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ACLU Takes Sen. Bond to Task on Telecom Immunity


When voters elect senators and congresspeople, they expect those officials to represent their interests. In a perfect world, yes. In the bizzaro world we're living in now, no.

Take the latest legislation proposed by Sen. Christopher, "Kit," Bond (R-MO) regarding telecom immunity for domestic spying.

According to an action alert from the ACLU, Bond's legislation (if it gets off the ground) would "bury lawsuits filed against telecom companies in a secret court."

Furthermore, "when they get there, he (Bond) wants cases dismissed if the companies can show that the President gave them a note saying his request for customer information was legal."

A note from Big Brother shouldn't be a "get out of jail free" card, especially when the legality of the domestic spying thing is still up in the air. If the telecoms are so afraid of being sued, wouldn't it be to their benefit to come clean about it?

The ACLU wrote that Bond's proposal "wouldn't actually look at whether telecom companies broke the law; it would just look at what the Bush administration told telecom companies was the law. Legitimate cases against telecom companies could be dismissed by a secret court, simply because the Bush administration issued a sham certification."

If I were the telecoms, I'd be singing like a bird at sunrise. Granted, President Bush told them that his executive power during a time of war would cover the legality of the spying requests, but if that were true, why hide what happened? Why not go to the FISA Court and obtain the necessary warrants? Why not do this above board?

Why be so secretive about it?

Given the fact that most of the country doesn't trust our government, why try to bury this issue in secret courts? If it's a matter of homeland security, why not sequester the jury? Why not let it go through the courts?

The FISA Court was set up because of the wiretapping that took place in the White House during Richard Nixon's administration. A president who thought he was above the law because he was president and what he said and did was the law.

Now, Bush is doing his best to outdo his predecessor on the secrecy front. I actually think Bush and his administration have hit a grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning in the final game of the World Series on the secrecy front.

With his approval numbers in the tank and most of the country not trusting him, why should he use Bond as his lap dog? Why would Bond allow himself to be used?

Or a more salient question: What is in it for him? Bond comes from the "Show Me" state. He tried (and failed) to keep our Air National Guard units from being shipped out when the base closings were announced. Was this his compromise with Bush? To keep the planes flying from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport?

I know I'll never get an answer out of Sen. Bond about this because every time I sign a petition online, I never hear back from him. Not even a "Thank you for contacting my office," email like I receive from Rep. Todd Akin, (R-MO) and Sen. Claire McCaskill, (D-MO).

Or maybe, just maybe, Sen. Bond doesn't plan to run for re-election in 2012.

Please senator, let us know what you were thinking. We're the ones who you need to answer to, not Bush. You know, the people who voted for you.