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What's worse than a total asshole? A really dumb total asshole.....Introducing Steve King of Iowa

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 08:46 AM
Original message
What's worse than a total asshole? A really dumb total asshole.....Introducing Steve King of Iowa
from ThinkProgress:



Rep. Steve King Cites Contractor Immunity As Argument For Why Telecom Immunity Would Be A Success


Today, the House passed an amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that provides no retroactive immunity for telecom companies but allows the courts to determine whether lawsuits should proceed.

During a House debate on the bill before the vote, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) argued that the telecom companies should receive the retroactive immunity. As an example of why this solution would work well, he pointed to the existing immunity for contractors:

I dont understand the difference between why we would not want to identify an information company that answered the call to protect America. To me I think those are the closest two comparisons that we can get.

We protect contractors when they went to that smoking hole in that war zone. Why wouldnt we protect telecommunications companies when they stepped up in good faith and believed that they were legally operating under the law?


Watch it: http://thinkprogress.org/2008/03/14/king-immunity /


Its unclear exactly which contractors King is referring to. Across the board, however, contractor immunity has done little other than shield corporations from gross negligence.

After 9/11, Congress appropriated $1 billion in federal emergency money to contractors and subcontractors working at or near Ground Zero. They were to use the funds to set up a new insurance company to cover potential claims. This insurance company, however, is now refusing to settle claims filed by firefighters and cleanup crews over illnesses caused by unsafe working conditions; the contractors claim they have immunity from any lawsuits.

Moreover, as we have seen in Iraq, guards from the private security contractor Blackwater have escaped punishment after killing 17 Iraqis in a Baghdad shoot-out and killing a top Iraqi politicians bodyguard on Christmas Eve 2006.

More than anything, Kings argument shows why telecoms should not be granted immunity.

Transcript:

KING: You know were here not really talking about the issues of rights. I havent found anyone yet that has had their rights trampled on. Their rights to reasonable search and seizure as the chairman announced from the beginning. As I look at whats going on here in policy, theres a situation going on right now in New York in that area where you have contractors that answered the call in the crisis of 9/11 and theyre under lawsuits by the thousands. I think were in pretty much unanimous agreement that we shouldnt indemnify them for answering the call to protect America.

I dont understand the difference between why we would not want to identify an information company that answered the call to protect America. To me I think those are the closest two comparisons that we can get. We protect contractors when they went to that smoking hole in that war zone. Why wouldnt we protect telecommunications companies when they stepped up in good faith and believed that they were legally operating under the law. This is where is this first citizen that has had their privacy violated? I havent found anyone yet. None have been brought forward. I sat in hours of classified briefings no one even uttered the name of a person who has had their rights violated.


http://thinkprogress.org/2008/03/14/king-immunity /



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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
1. "Iraqi Cabinet votes to repeal immunity for U.S. guards"
I don't know that status of the law in Iraq, but there is at least movement to repeal immunity for contractors:

http://warincontext.org/2007/10/30/news-iraqi-cabinet-v... /

===================
Iraqi Cabinet votes to repeal immunity for U.S. guards

By Christian Berthelsen, Los Angeles Times, October 30, 2007

The Iraqi Cabinet today approved and sent on to parliament a proposed law repealing the immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts that has been extended to foreign security contractors operating in the country.

A government statement said foreign security companies, their employees and contractors would be subject to Iraqi laws and the judicial system, and all immunities they have are canceled. It also said the law would require them to cooperate with Iraqi rules governing visas, weapons possession, vehicle licensing and taxation.

The reason this law is being passed is basically to stop these security companies and American contractors from thinking that Iraqi blood is cheap and that they couldnt be prosecuted, said Adil Barwari, a member of parliament from the Kurdistan Democratic Party who sits on the security and defense committee, which will now review the legislation. Its something to make them think before they act.
========================
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IowaGirl Donating Member (539 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
2. As an Iowan, I'm so embarrassed that this guy is from here. I just want to tell you that the reason
I like Iowa is that overall the people are very tolerant and have a lot of common sense. However, there are always exceptions to every norm, sigh. :puke:
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