe we ought to say thank you.

Of course, the problem is that there is so much to be thankful for. There is the unlawful torture program, the Abu Ghraib scandal, the contempt of Congress by White House officials, the criminal acts of Scooter Libby and outing of Plame. The list of thankless criminal acts goes on and on. If we were really expected to thank each of these people, we would could do little else.

While many citizens may be in less of a thankful mode, it appears that House democrats are looking for a window of opportunity to give into the White House and grant immunity. Click here

10 thoughts on “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Telecoms: Bush Calls On All Americans to “Thank” the Telecoms”

  1. One last aside: even dedicated Republicans, totally loyal to Mr. Bush have had their reservations. I know this has gone down the memory hole, but remember that AG Ashcroft, now weak-kneed terrorist coddler he, and FBI Director Mueller, no alQaeda symp himself, were both readying to resign in protest over the NSA warrantless eavesdropping? Forgotten already?

    Please refresh your memories:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/16/washington/16nsa.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

  2. It now appears that another whistleblowing engineer has come forward to disclose the discovery of another telco that has allowed bulk collection of domestic line traffic.

    The reader is referred to EFF’s site.

    At what point do even the GOP partisans realize we are setting up a system that can be used by Executives of ANY party to enchain us? They have not thought things through, just as the neo-cons failed to think things through.

    They think that the Executive must be given plenary powers to fight terrorism. They don’t calculate that once granted those same powers can be used to stifle dissent or opposition.

    Remember Madison in the Remonstrance?

    “Because it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it.”

    I do not care if you are from the DailyKos or are a FREEPER and have that Bush-in-the-clouds-with-bombers poster on your wall. You must, if you have two brain cells to rub together, take alarm at such an aggregation of power in one branch of our tri-partite government. And especially in that one branch that is owned by solely one Party.

    Deny the principle that the government may set aside the Constitution in exigent circumstances. Deny it to your friends, to your congress representatives and most importantly deny it to yourselves.

  3. Another use of the Strangelovian trope in the war on terror debate. Please read the post, the review and the comments (if you have the time):

    http://opiniojuris.org/posts/1204670284.shtml

    This is why I’m very proud of our host and his courage to use ridicule when necessary, humor when possible, and courtesy when earned.

  4. “In a video that rivals the puppy throwing incident in Iraq, Bush is shown here rallying the public for a collective act of appreciation.”

    It’s almost enough to drive a man to club baby seals.

  5. Lastly, as to Bush’s remarks about the reasonableness of our being grateful for such patriotic corporate citizens:

    “I asked these companies to break statutory law, in order that our bulk collection of the citizenry’s communications could continue unhampered by judicial review. They complied with the pressures we put upon them and you ungrateful twits out there should be ashamed not to stand up an applaud these sterling corporate citizens for their acquiescence in what was a joint governmental/private enterprise unlawful experiment in surveillance. We only wanted to protect you”

    Oh, I feel faint with an overwhelming Gratitude!

  6. Dear Soprano,

    I’m sending your anaylsis to my representativs’e office. It’s one of the best summaries I’ve seen!

  7. The issue is simple, really.
    If the telecom companies did nothing illegal, they should not need immunity from prosecution or from civil litigation.
    If the telecom companies did nothing illegal, they will win the civil cases and likely can recover some of their costs from the losing plaintiffs. They can deduct the rest of those costs from their (miniscule) tax liability as a cost of doing business. Undoubtedly, the telecom companies have attorneys on staff who will handle the litigation for them. It’s not as if the executives will have to mortgage their houses to pay to defend themselves.
    The “trial lawyers enriching themselves with bogus lawsuits” defense is ridiculous on its face, given that the plaintiffs’ attorneys are ACLU lawyers working pro bono.
    The point of immunity for the telecom companies is to prevent discovery in the civil lawsuits–discovery that could implicate the Bush administration in illegal acts, especially any such acts committed before the September 11 attacks.
    This should not be difficult to understand for anyone who is paying attention.

  8. Everyday is “talk like a pirate day” under the cheney/bush regime! ARRGGG maties!!! I suggest those house/senate members who do oppose telecom amnesty pool some funds and launch a national commercial and a youtube piece on why they are against granting immunity.

    This government is stalking its own people. I am not thankfull for being stalked.

    Talkingpointsmemo.com has a good analysis of what these lawsuits will actually cost the telecoms. The telecoms have made a ton of money on their stalking contracts and they didn’t hesitate to behave unpatriotically when they didn’t get paid.

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