White House Seeks Immunity for Phone Firms in Surveillance Program

Immunity sought for phone firms as part of warrantless surveillance program

"The end result is not only will the Bush administration continue to stonewall Congress in its request for information on warrantless wiretapping, but no one who participated will have any threat above their head," Sparapani said. "You could just face a congressional subpoena and say, 'I'm sorry, I'm immunized.' "

(D-Ore.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said to gain his support, the measure needs to state explicitly that a person who intentionally violates the law should not be granted immunity. "If somebody intentionally breaks the law . . . that's not something you should just ignore," he said.