“Alleged to Have Assisted Our Nation”
You may be complaining about the draconian FISA law, but George Bush doesn’t think it goes far enough. In his message on signing the fix, he says that when Congress gets back in September they need to hop to providing “meaningful liability protection” for those are “alleged to have assisted our Nation following the attacks of September 11, 2001.”
Jack Balkin responds with appropriate sarcasm:
Note the key item on this wish list: legal immunity for having participated in the illegal NSA program.
I particularly love the phrase “alleged to have assisted our Nation.” In his letter to Congress the other day Intelligence Director Michael McConnell spoke of “liability protection for those who are alleged to have helped the country stay safe after September 11, 2001.” Apparently “allegedly helped us stay safe” is Bush Administration code for telecom companies and government officials who participated in a conspiracy to perform illegal surveillance. Because what they did is illegal, we do not admit that they actually did it, we only say that they are alleged to have done it. Or perhaps the Administration is suggesting that although such parties are alleged to have helped the country stay safe, there’s no evidence that their repeated violations of federal law actually did much to promote our security. No, they couldn’t mean that.
My guess is that President Bush plans to award those who allegedly helped save the country with alleged medals.
In the future I think he’s right, we’ll be crawling with George Tenets.