The White House posted an excellent, point-by-point rebuttal to the falsehoods being shopped by those whose want to sue telecommunications companies as a way to attack the Administration’s national security policies. Here’s entry one of five:
MYTH: The future security of our country does not depend on whether Congress provides liability protection for companies being sued for billions of dollars only because they are believed to have assisted the Government in defending America after the 9/11 attacks.
FACT: Without the retroactive liability protection provided in the bipartisan Senate bill, we may not be able to secure the private sector’s cooperation with current and future intelligence efforts critical to our national security.
FACT: Senior intelligence leaders have repeatedly testified that providing retroactive liability protection is critical to carrying out their mission of protecting our homeland.
Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell: “Lack of liability protection would make it much more difficult to obtain the future cooperation of the private-sector partners whose help is so vital to our success.” (Select Committee On Intelligence, Hearing, U.S. Senate, 2/5/08)
FBI Director Robert Mueller: “[I]n protecting the homeland … it’s absolutely essential we have the support, willing support of communication carriers. … My concern is that if we do not have this immunity, we will not have that willing support of the communication carriers.” (Select Committee On Intelligence, Hearing, U.S. Senate, 2/5/08)
CIA Director Michael Hayden: “These are very fragile relationships. We lost industrial cooperation, at CIA, with partners on the mere revelation of the SWIFT program in public discourse.” (Select Committee On Intelligence, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 2/5/08)
FACT: According to the Director of National Intelligence, “we are experiencing significant difficulties in working with the private sector today because of the continued failure to address this issue.” (Mike McConnell, Op-Ed, “A Key Gap In Fighting Terrorism,” The Washington Post, 2/15/08)
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