Michael Mukasey, the recently confirmed attorney general, wrote “A FISA fix,” an op-ed for today’s Los Angeles Times. It’s worth reading in full, but includes these troubling statements:
… Until recently, our surveillance efforts were hampered by the unintended consequences of an outdated law, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, … […]
[The Senate Intelligence Committee’s bill] would provide protections from lawsuits for telecommunications companies that have been sued simply because they are believed to have assisted our intelligence agencies after the 9/11 attacks. The bill does not, as some have suggested, provide blanket immunity for those companies. Instead, a lawsuit would be dismissed only in cases in which the attorney general certified to the court either that a company did not provide assistance to the government or that a company had received a written request indicating that the activity was authorized by the president and determined to be lawful.