Thursday, February 28, 2008

Republican FISA Logic: It is OK to Risk Lives for Corporations

By Joel Wendland

George W. Bush is lashing out again. This time at congressional Democrats who refused to pass his domestic spying expansion under FISA along with telecom immunity. But Republican arguments on passing this bill stretch both the bounds of rational thought and the Republican pretense at sincerity.

And big money may be behind their drive to protect the telecoms.

The Republican Party and its front groups have launched a series of TV attack ads aimed at certain Democratic members of the House. Republicans feel if they can distort the issue enough they might be able to convince some voters that Democrats are trying to weaken national security.

The message is like the old Dick Cheney line: if you don't do what we say, the terrorists will get us.

This time it's if the Democrats don't roll over and give major telecom corporations immunity for breaking the law and providing your private information to George W. Bush, then the terrorists will get us.

But here is really what happened. In Congress, Senate Republicans led by Mitch McConnell and John McCain threatened to filibuster and George W. Bush threatened to veto a FISA extension that did not have an immunity clause for corporations who broke the law.

In other words, by Bush-McCain-Republican logic it is wrong for the Democrats to risk national security, but it is OK for them to risk American lives in order to ensure that a few corporations get immunity for breaking the law and passing your private information on to the federal government.

And staunch Bush/McCain/Republican efforts to put corporate interests before what they claim are national security interests isn't just about politics. It's about the cash.

According to Washington-based Roll Call (via Huffington Post), Republican congressional aides and even some members are putting out the word that they want more donations from the telecommunication corporations for their efforts on this matter.

Where's Jack Abramoff and Tom Delay when you need them? Oh, right. On their way to jail.

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