Cheney gets his stump on for the Telecoms that broke the law and helped BushCo implement the warrantless wiretapping program.
Cheney:...for those who assist the government in tracking terrorists should not be punished with lawsuits. We're asking Congress to update FISA and especially to extend this protection to communications providers alleged to have given such assistance anytime after Sept., 11th 2001. This is an important consideration because some providers are facing dozens of lawsuits right now. Why? Because they are believed to have aided the US government in the effort to intercept international communications about al-Qaeda related individuals.
One might even suppose that without liability protection for past activities to aid the government the private sector might be extremely reluctant to comply from future requests from the government. That risk is unacceptable to the President. It should be unacceptable to the US Congress. (There's a lot more to transcribe.)
You knew there had to be a Rudy in there someplace. And the President is angry too...Oh, the poor babies. Cheney tries to scare the private sector into believing that any future lawbreaking may be prosecuted as well. Here's a clue---it will. They have the resources to do things efficiently and legally. There is also this report that the telecoms actually started this program before 9/11 which undermines their terror claims.
Former chief executive Joseph P. Nacchio, convicted in April of 19 counts of insider trading, said the NSA approached Qwest more than six months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to court documents unsealed in Denver this week. Details about the alleged NSA program have been redacted from the documents, but Nacchio's lawyer said last year that the NSA had approached the company about participating in a warrantless surveillance program to gather information about Americans' phone records.
With their multimillion dollar lawyers on hand, Cheney is afraid that they may have to do a little work for their clients. Why did Qwest decline the WH invitation anyway? Sorry Charlie. This bird don't fly.