February 16, 2008 | By Kurt Opsahl

No Immunity for Unknown Unknowns

Today, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell admitted that corporate complicity in legally dubious activities far exceeds what's already publicly known:

The utYBdh9wDwD8UQVG481">Associated Press reports:

Already, [DNI McConnell] says the roughly 40 lawsuits
filed against telecom companies nationwide have chilled the private
sector's willingness to help the intelligence agencies in ways
unrelated to electronic surveillance
. Exactly how is classified,
and he won't elaborate.

This points to one of the most troubling flaws in the Administration's preferred bill: It offers a broad immunity designed to dismiss all lawsuits filed "in connection with an intelligence activity involving communications." McConnell's revelation shows that the Administration is trying to sweep under the rug not only the pending lawsuits, but also whatever other illegal programs the Adminstration has perpetrated.

This amounts to asking Congress to forgive Unknown_unknown">unknown unknowns — crimes that haven't even been revealed yet. Congress does not know what it
does not know about the Administration's other programs, but
McConnell has made it clear that the programs are dubious enough to
worry the telecoms. Call your Representative today and tell them not to legislate in the dark.

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