November 7, 2007

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If you have any reservations about Congress granting immunity to telecommunications companies like AT&T for illegally spying on Americans, this segment from last night's Countdown should leave little room for doubt -- they have, and continue to betray us and should be held accountable for their crimes.

Likening himself to a character from Orwell's 1984, retired AT&T technician and whistle blower, Mark Klein, tells Keith Olbermann about his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee during which he pleaded with them not to grant immunity to the telcom companies. Klein contends that his former employer is lying to the American people and that they were not only spying on overseas communications, but virtually ALL domestic internet and phone traffic -- and they have been doing it for years.

Olbermann: "In talking to Congress today what did you hear? Did you get the sense that anybody is ready to go after not just the telecom execs, but the government officials who ordered this?"

Klein: "I couldn't tell, I'm not a politician and they play their cards close to the vest. All I can do is emphasize again, that they're copying everything, this is a violation of the Constitution, it's domestic traffic, it's phone calls as well as e-mail and something should be done to stop it and Congress should not kill the judicial process."

Update: In yesterday's New York Times, Senator Russ Feingold points out the obvious: "Telecom companies that cooperate with a government wiretap request are already immune from lawsuits, as long as they get a court order or a certification from the attorney general that the wiretap follows all applicable statutes."

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