Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Judicious Choice of Target

I'm sure everyone's had plenty to say today about the NSA every-phone-call-ever-made database. This story, though, emphasized something curious:
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee demanded that executives from AT&T Inc., BellSouth Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. testify before Congress about a report that the telephone companies gave the U.S. government phone records of millions of Americans.

``I am determined to get to the bottom of this,'' said Senator Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, who added that he would subpoena the companies if they decline to appear before the committee voluntarily.
Well, well, Senator Specter, mighty champion of our liberties! Let's see, now ... an agency of the same government that Sen. Specter is paid to oversee makes a nauseatingly anti-constitutional demand for information from some private companies, and they comply ... and Sen. Specter is so mad, he's just going to call those companies on the carpet. Has Sen. Specter called for impeachment of the chief executive yet? Has Sen. Specter introduced a bill yet that would de-fund the lawless NSA, or repeal the "PATRIOT" Act, or disband the Department of Fatherland Security? Has Sen. Specter asked the Department of Justice (no, really, it's not a joke, that's what it's called) to prosecute the responsible NSA functionaries? No; instead, he's going to throw his weight around with those who might -- at their own risk -- have refused to comply with the illegal demands for data. He's carefully avoiding the criminals. Makes me wonder what phone calls of Sen. Specter's might be in the Big Database.


Grace said...

I'm putting more faith in the huge class-action suits that are brewing against the collaborationist telephone companies. As a Verizon subscriber, I can't wait to get my share of the damages awarded (probably $1.93) and an apology -- sometime around 2016. If the Constitution no longer constrains, then maybe the fear of billion dollar lawsuits will.

Bartleby said...

That's a cheerful thought ... I have a Verizon landline and some cellular service from T-mobile, so maybe I can look forward to $3.86 (2 × $1.93)! Not exactly pennies from heaven, but I'm not proud ...