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Sometimes the big stories come wrapped in the smallest of packages, and never more so than in a small, rural state like Vermont. Who would have thought that a year-old inquiry by the Vermont Public Service Board, which regulates utilities (#yawn#), would suddenly become a central front in the investigation into the bush warrantless wiretapping programs? Apparently almost no one. That is until a local lawyer, who happens to be representing a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, started having some strange things happen to his telephone.

more after the jump

I say 'almost no one', because from the start of this investigation, the telcoms have sought to derail it. Clearly somebody (as represented by the lawyers for the telcoms) feels there is a 'there' there.
But now Vermont Public Radio is reporting that Montpelier attorney Robert Gensburg has been getting some odd results from his phone, and believes this is due to wiretapping by the feds.
Mr Gensburg details some of the phone hijinks in the article, and describes his need to call places like Afghanistan to represent his client. Most telling, to me, was the result of having his telephone checked:
According to Sleigh, Verizon investigated the phone problems. And a technician wrote in a memo two parts of the wire were transposed at some point along the line. Gensburg was credited $4.42 for the phone troubles.

Sleigh said the memo is remarkable for its lack of detail. It doesn't say how the lines were transposed, whether it was done deliberately, or why.  (bolding mine)

Wow. $4.42 refund. And no explanation.
By the way, Verizon, the largest carrier by far in the north country, is looking to sell its northern New England business to Fairpoint Communications. There is a certain sense of urgency to this deal, in spite of strong evidence Fairpoint does not have the capital necessary to fulfill the infrastructure promises made by Verizon. Is Verizon dumping a hot legal potoato in Vermont?

Remember, the ACLU lost its court battle to expose the bushmen's warrantless wiretapping programs because, in a prime Catch-22, none of the plaitiffs could show standing, since the program is secret, as is the list of targets.
It appears a country lawyer in little old Vermont has just removed that ridiculous roadblock on our civil liberties.

This story is just breaking; I will add updates as more information comes to light.
And coming on the heels of Vermont's victory over the auto companies, requiring them to cut CO2 emissions, allow me to say

(((((((YAY, VERMONT!!)))))))

Originally posted to kamarvt on Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 05:28 AM PDT.

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