Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Monday, November 2, 2009 8:45 pm

Apparently Obama thinks we can’t handle the truth


This was wrong when Bush did it, and it’s still wrong now that Obama is doing it:

The Obama administration has, yet again, asserted the broadest and most radical version of the “state secrets” privilege — which previously caused so much controversy and turmoil among loyal Democrats (when used by Bush/Cheney) — to attempt to block courts from ruling on the legality of the government’s domestic surveillance activities.  Obama did so again this past Friday — just six weeks after the DOJ announced voluntary new internal guidelines which, it insisted, would prevent abuses of the state secrets privilege.  Instead — as predicted — the DOJ continues to embrace the very same “state secrets” theories of the Bush administration — which Democrats generally and Barack Obama specifically once vehemently condemned — and is doing so in order literally to shield the President from judicial review or accountability when he is accused of breaking the law.

The case of Shubert v. Bush is one of several litigations challenging the legality of the NSA program, of which the Electronic Frontier Foundation is lead coordinating counsel. The Shubert plaintiffs are 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.

The “17-dimensional chess” theory holds that Obama is having his administration make these arguments hoping that they’ll lose in court, to create a legal precedent that would discourage future attempts to pull this kind of stunt. Me, I think he is, in all sincerity, getting, and taking, some extremely bad and illegal advice.

3 Comments

  1. “once vehemently condemned…” “Once” being the operative term. Where are they now? My guess is they never meant it in the first place.

    Comment by Spag — Monday, November 2, 2009 11:19 pm @ 11:19 pm

  2. “they” never meant it in the first place? Who never meant it in the first place, Spag?

    Comment by Lex — Tuesday, November 3, 2009 7:10 am @ 7:10 am

  3. […] said earlier that I didn’t think the administration was playing 17-dimensional chess, that I thought they really did want to do the wrong thing. This pretty well proves it. Leave a […]

    Pingback by Legal fraud; or, Why Obama’s Justice Department is no better than Bush’s and might even be worse « Blog on the Run: Reloaded — Monday, November 9, 2009 8:03 pm @ 8:03 pm


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