Thursday, October 18, 2007

Jay Rockefeller Sells Out to AT&T, Verizon

Glenn Greenwald has the gory details, but Jay Rockefeller, who has taken money hand over fist from telecom interests, has rewarded his bribers by writing immunity from prosecution into the Senate spying bill.
Just think about what is really happening here. AT&T's customers sued
them for violating their privacy in violation of long-standing federal laws and
for violating their Fourth Amendment rights. Even with the most expensive armies
of lawyers possible, AT&T and other telecoms are losing in a court of law.
The federal judge presiding over the case ruled against them -- ruled that the
law is so clear they could not possibly have believed that what they did was
legal -- and most observers, having heard the Oral Argument on appeal, predicted that they will lose in the Court of Appeals, too.
So AT&T and other telecoms went to Washington and -- led by Bush 41
Attorney General (and now Verizon General Counsel) William Barr, and in
cooperation with their former colleague, Mike McConnell -- began
paying former government officials
such as Dan Coats and Jamie Gorelick to
convince political officials to whom they
give money
, such as Jay Rockefeller, to pass a law declaring them the
victors in these lawsuits and be relieved of all liability -- all based on
assertions that a court of law has already rejected. They are literally buying a
judicial victory in Congress -- just like Carothers warned that third-world
countries must avoid if they want to become functioning democracies under the
"rule of law" ("Above all, government officials must refrain from interfering
with judicial decision-making").

Chris Dodd, who has admirably been railing against immunity, has pledged to do what he can to stop the bill. Dodd has the ability to place a hold on the bill, blocking amnesty. Let him know he has your support.

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