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A topic I have written about extensively is back in the news again. The illegal warrantless wiretapping of American citizens ordered by the Bush administration. The weak and corporately bribed Democrats in the House, led by Steny Hoyer, have been trying their damnest recently to grant immunity to telecommunications companies, even though the companies have yet to be charged with anything. The House has re-written the re-write of the FISA re-write, caving in completely to Mr. 24 Percent.
Setting aside Steny's coddling of Commander Guy in this new re-write of 30 year old laws to protect citizens from government abuse, I want to focus only on the conditions in the new bill, yet to be voted on, granting immunity from prosecution to lawbreaking and co-conspiratorial telcos.
All they, the telcos, must do is provide a federal district court judge with "substantial evidence" they received a written request from the attorney general or head of an intelligence agency stating the president authorized the surveillance and determined it to be lawful, the Wall Street Journal reports. Link
Let's have some fun with these new immunity provisions being offered up so graciously by corporate bribe loving Democrats...like Steny Hoyer.
Let's say that the undocumented immigrant problem deepens and a future president decides to unilaterally do something about it. This future president, through letters sent by his attorney general, orders meat packing plant owners to shoot and kill workers in their plants whom they suspect of being undocumenteds. All part of some new and improved national security initiative, perhaps entitled "Operation Kill The Bastards", or something similarly catchy.
As you might imagine happening, given my fictitious scenario, stray reports begin filtering in of dead Latinos being found around the vicinity of meat packing plants. Eventually investigations begin.
During investigations meat packing plant owners come before federal judges and demand immunity from prosecution for murdering undocumenteds. These owners, one by one, produce the letter written by the president's attorney general ordering them to carry out the killings which also states that the killings are, indeed, legal and necessary to protect the country. The judges, after examining the letters, sets the owners free without recourse, declaring that they are immune from prosecution for the multiple murders they indeed had carried out.
This example, though fictitious, is POSSIBLE, if the new telco immunity bill stands as the corporate Democrats have proposed it. If the bribe-induced Democratic bill passes as Steny Hoyer has presented it, there would be absolutely no reason why my fictitious example could not be carried out by another rogue and lawless president, one similar to our current one.
In America, the power of the presidency is not the same as the power of a king or dictator. In America, the Founders put in place a checks and balances system granting EQUAL power to three branches of government, the presidency being only one of them. Nowhere in our founding documents is it suggested that the presidency contains within it unilateral, lawbreaking power.
Yet that is exactly what Steny Hoyer and likeminded Democrats seem prepared to grant the 24 percent approved of, GOP president by giving co-conspiring telecommunications companies immunity from prosecution before even being officially charged with the crimes of spying illegally on Americans.
The power of corporate money over our government has reached a point where our entire system of law and order is now under seige. If telecommunications companies who aided and abetted George and Dick's criminal conspiracy to spy illegally on Amerians without warrants can be so easily dismissed with some phony authorization letter from an attorney general.....what couldn't be dismissed?