Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Obama's Iron Curtain?




Excerpt:

In the case of Shubert v. Bush, the Electronic Frontier Foundation represents numerous American citizens suing individual Bush officials, alleging that the Bush administration instituted a massive “dragnet” surveillance program whereby “the NSA intercepted (and continues to intercept) millions of phone calls and emails of ordinary Americans, with no connection to Al Qaeda, terrorism, or any foreign government” and that “the program monitors millions of calls and emails . . . entirely in the United States . . . without a warrant” (page 4). The lawsuit's central allegation is that the officials responsible for this program violated the Fourth Amendment and FISA and can be held accountable under the law for those illegal actions. . . . Rather than respond to the substance of the allegations, the Obama DOJ is instead insisting that courts are barred from considering the claims at all. Why? Because — it asserted in a Motion to Dismiss it filed on Friday — to allow the lawsuit to proceed under any circumstances – no matter the safeguards imposed or specific documents excluded — “would require the disclosure of highly classified NSA sources and methods about the TSP [Terrorist Surveillance Program] and other NSA activities” (page 8). According to the Obama administration, what were once leading examples of Bush's lawlessness and contempt for the Constitution — namely, his illegal, warrantless domestic spying programs — are now vital “state secrets” in America's War on Terror, such that courts are prohibited even from considering whether the Government was engaging in crimes when spying on Americans.

Et Tu, Barack?

Why are these innocent Americans being twice violated? First when they were illegally surveilled, and now again when being denied the right to legally obtain justice for such violations? Worse, without recourse through the courts, the precedent is set that Executive Branch officers can break the law without fear of prosecution if such crimes fall within the very loose interpretation of “national security.”


[more]


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