Friday, June 23, 2006

Saw This One Coming

My Way News - White House Demands Dismissal of Spy Suit:
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A lawsuit challenging the Bush administration's domestic spying program must be dismissed because it threatens to reveal state secrets and jeopardize the war on terror, the government says.

The case was set to go before a federal judge in San Francisco on Friday.

The Bush administration argues that the courts cannot decide the constitutionality of the president's asserted wartime powers to eavesdrop on Americans without warrants.

The government is invoking the so-called 'state secrets privilege' in a federal lawsuit filed by a privacy group against communications giant AT&T Inc. (T) about the telecom's alleged involvement in Bush's surveillance program adopted after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

[...]

The EFF is urging Walker in legal filings to rule on whether the president possesses wartime powers to authorize warrantless eavesdropping in the United States without publicly disclosing any classified or sensitive material.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the state secrets defense as recently as January, when it rejected an appeal from a former covert CIA officer who accused the agency of race discrimination. And last month, citing the state secrets defense, the government urged a federal judge in Virginia to block a lawsuit by a German national who says he was illegally held in a CIA-run prison in Afghanistan for four months and tortured.

The Supreme Court first recognized the state secrets doctrine in 1953, when it dismissed a lawsuit against the government brought by family members of people killed in a plane wreck while testing secret electronic surveillance equipment.
So the government invokes it's right to screw us in secrecy since letting us know about it would only give us the idea we were being screwed. It's not for nothing that this defense first came into use during the infamous McCarthy-era. It stinks to the max, and the courts just let it happen. Shame on all of them.
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