The Bush Crime Family and its Main Lieutenant, Dick Cheney have pushed for retroactive immunity for telecommunications who cooperated with the illegal warrantless wiretapping scheme put in place after the former Cheerleader took power in 2001 because it may be that the Administration signed indemnification agreements with them:
In email, bmaz put it to me even more strongly: “The general counsels and legal departments of telcos are extremely accomplished and always protect their company’s interests meticulously. They have been dealing with wiretapping and surveillance agreements with the government and law enforcement for over seven decades, this was not a matter of first impression to them; and in difficult and unique cases, I have never seen them not insist on indemnification. Never.”
As Kevin Drum says in his piece some of what bmaz says is guess work but it is guess work informed by his legal background and experience in the field of wiretapping and surveillance. Drum also links to this WaPo article by Dan Eggen and Ellen Nakashima. In it they talk to some of the people involved in the lawsuits the Administration is trying to quash.
If [indemnification agreements] exist , it would mean the telcos have never been exposed in any way, and immunity would have no effect on their willingness to cooperate with the government in the future. It would also explain why the Bush administration was able to keep the telcos on board so easily even after the Protect America Act expired three weeks ago.
I wonder what Glenn Greenwald will have to say about this apparent new turn of events in the case of Retroactive Immunity.