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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.


10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More..

Top 8 Chelsea Green Books the Self-Styled Oregon Militia Should Read

The ongoing armed militia occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is showing no signs of ending — so, rather than send them snacks, or sex toys, we had an idea: Send them a book! Better yet, send them several Chelsea Green books. Don’t worry, we’ve picked five key titles that we think […] Read More..

Author David Stroh: First Steps to Becoming a Systems Thinker

Systems thinking is often seen as something relegated to scientific and business analysis – economics, resource depletion, and climate. However, Systems Thinking for Social Change focuses on how to use systems thinking to make breakthrough progress on intransigent social problems. We asked author David Stroh how this approach can make an impact, and how readers […] Read More..

Use Systems Thinking to Make Lasting Social Change

What can be done when our best intentions create unintended problems—such as temporary shelters increasing homelessness or food aid accelerating starvation?After decades of helping change-makers in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors address tough social problems, systems-thinking expert David Stroh shares the pioneering framework that both demystifies systems thinking and shows how it can lead […] Read More..

Let’s Make Bernie Sanders a Bestseller!

As the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders continues to climb in the polls, crushing online fundraising records and frustrating party insiders and pundits along the way, we’re looking to put Bernie’s message on bestseller lists everywhere in time for the national debates this fall!With the second Democratic debate to be held on November 14th in Des Moines, it’s […] Read More..
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