Ralph Nader on the Senate FISA Bill Passage

Jul 09 2008 Published by under Featured News

Here is Ralph Nader’s reaction to the Senate’s passage of a FISA bill today which granted immunity to the telecom companies who participated in George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program.

“The bill will also grant immunity to telecom companies for cooperating with Mr. Bush in his illegal warrantless wiretapping on Americans – on any one of you. We were taught as young children that in our democracy, under our system of justice, nobody is above the law – nobody. But this bill puts the President and the telecom companies above the law. It also conveniently assures a cover up of Mr. Bush’s past crimes in this area – of wiretapping and surveillance,” Nader said in audio message posted on his website.

Nader also talked about the idea that corporations are citizens, “President Bush and the Democrats who support him argue that the telecommunications companies were only doing what they were told by the President and were acting as “patriotic corporate citizens.” This is pure hogwash. First of all, corporations aren’t citizens. Second, the President can’t order anyone – citizens or corporations – to break the law. This legislation, which the Senate is debating right now, sets up a double standard of justice. Break the law as a citizen, go to jail. Break the law as a corporation, go to Washington and get immunity.”

Ralph is completely correct. If we ever needed more evidence that different rules apply to those who write the big campaign contribution checks, this is it. There were Democrats such as Dodd, Leahy, Feingold, Reid, Schumer, and Clinton who fought the good fight on this one. As was the case with funding the war in Iraq, Barack Obama seems to be more focused on winning the election in November than doing the right thing now.

Nader’s Telecom Immunity Message

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