I believe in accountability. I believe that no crisis removes an American’s responsibility to uphold the Constitution. As a result, I feel duty-bound to oppose Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s bill granting American telecommunications companies retroactive immunity for any illegal wiretaps they may or may not have performed at the behest of the National Security Agency and the White House in the years following September 11, 2001.
Were the issue one of protecting companies acting in good faith, a cap on settlements would be proper. Granting immunity instead dismisses all present and future court cases, removing the public’s only avenue of discovery regarding the reality or extent of any illegal actions taken. Crisis does not justify barbarism.
Very little can be done by the public at this point. I’ve summarized my moral argument and sent it to lobbying group The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Stop the Spying campaign in the form of the photo below:
As a postscript, I regard Reid’s bill as another example of the spinelessness that caused me to leave the Democratic Party.