Friday, May 19, 2006

A telecom firm demands a retraction & Bush reportedly provides legal cover for companies to lie

The alleged OK to lie apparently came six days before USA Today published its story on May 11 saying that telecom companies handed over domestic phone records to the National Security Agency.

Two telecom firms have now denied being involved in the program described by USA Today. No one can say if these firms are now telling the truth or acting under cover of what appears to be a Bush memorandum giving them permission to do so. The problem for us as citizens – and the telecoms – is that everything is secret. How will we know the truth? For the telecoms, how can they prove they are innocent if they are?

The details…

Bell South demands that USA Today retract the story.

Think Progress says Bush’s memorandum gives firms the legal approval to lie to the public.

Ordinarily, a company that conceals their transactions and activities from the public would violate securities law. But an presidential memorandum signed by the President on May 5 allows the Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, to authorize a company to conceal activities related to national security. (See 15 U.S.C. 78m(b)(3)(A))

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