Froomkin allows as how Attorney General Michael Mukasey and National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell are pissed, and they have reason to be. They’ve written a letter to Congress, letting those uppity SOBs know that the Maximum Leader will destroy them in a cable TV smack-down if they threaten to act like a co-equal branch of government, or presume to defend the civil liberties of Americans, widely known as a scummy and untrustworthy lot. They write:
Hugely profitable multinational corporations who respond in good faith to an obviously illegal request for assistance by public officials bent on destroying the Constitution should not be held liable for their actions…
Duh! How would they maintain their profit margins, and keep their executives out of jail, if they were forced to follow the law? After all,
…S. 2248 would afford retroactive liability protection to communication service providers that are believed to have assisted the Government with intelligence activities in the aftermath of September 11th.
They didn’t actually assist the Government, and the obviously illegal requests began before 9/11; but you fell for the Cheney administration’s PR. Since you believe it, you’ve gotta let the telecoms off the hook for their illegal activities. If you don’t, it would cut into what everyone in the world knows are the main motivators for American military activity around the globe: corporate profits.