Sunday, December 16, 2007

Predetermined justice courtesy of Michael Mukasey

This is really no surprise, thought there are Congressman who will appear to be abashed. Michael Mukasey has authored an op-ed for the LA Times in which he defends the FISA bill, including immunity from lawsuits for telecoms.

If you somehow thought that Mukasey would bring a judicial impartiality to the job, this little PR piece should convince you that he's just another mouthpiece for Bush.

In the essay, he leads with the fear card, minus any real evidence:

Intercepting the communications of terrorists and other intelligence targets has given us crucial insights into the intentions of our adversaries and has helped us to detect and prevent terrorist attacks.

Of course, he invokes the specter of 9/11: would provide protections from lawsuits for telecommunications companies that have been sued simply because they are believed to have assisted our intelligence agencies after the 9/11 attacks.

And it defends the conditions of immunity by claiming that, after all, it's not blanket immunity:

The bill does not, as some have suggested, provide blanket immunity for those companies. Instead, a lawsuit would be dismissed only in cases in which the attorney general certified to the court either that a company did not provide assistance to the government or that a company had received a written request indicating that the activity was authorized by the president and determined to be lawful.

First of all, it's not "blanket immunity" that's at issue. It's retroactive immunity. Providing immunity for a crime (and remember, right now it's still a crime to spy on American citizens), that was committed in full knowledge of those who permitted the crime.

To say that a company will receive immunity if it had written permission from the president and was assured that the act was not a crime, is ludicrous. George Bush thinks that everything he does, or says is above the law. Who among us thinks that he won't provide whatever letter is necessary to protect his corporate co-conspirators, and to protect his own sorry ass from prosecution against treason.

In today's NY Times, a piece on the connection between the government spying and the telecoms, demonstrates that the big communication companies are now reluctant to break the law on the word of this administration.

We all have to consider the possibilities when a rogue government allows itself to invade the privacy of its citizens with impunity.

BTW, Mukasey has had time to understand the complex details of the FISA bill, but still hasn't determined if waterboarding is torture, or if our government has engaged in torture.

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