Republicans Hold America Hostage to Protect Bush

Kyle’s post below, “OMG WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!!!“, rightfully heaps scorn on the assertion of Bush and the Republicans that the House’s refusal to include telecom immunity in the FISA legislation somehow puts us all at risk.

But even if you take the claim that passing the FISA legislation is a matter of “life and death,” Bush and the Republicans have even a bigger problem with their spin.

Glenn Greenwald points it out first:

The issue is not “intelligence gaps.” Rather, as McConnell candidly admits, the “real issue” is “liability protection for the private sector.” To take them at their word, George Bush and Mike McConnell are putting the nation at risk in order to ensure that AT&T and Verizon do not have to be held accountable in a court of law for having broken the law. Think about how twisted and corrupt that calculus is.

But, as Atrios notes, Glenn misses a bigger point.  For the White House and Republicans, telecom immunity isn’t mainly about saving the telecom’s asses.  It’s about saving Bush’s ass.

It’s agreed on that the illegal acts performed by the telecoms were all done at Bush’s behest.  Thus, learning the details of these illegal acts will fall squarely on Bush.  Bush and the Republicans are simply demagoguing the FISA legislation to push through an act that will preclude us from learning the extent and severity of the illegal acts Bush cajoled out of the telecoms.

If it was a life or death issue for Americans, the Republicans would simply get on board the House legislation and leave the immunity issue for a stand-alonre bill.  They know they can’t get this passed and are willing, if you believe their rhetoric, to put the nation at risk solely to save Bush from the problems he will face for cajoling illegal acts from the telecoms.

The Republicans support the Senate’s “Protect Bush’s Ass Act” while Democrats support the House’s “Protect America Act.”

Is it that hard for the media to see the distinction and see through the Republicans demagoguery?

2 Responses to “Republicans Hold America Hostage to Protect Bush”

  1. Mark says:

    That’s a good point. If you think about it, if the telecoms were behind the push for amnesty, they would have spent more money lobbying for amnesty than they would have lost in a lawsuit. In theory, the number of victims here is relatively small, and the amount of damages each victim could claim would be relatively minimal.
    On top of that, the legal fees in these cases wouldn’t be outrageous since the issues are relatively simple and straightforward and since they would all be likely candidates for summary judgment (there’s not likely to be any factual disputes).

    Point is: the actual potential liability for the telecoms is probably less than the amount it costs to lobby Congress to get a controversial piece of legislation passed. The greater potential liability lies with the Bush Administration, especially if (as is widely believed) the program started well before 9/11.

  2. Mark – less than K street, u have to show me LOL

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