Thursday, May 11, 2006

Give That Man an Award!

By Cassandra D

I hereby propose the creation of the "Sons of Liberty Award," and I humbly suggest that the first recipient be former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio. From USA Today's article detailing the warrantless collection of call records from millions of Americans:

According to sources familiar with the events, Qwest's CEO at the time, Joe Nacchio, was deeply troubled by the NSA's assertion that Qwest didn't need a court order — or approval under FISA — to proceed. Adding to the tension, Qwest was unclear about who, exactly, would have access to its customers' information and how that information might be used.


Trying to put pressure on Qwest, NSA representatives pointedly told Qwest that it was the lone holdout among the big telecommunications companies. It also tried appealing to Qwest's patriotic side: In one meeting, an NSA representative suggested that Qwest's refusal to contribute to the database could compromise national security, one person recalled.

In addition, the agency suggested that Qwest's foot-dragging might affect its ability to get future classified work with the government. Like other big telecommunications companies, Qwest already had classified contracts and hoped to get more.

Unable to get comfortable with what NSA was proposing, Qwest's lawyers asked NSA to take its proposal to the FISA court. According to the sources, the agency refused.

The NSA's explanation did little to satisfy Qwest's lawyers. "They told (Qwest) they didn't want to do that because FISA might not agree with them," one person recalled. For similar reasons, this person said, NSA rejected Qwest's suggestion of getting a letter of authorization from the U.S. attorney general's office. A second person confirmed this version of events.

And I stand by my nomination even though the article goes on to say this about my newest hero:

In June 2002, Nacchio resigned amid allegations that he had misled investors about Qwest's financial health.

Oh well. Can't be perfect, right?

I figure the Sons of Liberty Award is very appropriately named, as its recipients will surely be S.O.L. when it comes to dealing with the Bush Administration.


At 12:37 PM, Anonymous flamewhore said...

Well aren't you clever this morning! I think the next time AT&T bothers me at dinner time I will remind them of this article and tell them there is no way in hell they are getting my internet business. I guess they will be S.O.L.


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