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Director of National Intelligence incomprehensible illogic on NPR

Mitch McConnell was interviewed on NPR’s “Morning Edition” this morning, talking about why it is so important to the Bush administration that Congress pass an electronic surveillance bill that includes retroactive immunity for the telecommunications companies that seem clearly to have broken the law by aiding and abetting clearly illegal wiretapping of Americans by US intelligence agencies.
He said the main issue is liability protection for the private sector. “We can’t do this mission without their help,” he said. “Currently there is no retroactive liability protection for them. They’re being sued for billions of dollars.” He said the lawsuits are causing them to be less cooperative.
The issue at hand is whether the Telcos should get retroactive immunity for crimes committed in the past.  It is not whether Telco cooperation with intelligence agencies is currently being conducted in a legal fashion. Why would current cooperation be affected by lawsuits over past cooperation? The reason, of course, is that the Telcos are resisting cooperation (if, in fact, they are resisting at all, which I rather doubt) only in order to hold the system of law hostage so as to extract retroactive immunity. Between their desire to act with total impunity, and their willingness to shamelessly shill for corporations, the Bush administration reveals once again that it is nothing more than organized rank hunger for power for the sake of power, Constitution and interests of the country be damned.


Bern Baby Bern!

Feel the Bern, now read the Bern. Chelsea Green is bringing out the first major book chronicling the issues being raised by US Senator Bernie Sanders in his campaign for president of the United States. The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America is the only book that outlines, in Sanders’ own words and […] Read More..

Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

5 Shareable Strategies for Creating Climate Action

Frustrated about climate change? You’re not alone. Most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the spectrum of depressed about our climate situation to flat-out denying that it exists. In fact, the more information about global warming that piles up, the less we seem to do to combat it. What is the reason for this […] Read More..

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day – Rebuild the Foodshed

For the past month, author Philip Ackerman-Leist has been on a Twitter MiniFesto campaign – each day sending out a new tweet designed to spark conversation and pass along some lessons he learned whilst working on his last book, Rebuilding the Foodshed. You might also know Philip as the author of his memoir Up Tunket […] Read More..

Books in the News: ‘The Tao of Vegetable Gardening’ & More!

What does Taoism have to do with gardening? That question is being answered in The Washington Post this week with a lengthy profile of Chelsea Green author Carol Deppe—gardener, plant breeder, seed expert, and geneticist based in Oregon—and her new book The Tao of Vegetable Gardening. “Once I read The Tao of Vegetable Gardening, with its […] Read More..