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Studs Terkel: Why I'm Suing AT&T

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March 3, 2008

Noted journalist Studs Terkel is the lead plaintiff in Terkel v. AT&T, the ACLU of Illinois‘ case against the phone company’s collusion with the NSA. On Sunday, the Chicago Tribune published Terkel’s op-ed on why he’s a part of this case:

We… are committed to assuring that these giant companies are punished for violating the law and thus dissuaded from violating the law in the future.

…Congress is supposed to act to protect the rights of American citizens, not sacrifice those rights to large corporate entities. The House and Senate should resist the bullying tactics of the Bush White House and ensure that we have our day in court to vindicate our rights and reveal any illegality engaged in by the telecoms. We need to know about the Bush White House’s secret program.

The New York Times also wrote over the weekend about how empty and without merit Bush and the Republicans’ scary, we’ll-be-attacked-any-day-now rhetoric is.

After watching House Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes’ weak-kneed statements on immunity on CNN over the weekend, Glenn Greenwald wrote in Salon that it appears the House is ready to give in to the White House’s demands.

But we’re not ready to give up hope. We are keeping the pressure on Congress and asking our representatives not to rubber-stamp President Bush’s request to legalize wiretapping of Americans without warrants. We’re also demanding that Congress not let the telephone companies off the hook for giving up our private information without a warrant. We are asking them to stand up to the administration’s fear-mongering, oppose immunity for the phone companies and also oppose warrantless wiretapping.

The ACLU is airing radio ads markets where we think we can make a difference. (Click to listen to the radio ad.)

Also check out our rebuttal to Bush’s claim last week that the lawsuits are just a gravy train for trial lawyers.

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