Friday, October 12, 2007
You're Either With Us Or Against Us
It always pays to be skeptical of accusations made by someone trying to avoid the inside of a jail cell. But according to redacted court documents just unsealed from former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio's insider trading trial, the NSA pulled the plug on a $100 million deal for Qwest to build them a "private" fibre optics network in retaliation for the company's refusal to go along with what is clearly a reference to the NSA telecom surveillance program:
Nacchio planned to demonstrate at trial that he had a meeting on Feb. 27, 2001, at NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, Md., to discuss a $100 million project. According to the documents, another topic also was discussed at that meeting, one with which Nacchio refused to comply.
The topic itself is redacted each time it appears in the hundreds of pages of documents, but there is mention of Nacchio believing the request was both inappropriate and illegal, and repeatedly refusing to go along with it.
The NSA contract was awarded in July 2001 to companies other than Qwest.
Nacchio was prevented by the first trial judge from presenting the evidence due to its classified nature. He's currently free pending appeal.