Sunday, April 06, 2008

AT&T: Your New Branch of Government

For a while I've been meaning to write about the letter AT&T wrote to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. It's a great example of how the application of State Secrets Privileges has widened to the point of absurdity:

Unfortunately, under current circumstances, we are unable to respond with specificity to your inquiries. That is because, on many issues that appear to be of central concern to you, responsive information, if any, is within the control of the executive branch.
[...]
Moreover, the United States, through a sworn declaration from the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), has formally invoked the state secrets privilege to prevent AT&T from either confirming or denying certain facts about alleged intelligence operations and activities that are central to your inquiries.

AT&T can't say anything at all to Congress because that information is just too darn secret to share with out elected representatives. That information is of course also too secret to reveal in court, even ex parte and/or in camera. (In the judge's chamber with only one party present) This is how it's supposed to work? A giant corporation mores know about what our government is up to than two of the three branches?

1 comment:

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