There are a couple of issues here, and I can understand that I may not have hashed them out well enough....
One the one hand there is the whole matter of the 'retroactive immunity'... on the other there is the matter of the shotgun release of this statement
over a huge swath of the internet - practically simultaneously. Now these are two separate issues... but they manifest themselves together here in
such a manner as to create the "no big deal - tiny news release" that people will read as 'trivia.'
But there is nothing trivial about this matter... at all.
For five years, commercial telecommunications companies channeled private information (phone conversations, facsimiles, emails, and more) to
government intelligence centers.... secretly.
While you and I payed for a service in which any reasonable person should have expected privacy ... we got none.... everything became fair game...
the telecommunications giants just facilitated and redirected information to NSA... etc.
When the story broke; the Telecomms suddenly faced potential legal action for what was then - by law - a criminal act that they had perpetrated;
"warrantless wiretapping". In all, some 40 suits were filed... and political chess pieces like Dick Cheney enjoined the media to launch a campaign
of information dissemination that was to convince us that the government "needed" this access from the telecomms to "protect us."
Many argued the rationale... after all, to protect "me" you have to spy on "me?" seemed a ridiculous assertion to many. Further, the urgency and
marketed 'effectiveness' of the breach of trust was inflated ten-fold (hyperbole, I know... but you may have witnessed the 'sales pitch')
But there was another campaign happening at the time: Bush began an Executive Administration lobbying campaign to secure "retroactive immunity" for
these companies .. lest they "refuse" to cooperate in the future (which was odd - since they never stopped cooperating)
In response, Congress quickly passed the FISA Amendments Act (FAA), which included a provision granting retroactive immunity to the telcos who
helped the government by passing along private info despite the lack of any warrant. Then Senator Obama originally opposed this provision, but changed
his mind at the last minute... and has been an enthusiastic supporter of retroactive immunity since becoming President.
(from 2011) -
The advocates for citizens pushed this legal boulder up hill until reaching the SCOTUS... which - in a quiet - tiny little press release issued
"No way, nuh uh, not touching this... hammer time!"
If it was illegal - they committed a crime.... if they want to make it legal (which the patriot act did) then it is NO LONGER a crime. But that
doesn't change the illegality of what they did... and as proof it is a simple matter of logic....
If it had not been illegal to do what they did... they wouldn't need "immunity."
I placed this in Deconstruction/Disinformation to add to the body of our understanding of how we are victims to the way information gets used,
massaged into other forms, and otherwise made into something which offers the citizen no value....
edit on 9-10-2012 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)