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November 14, 2002

Homeland Corporate Security Act

Well, that didn't take long.

Having campaigned on eliminating job protections to make workers in the Homeland Security department responsible for preserving American security, the GOP immediately made it clear that they won't hold corporate America to the same standard. See here

Here are the three big new corporate irresponsibility provisions of the revised Homeland Security Bill:

  • It revises a provision, passed 318 to 110 in July, that prohibited contracts with offshore tax-evading companies, allowing the department to waive the ban in the name of saving American jobs.
  • The bill would allow immunity from liability for companies that make faulty antiterrorism devices or technology, and would make it difficult to sue companies that make smallpox vaccinations if the vaccines cause illness.
  • In one last-minute addition, Representative Dick Armey, Republican of Texas, inserted a provision that was apparently intended to protect Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical giant, from lawsuits over thimerosal, a mercury-based vaccine preservative that some parents contend has caused autism in their children.

    So union protections bad, poisoning children with mercury good.

    It's going to be a long two years.

    Posted by Nathan at November 14, 2002 06:04 AM

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    Please note also the following excerpt from an editorial in the Boulder Daily Camera,

    http://www.dailycamera.com/bdc/editorials/article/0,1713,BDC_2489_1541757,00.html

    "The House version of the bill crafted a massive exemption from the federal Freedom of Information Act. The bill would allow private corporations, which are said to own 90 percent of the nations critical infrastructure, to "voluntarily submit" information about their vulnerabilities to the new department. All such information would be exempt from FOIA, irrespective of whether the information had anything to do with national security.

    "This is an open invitation for corporate abuse. Under such a law, any company hoping to hide embarrassing or incriminating facts would need only share them with the new department. Then presto! the information would be a classified government secret."

    ...

    "Other civil-rights issues are also unresolved. Attorney General John Ashcroft wants to establish a massive. citizen-based domestic-spying program called the Terrorism Information and Prevention System. The bill as approved by the House would have outlawed TIPS. It's not clear if the Senate intends to pass a similar restriction."

    - Boulder Daily Camera editorial, 11/13/2002

    So, to paraphrase a sage, union protections bad, freedom of information bad, citizen spying on citizen good, ...

    Posted by: Steve Bates at November 14, 2002 10:02 AM

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