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Originally posted by Alphard
Take a hint
The Bush administration is insisting that any new law protect from potentially crippling civil lawsuits those telecom companies that helped the government eavesdrop on Americans after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, R-Nev., blamed Republicans for the delay, saying they were trying to block a series of amendments majority Democrats sought to offer.
"It appears the president and Republicans want failure. They don't want a bill," Reid said.
Senate Delays Eavesdropping Vote
January 25th, 2008
Washington, D.C. - On Tuesday, January 29, at 9:30 a.m, members of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on reform of the state secrets privilege, which the Executive Branch has often used in recent years to hinder judicial inquiry into controversial anti-terrorism policies such as the CIA's rendition program and the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program.
Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will appear at Tuesday's hearing to explain how the Administration has abused the privilege by seeking dismissal of all lawsuits concerning the NSA program -- including EFF's lawsuit against AT&T for assisting with the NSA -- based on blanket assertions of secrecy. Bankston will urge the committee to pass legislation to reform the privilege and clear the way for such lawsuits to proceed in court fairly and securely. Such reform is the most appropriate response to phone companies like AT&T that are lobbying Congress for retroactive amnesty, based on the claim that the government's assertion of the state secrets privilege prevents them from defending themselves.
EFF represents the plaintiffs in Hepting v. AT&T, a class-action lawsuit brought by AT&T customers accusing the telecommunications company of violating their rights by illegally assisting the National Security Agency in widespread domestic surveillance. The Hepting case is just one of many suits aimed at holding telecoms responsible for knowingly violating federal privacy laws with warrantless wiretapping and the illegal transfer of vast amounts of personal data to the government. A recent poll found that 57 percent of likely voters opposed letting the telecoms off the hook for these suits.
Senior Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Oversight Hearing on Reform of the State Secrets Privilege
U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
2141 Rayburn House Office Building
Tuesday, January 29
Speak out against telecom immunity with your photos, videos, and phone calls!
Don't just tell Congress to stop the spying -- show them.
Countless citizens have told Congress to reject telecom immunity, but the Senate is still threatening to pass a bill giving immunity to lawbreaking phone companies. It's time to get creative and move beyond words. Let's show our elected representatives who supports the rule of law -- ordinary Americans from across the country. We'll deliver your multimedia messages to lawmakers to drive the point home: no immunity for lawbreaking telecoms!
Originally posted by Hal9000
But I will say that Animal has the best avatar going on ATS. A simple mix of reactionism of the 60's, ie Planet of the Apes with a touch of the cuddly 80's and Jim Henson. I guess that's something.
Kudos, my man.