“The communications between the agencies and telecommunications companies regarding the immunity provisions of the proposed legislation have been regarded as intra-agency because the government and the companies have a common interest in the defense of the pending litigation and the communications regarding the immunity provisions concerned that common interest.”
By this logic, Blackwater and Haliburton could easily be conceived of as part of the government and protected under the doctrine of sovereign immunity.
Fortunately for all of us concerned that the current administration has little interest in Constitutional protections of basic civil rights, the judge disagreed:
“Here, the telecommunications companies communicated with the government to ensure that Congress would pass legislation to grant them immunity from legal liability for their participation in the surveillance,” White wrote. “Those documents are not protected from disclosure because the companies communicated with the government agencies “with their own … interests in mind,” rather than the agency’s interests.”
But why am I not suprised that the administration is appealing his ruling?