Glen Greenwald’s latest piece on immunity for telecom companies that helped the government in the aftermath of 9/11 is one worth reading. Fundamentally the issue hasn’t changed – telecoms that cooperated with the Bush administration deserve protection as is currently given – but Glen’s analysis of their contributions to lobbying firms and the money’s subsequent flow to the coffers of various politicians is fascinating and sickening at the same time.
None of this is particularly new, but it’s still remarkable to be able to document it in such grotesque detail and see how transparent it all is. In one sense, it’s just extraordinary how seamlessly and relentlessly the wheels of this dirty process churn. But in another sense, it’s perhaps even more remarkable — given the forces lined up behind telecom amnesty — that those who have been working against it, with far fewer resources and relying largely on a series of disruptive tactics and ongoing efforts to mobilize citizen anger, have been able to stop it so far.
I’d say his article illustrates almost everything that’s wrong with the government/lobbying arrangement, one that involves far too much money and far too many incestuous relationships to be healthy. Everything, in fact, except for the fundamental question in this matter, which is why the left is so fascinated by making telecoms the scapegoat in this matter instead of holding administration officials accountable for their actions. That question somehow never seems to get answered.