Disturbed that a public outcry over retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies might snarl the FISA “compromise” in the Senate, this Washington Post editorial calls the debate: “A particularly disturbing example of the Internet tail wagging the legislative dog.”
Others might call it democracy.
The editorial goes on:
No one can claim with certainty that his or her communications were monitored. The likelihood of prevailing – or even getting very far – with such lawsuits is low. The litigation seems aimed as much at using the tools of discovery to dislodge information about what the administration actually did as it is at redressing unknown injuries.
Leaving aside the question of whether uncertainty about whether someone is listening to your calls isn’t itself a harm sufficient for standing, you have to wonder why the Post thinks that dislodging information about an illegal wiretapping programs is nefarious.
It goes on to discuss the telecoms:
Punishing them by forcing them to endure the cost and hassle of lawsuits would be counterproductive to securing such cooperation in the future, while offering little prospect of a useful outcome.
Preventing their cooperation in future illegal activity at the behest the President seems like a useful outcome to me.