In my view all retroactive legislation is odious so that providing immunity from prosecution or legal jeopardy to the phone companies is wrong. It is especially damaging to those phone companies that refused to comply with the requests of the administration.
Those that did comply have legal protection in that the administration asked for their cooperation under the procedures outlined in the FISA act. If these procedures were not followed, it is not the companies that are at fault but the administration, and by extension, the people of the United States. In such a case, it would be reasonable for the US Treasury to make good any financial damages that they had to pay and for the President to pardon them, or their officials, for any criminal violations they committed.
The court procedures resulting from the absence of immunity would bring some needed transparency to the actions of the administration and would not set the awful precedent of requiring retroactive legislation.
Sent to Washington Post