I’ve started a whitehouse.gov petition to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Joseph Nacchio, the CEO of Qwest Communications, who was the only telecom CEO to say no to the warrantless wiretapping program back in 2001. Instead of being recognized for his bravery to stand up to the government’s illegal requests, his company was penalized by the loss of key government contracts.
An interesting thing to note is that Nacchio was approached about joining the illegal program in February, 2001, several months before the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Not one person who was involved in the illegal wiretapping program was held accountable. Nacchio, however, was prosecuted and served a six-year sentence for insider trading, charges which reek of government retaliation. Meanwhile, all the other telecommunications companies were awarded retroactive immunity for their collaboration in the illegal mass surveillance of U.S. citizens that continued for years.