Father Knows Best

AT&T Wiretapping Your WorldFinally, a Democrat grew a pair. Instead of Harry Reid, the cajoneless wonder, Chris Dodd stepped up and threatened a filibuster over retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies spying on behalf of the government. The Knight of Shining Hair didn’t put the vote off forever, but he did delay action until after the first of the year, leaving enough time to win a few more rational senators over. But more importantly, he highlighted just how meek and timid the current crop of Reidsters really are. Harry doesn’t just look like the kid who got has ass kicked every day in gym glass, he put the “kick me” sign on himself and dared bully George to kick him. And as bullies are wont to do, George routinely kicks his empty crotch with relish at every opportunity.

Many will claim Chris’s backbone grew as he grasped at straws to keep his woe-begotten Presidential campaign going. My response is “big frickin’ deal”. The man took the right stand and it doesn’t matter to me if it was for all the wrong reasons or not. We are no longer standing on a slippery slope when it comes to eroding our once-sacrosanct civil liberties. We’re sliding hell-bent for leather down the world’s longest mud slide directly toward a brick wall a million times worse than anything America’s Evilest Home Videos has to offer. Someone has to put the brakes on, and strangely, mild-mannered Chris turned out to be the man.

Geeky Black-Ops Guys
I’ve heard many people argue that the telecoms were just innocent bystanders, roped into a nefarious plot by a bunch of geeky black-ops types with pocket protectors and tape on their glasses. Why should they pay the price when all they did was honor the government’s request to spy? There are a number of reasons, but here are just a few.

Telcos are lawyer-rich. They have hundreds of wing-tips working at all times to make sure they’re not only abreast of telecom law, but actually writing it when possible. I find it hard to believe that not one of those suit-clad Verizon or AT&T minions didn’t understand that what they did was clearly against the law. If they didn’t know, lots of suits should be kicked out the front door. Perhaps they could entice a few lawyers over from Qwest. Their lawyers seemed to know and they politely said, “Um, no thanks.”

But blanket immunity is a stupid idea for another reason. If Ma Bell can spy on behalf of the government without fear, what’s to stop them from spying on people or other companies for pay? It’s a blanket immunity and as good capitalists, there are damn few of them that wouldn’t spy on their Grandmothers if it meant a juicy bonus next quarter. Hell, it’s a whole new terrorist industry birthed in fear of the Giant Talking Beard holed up in that cave in Tora Bora.

The Reincarnation of Ken Lay
The easiest way to see just how stupid blanket immunity is, is to look at in slightly different terms. Let’s say, oh, you’re the reincarnation of Ken Lay. And let’s say a nice man in a suit and an ear piece walks into your office one day and says, “Kenny Boy, your gummint needs you. We’re runnin’ a bit low on funds on account of them evil Democrats keep asking for crap like benchmarks in Eye-Raq (I know, the Democrats would never stand up like this, but work with me here). We’d like you to skim a little money off your operations and give it to your old Uncle Sam. We’re prepared to scratch your back by letting you skim as much and as often as you’d like and we’ll even give you legal protection to do it. Whadaya say?”

“Um, yes,” Kenny says not believing his good fortune. He knew which side of the toast point his caviar was on and you could bet the sheer excitement of such a deal would have been orgasmic for him.

If anyone - telecom giant, Sam the barber, or the Bushistas - is given the legal right to spy with impunity, we’ve essentially given them the right to steal - information, money, privacy, and civil liberty. Now I don’t know about you, but I was raised to believe stealing is wrong and had I stolen something, my ass would still be red from the punishment I’d have suffered. Someone desperately needs to stand up and be the parent who teaches Lil’ George that stealing is wrong.

And Chris, with his fatherly shock of white hair, seems to be just the man to do it. Maybe father really does know best.


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2 Responses to “Father Knows Best”

  1. Greg Says:


    Fuckin’ liberals.

  2. Liberal Jarhead Says:

    As you said, about time. The people who have the power to tell the Bush crew “No” also have the duty to do so in situations like this, and they have been derelict in that duty up to now. As Jim Hightower asked recently, it makes you wonder why we even bother having elections.

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