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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Thanks, Telecoms!

posted by on March 5 at 8:42 AM

Warning: Watching this video on an empty stomach this morning made me feel really queasy. Might want to eat a piece of bread or something first.

You got that? The telecom companies are being sued “because they are believed to have helped America.” Well, that’s just crazy! They “may have helped save American lives!

It’s not particularly relevant that they indisputably broke the law, because they were asked to break the law by The Leader. Since He asked them to break the law, and he is The Law, the law they broke was not really The Law in the first place, anyway, QED.

I’m going to be sick. If you vote for politicians who don’t often and loudly decry this man and his insane, terrifying rule, you are, in my judgment, a very, very bad person.


via Think Progress

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Yep, next thing you know ol' Fearless Leader will be throwing people in gulags and trying to execute them because he kinda sorta thinks they might be a threat some day. Oh, wait. . . .

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | March 5, 2008 8:52 AM

I'd be willing to let the telecoms off the hook if it we could put Bush on trial instead.

Posted by elenchos | March 5, 2008 8:54 AM

I don't understand. This is hilarious, Hecht. Hilarious I tell you!

Posted by Mr. Poe | March 5, 2008 8:57 AM

If you have nothing to hide, then why are you complaining about all this Freedom-defending surveillance?

(This is what almost half of Americans believe... THAT is what should scare the shit out of you)

Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber | March 5, 2008 8:57 AM

"They are being sued because they are believed to have helped America."
Oh really, that's WHY they are being sued?
This guy must've had a stroke or two. He's not alert and oriented.

Posted by Madashell | March 5, 2008 9:00 AM

Oh god I want to punch him so bad.

Posted by Levislade | March 5, 2008 9:04 AM

What are folks so worried about? Feds monitoring your next pot deal? Your next street-of-dreams burning?

This is lunatic leftist theoretical outrage. For me, I’d rather have Comcast help intercept a dirty bomb attack and not get sued.

Posted by raindrop | March 5, 2008 9:11 AM

Now that we've been married to this fool for 7 years we can tell when he's bull@#$%ing(as they say in Texas). 1st clue: no southern drawl. This means he's summoning all his powers of lie-suasion.

Posted by scotto | March 5, 2008 9:19 AM

@7 - You want to surrender your civil rights to this inept, corrupt administration? Great, go for it. But leave the rest of us out of it.

Posted by Levislade | March 5, 2008 9:21 AM

Hey Raindrop, do you appreciate the irony of the fact that we are rolling back freedoms as a way to fight those who attacked us because, according to the Bushies, they hate our freedoms? We were attacked on 911 by people who had told their American flight instructors they really just wanted to know how to turn left. It doesn't logically follow that we therefore need to authorize the feds to secretly monitor everyone's private conversations with impunity.

Posted by scotto | March 5, 2008 9:30 AM

@7 - That did it! I've actually thrown up now.

Are you OUT of your mind? Are you seriously arguing that we should only be concerned with the loss of our basic freedoms if we have something to hide.?


Posted by Anthony Hecht | March 5, 2008 9:45 AM

Who is that moron on the vid and why does he hate America and our Constitutional Rights and Freedoms?

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 5, 2008 10:33 AM

@10 said:

It doesn't logically follow that we therefore need to authorize the feds to secretly monitor everyone's private conversations with impunity.

No, it doesn't. But that is a hyperbolic extrapolation of what is needed (by the current and NEXT president): to intercept international communications from known terrorists with expedited FISA approval. If you’re unwilling to go along with that, then you have to acknowledge that you’re putting the safety of millions at risk simply because of a theoretical (not legal or constitutionally grounded) idealistic principle.

Posted by raindrop | March 5, 2008 10:40 AM

If I would have known he was going to wear a powder blue tie this morning for the John McCain interview, I would have reminded you all in the Battlestar Galactica story above that

the powder blue support hair tie in my hair is for my drummer and his dad Crawford, Bryan and Stevan, not George W. i have the right to sell the ports to the highest bidder Bush in Crawford Texas......

and p.s. I hope Erin's picture in the Abercrombie and Fitch window display in downtown Seattle and the Gap window display are a way of saying they are all alive and well... cause if they are not all alive and well and the houses are burning beds in Woodinville Wa. and the middle east is on fire then you know KEXP has got it right when they play the Yeah Yeah Yeah's and we are all getting our blood sucked out of our ears... unroyally.
The bigs are on fire in the HEADROOM!!!!!!!VIVA LA" CONACO BLAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Posted by danielbennettkieneker | March 5, 2008 10:55 AM

The problem with your argument Raindrop is that nothing in the current legislation would have prevented the telecoms from LEGALLY wiretapping suspects, if they had simply followed the FISA guidelines already established.

The issue is that the telecoms ILLEGALLY provided information - at the Administration's behest - without bothering to go through the rather lackadaisical FISA warrenting process in the first place. Now that they've all been caught with their pants down, as it were, shrub wants to RETROACTIVELY let the telecoms off-the-hook, by providing immunity for actions that were unlawful under the current legislation.

THAT'S what is WRONG with this situation, NOT whether or not the telecoms are legally empowered to wiretap; they are, they just have to follow a few simple legal procedures in order to do so. And yet, simple as these may be, shrub considers them too onerous to bother with - and so he just told the telecoms to ignore them. Now that the legality of their actions has come under scrutiny, he wants Congress to give them the legislative equivalent of a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card.

If you or I tried to use a similar argument, for example: "well your honor, I just robbed the bank because this cop told me it was okay," we'd be laughed out of the courtroom and straight into a penitentiary. But, because shrub has taken it upon himself to be sole arbiter of what is or isn't legal these days, we're just supposed to blindly and unquestioningly follow along, or risk being branded a "terrorist sympathizer" for having the temerity to insist that the law be followed, and those who fail to do so be properly punished.

THAT is completely fucked up, and nothing you can say could possibly unfuck it.

Posted by COMTE | March 5, 2008 10:57 AM

@13 - The administration is not advocating expedited FISA approval. They are advocating no FISA approval. They want to be beholden to no one, to never have to show just cause, and you apparently think this is just fine because you believe in the fantasy of the ticking-time-bomb scenario.

The Bush Administration has demonstrated their trustworthiness to you, it seems, to the point that you would simply take their word for it that they're only targeting Very Dangerous Men with these wiretaps.

The idea that in order to do good law-enforcement, the government needs to be able to circumvent the courts and the laws is a tired, dangerous canard. We have systems in place (FISA) to allow for this kind of thing WHEN IT IS WARRANTED. There is ZERO evidence that this kind of thing makes anyone safer. Simply saying it does does not make it true.

AT&T has set up systems that duplicate all traffic coming over their networks, making separate copies for the government. Not of targeted communications. All communications. It's frankly mind-boggling that you would find that acceptable.

If you have nothing to hide now, just wait until the list of things to hide changes, as it always does.

Posted by Anthony Hecht | March 5, 2008 11:01 AM

The way he holds his jaw and mouth muscles remind me of Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain.

Posted by k. | March 5, 2008 11:40 AM

Yes, the sky is pink. Gravity is a fabrication by lunatic leftists. The telecoms have saved America!

It's getting to the point where I can only remember the federal guvmit run by sociopaths, incompetent right-wing retards, and fundamentalist religious fanatics.

In the spirit of globalization, do you think we could outsource our guvmit to say, Sweden? It would be novel to be ruled by sane people, if even for a little while.

Posted by Original Andrew | March 5, 2008 12:19 PM

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