Monday, March 3, 2008

Protecting Telecoms, not Americans

I've posted a few times before on the fact that the House is actually standing-up to the administrations bully-boy scare-mongering over this Protect America Act. If you remember, the Republicans in Congress voted down a three week extension on the act so that they could force the issue of telecom immunity, causing the Dems in frustration to tell the administration to stuff-it. Since then, the Whitehouse has issued a number of statements about how the Democrats are endangering national security, even though a) the act expiring did not endanger national security and b) anyhow, it was the Republicans who allowed the act to expire.
Anyhow, the Administration has argued a) the phone companies were acting in "good faith" (I'm not sure precisely what they mean by that- perhaps that the administration suckered the companies into thinking this was legal?) and b) if the telecoms are held accountable for breaking the law, they might not work with the government to do the same again.
I actually agree with point b, although I take a different lesson from it than the administration does.
Though the Republicans are whining about how telecoms aren't giving much to their campaigns considering how much work they're doing for the companies, that's not what this is about. This is about protecting the administration from further exposure.

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