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.