Saturday, February 28, 2009

Conservative Quandary

This is from an article in Friday’s Washington Post.

Court Rejects Obama Bid to Stop Wiretapping Suit

The Obama administration has lost its argument that a potential threat to national security should stop a lawsuit challenging the government's warrantless wiretapping program.
A federal appeals court in San Francisco on Friday rejected the Justice Department's request for an emergency stay in a case involving a defunct Islamic charity.

Yet government lawyers signaled they would continue fighting to keep the information secret, setting up a new showdown between the courts and the White House over national security.
The Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, claimed national security would be compromised if a lawsuit brought by the Oregon chapter of the charity, Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, was allowed to proceed.

Now, civil libertarians hope the case will become the first chance for a court to rule on whether the warrantless wiretapping program was legal or not. It cited the so-called state secrets privilege as a defense against the lawsuit.

"All we wanted was our day in court and it looks like we're finally going to get our day in court," said Al-Haramain's lawyer, Steven Goldberg. "This case is all about challenging an assertion of power by the executive branch which is extraordinary."

But hours after the appeals court made its decision, government lawyers filed new papers insisting they still did not have to turn over any sensitive information.

"The government respectfully requests that the court refrain from further actions to provide plaintiffs with access to classified information," said the filing, suggesting the Obama administration may appeal the matter again to keep the information secret and block the case from going forward.

The decision by the three-judge appeals panel is a setback for the new Obama administration as it adopts some of the same positions on national security and secrecy as the Bush administration.
Yet even as that review continues, the administration has invoked the privilege in several different cases, including the Al-Haramain matter.

The case began when the Bush administration accidentally turned over documents to Al-Haramain attorneys. Lawyers for the defunct charity said the papers showed illegal wiretapping by the National Security Agency.

The documents were returned to the government, which quickly locked them away, claiming they were state secrets that could threaten national security if released.

Lawyers for Al-Haramain argued that they needed the documents to prove the wiretapping.
A number of organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, tried to sue the government over warrantless wiretapping but were denied standing because they could not show they were targeted.

Ann Brick, a lawyer for the ACLU of Northern California, said the court has now crafted a way to review the issue in which "national security isn't put at risk, but the rule of law can still be observed."

Well, well. What have we here? The “liberal” Obama Administration is challenged by the “activist” federal appeals court in the ongoing struggle between Fourth Amendment supporters and the Executive Branch of the US Government.

Like many of you, I’d be fascinated to learn what the conservative view is on this. Who are they for on this one? Will they defend the former “most liberal senator”, or do they support the “activist judges”?

I can’t wait to hear from them. So far all I hear are chirping crickets...

Maybe that’s because they've all been busy wetting their linen while jumping up and down and chanting to Rush Limbaugh as he spewed his bile, hot air, lies, contradictions and projection at the CPAC convention.

But that’s another post.


Unknown said...

Obama's true colors are becoming more clear with each passing day. I was telling Jim earlier today, that Obama says he wants Honesty, Transparency, and Full Disclosure. Yet, he refuses to start republishing the M3, to bring sunlight upon the true value and condition of the U.S. Dollar.

His Justice Department, headed by his good friend, Eric Holder, is busy waffling and obstructing the courts at all levels.

ad nauseum, ad infinium

How can the populace be so oblivious and apathetic?

I'm afraid we have the government we deserve. God does work in strange ways, doesn't He? Unfortunately, strange ways aren't always pleasant.

Unknown said...

Do people not see the urgency????

jmsjoin said...

You know, this is one of those things you are for and against. As was always the case with Bush, give him a right and he'll make it a wrong.
The patriot act in the right hands could be a good tool but not under Bush!
Wiretapping would come in handy under someone like Obama who would I hope not use it on us!

Dave Dubya said...

Tim, Jim,
Let's "hope" Obama didn't tell the same lie with his hand on the Bible as Bush did. Let's hope he finds the strength to protect and defend the Constitution.

Unknown said...

I'm sorry, Jim, but I have to disagree with you here. Too much power in ANY one man's hand is a bad thing.

The Patriot Act is a fascist document if there ever was one. The things in there that actually protect US are already covered by other exixting laws.

The wire-tapping violates the Constitution and Rule of Law. For a man on his feet, stealing cars comes in handy, but it's still illegal, and a scourge on society.

Hope *sigh* It's getting harder to muster day to day.

jmsjoin said...

I agree but I, we have to hope Obama is a better man than the scum before him.

Anonymous said...

They were so strong in their beliefs that there came a time when it hardly mattered what exactly those beliefs were; they all fused into a single stubbornness. Louise Erdrich

funny, nobody in the liberal meda has told anyone that it's bush's homeland goons not Napolitano’s. thats who bad mouthed the r/w. some body whos name starts with a o, played a clip of a ccn type asking the baggers what tax they mad about. they were mad but not about taxes. the big o said the cnn woman was making fun of the good americans. by saying that taxes were not what they were mad about.

Anonymous said...

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire From the totalitarian point of view, history is something to be created rather than learned. George Orwell, Essay: "The Prevention of Literature"

Anonymous said...

'The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, because the vast masses of a nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad.

The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them more easy victims of a big lie than a small one, because they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell big ones.
Such a form of lying would never enter their heads. They would never credit others with the possibility of such great impudence as the complete reversal of facts. Even explanations would long leave them in doubt and hesitation, and any trifling reason would dispose them to accept a thing as true.
Something therefore always remains and sticks from the most imprudent of lies, a fact which all bodies and individuals concerned in the art of lying in this world know only too well, and therefore they stop at nothing to achieve this end.
~ Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf

Dave Dubya said...


It's funny how the biggest thing that upsets the Reich Wingers about Hitler was his "gun control".