The House reached what Democrats say is a compromise on the immunity provision. The bill passed Friday allows companies to defend themselves in court with using classified justifications for the warrantless wiretapping program, and it precludes the administration from invoking "state secrets" privileges. The House bill also creates an independent commission to investigate Bush's warrantless wiretapping program.
If Bush vetoes this bill, he is a cheat, sneaking liar. But, I suspect he is getting the pen out of his pocket right now.
Speaker Pelosi:“Why would the Administration oppose a judicial determination of whether the companies already have immunity? There are at least three explanations:
“First, the President knows that it was the Administration’s incompetence in failing to follow the procedures in statute that prevented immunity from being conveyed – that’s one possibility. They simply didn’t do it right. Second, the Administration’s legal argument that the surveillance requests were lawfully authorized was wrong; or public reports that the surveillance activities undertaken by the companies went far beyond anything about which any Member of Congress was notified, as is required by the law.
“None of these alternatives is attractive but they clearly demonstrate why the Administration’s insistence that Congress provide retroactive immunity has never been about national security or about concerns for the companies; it has always been about protecting the Administration.” - Speaker Nancy Pelosi-