20 July 2006

Court Rejects State Secrets Claim

A United States trial court has rejected a federal government request to dismiss a case based on the "state secrets" privilege in an NSA wiretapping case. The full opinion is here. This has the potential to reign in illegal Bush Administration spying that has long been permitted to fester behind procedural barriers and claims that national security overrides the rule of law.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This seems like good news except that Congress will likely legislate this Judicial opinion away. I just got the following from the ACLU:

You may have read headlines calling the Cheney-Specter bill on surveillance oversight a "compromise." But make no mistake, this deal is nothing short of a complete capitulation to the Bush administration.

The bill includes legalized assaults on our civil liberties worse even than the sweeping powers ceded to the government by the Patriot Act, and would write into law what is now the administration's belief that the president can wiretap any American he wants without any check.

From the Supreme Court to people on the street, America is starting to wake up to the Bush administration's abuse of power. Unfortunately, Congress hasn't gotten the message and is poised to rubber stamp a dangerous agenda that is doing real harm to our democracy.

Not only is Congress considering NSA "oversight" legislation that would hand the president vast new powers—only days after the Defense Department stated that it will comply with the Geneva Conventions regarding the treatment of detainees—a top Justice Department lawyer urged Congress to "ratify" the military commissions that the Supreme Court invalidated two weeks ago.

The headlines are full of White House spin claiming that Senator Arlen Specter's (R-PA) bill on surveillance is a successful compromise between Congress and the White House. Of course, Senator Specter would like you to believe he is taking a stand on the Bush's administration's actions because he knows that is what most Americans want Congress to do. But in reality these ill-advised proposals give the president a blank check to spy on Americans without a warrant and without mandatory judicial review of his actions.