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Jayne Lyn Stahl Headshot

The Protect Who Act?

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Congress appears to be on the verge of reaching agreement on some aspects of the so-called Protect America Act, or the "spying bill," which grants immunity to telecommunication companies accused of turning over private customer records to the National Security Agency. (WaPo)

The legislation which aims to reform such that warrants are optional with the vehicle will make an appearance before the Senate next week where it is expected to pass. And, this bill is as much about protecting America as the Iraq war is about bringing democracy to the Middle East. The only ones being protected here are those who continue to break the law under the guise of national security. From the presidential veto, it's obvious that this administration isn't interested in granting immunity from prosecution to parents who are unable to pay their children's medical bills.

What's more, when was the last time you've heard of a White House giving an order to any company, let alone a communications company, which has tens of millions of customers, not to testify in court under a state secrets law that has yet to be written. But, what the hell, if one can grant retroactive immunity, why not enforce a law that isn't on the books? Oh, and why not cook the books, too, while we're at it as the Downing Street Memo clearly proves.

If nothing else, the past six years proves that not only does crime pay, but it pays handsomely -- for the upper one percentile of the population of this country, that is. There are more carcinogens trying to pose as laws, coming out of Congress, these days, than on any freeway in America.

Let your Senators, whose salaries you and I pay, hear now whether you're willing to have your personal phone calls, and e-mails, intercepted as those of tens of millions of Americans already have, and whether it's okay with you for those telecommunication behemoths like A T & T, and Verizon, to be granted immunity from prosecution for breaking the law that protects your privacy.

Look at it this way, would you grant immunity unless you thought that a crime was committed? The Constitution isn't the only casualty of the "war on terror;" common sense is, too.