I Just found this via Atrios. Last week USA Today published a story stating that phone companies AT&T, BellSouth, and Verizon helped the National Security Agency violate the law by turning over millions of of their customers calling records without any subpoenas. In case you are unaware, the CIA and NSA are both expressly forbidden from participating in intelligence gathering activities inside the United States. But the Bush administration authorized them to do it anyway. Almost immediately multi-billion dollar class action lawsuits were filed against the phone companies for violating their customers privacy. Over the past few days each of the companies has issued public statements denying that they turned over phone records. Now it appears that they and very likely Qwest too (who denied involvement immediately) lied in those statements. Because these are publicly traded companies, Securities laws forbid them from making untruthful public statements regarding things that impact the value of the company.
Well now it is revealed that on May 5, 2006 George W. Bush signed an Executive Memorandum that allows the Director of National Intelligence to authorize companies to conceal activities that are related national security. So it appears that they are telling the phone companies and who knows what other companies (banks, credit bureaus, insurance companies?) that it is OK to violate securities laws if the white house tells them to. When will congress show some backbone and start impeachment proceedings against this guy?