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Weekly Interest

332 Landslide

332 Landslide

March 17, 2008

Telecom Money in Congress

"Lawmakers who favor granting immunity to telecom companies for participating in the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program receive more money from the telecom industry than those who oppose immunity. That's the finding from the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan Washington-based organization that researches money's influence on politics. This article was originally published in Capital Eye, the money-in-politics newsletter of CRP, and is reprinted with permission. "

"The 68 senators who voted to grant immunity collected an average of $21,200 from telephone utility companies, compared to $13,000 collected by the 29 who voted 'no' collected an average of $13,000."

"In 2007, the telephone utility industry spent at least $31.4 million lobbying Congress."

Phone Companies Want to Be Off the Hook
By Lindsay Renick Mayer"

And Then:

Should telecommunication companies receive retroactive immunity for their role in helping the government eavesdrop on American phone calls and e-mails? As Congress and President Bush duel over the answer to that question, NOW on PBS interviews a whistleblower with exclusive insight into the role played by one of those companies.Klein tells David Brancaccio about the "secret room" set up by the National Security Agency inside his AT&T office in San Francisco. He also describes in remarkable detail—with documents to back him up—how wires were split and extra equipment was brought in to essentially suck up and store emails from all over the country. Klein claims this activity is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, yet the White House continues to press Congress not only for authorization to continue surveillance but also for legal immunity for cooperating telecom companies.

Program Resources» Video»Audio [mp3, 48kbps]:Stream, Download, Podcast »Print»
Related Links:
Wired: Whistle-Blower's Evidence, UncutWired: Wiretap Whistle-Blower's Account [pdf]Wired: Whistle-Blower Outs NSA Spy Room
CNN: House Defies Bush on Surveillance Bill

More From NOW: Wiretap Whistleblower, Candidate Positions on Surveillance, Telecom Money in Congress, Protecting Your Privacy, Feedback Forum, Transcript -->
Related Reports: For Your Eyes OnlyAbout Mark Klein, Breaking the Story
Topic Search: Topic Search: Civil Liberties & Technology

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The Center for Public Integrity

The 380,000-plus-word database presented here allows, for the first time, the Iraq-related public pronouncements of top Bush administration officials to be tracked on a day-by-day basis against their private assessments and the actual “ground truth” as it is now known. Throughout the database, passages containing false statements by the top Bush administration officials are highlighted in yellow. The 935 false statements in the database may also be accessed by selecting the “False Statements” option from the “Subject” pull-down menu and may be displayed within selected date ranges using the selection tool below. Searches may also be limited by person or subject, or both, by using the appropriate selections from the pull-down menus.