Good Saturday Morning Bloggers! I am VERY pleased to report that the Obama administration suffered a legal setback yesterday afternoon when a federal judge in California rejected their assertion that the federal government has the right to a "state secrets privilege" in the civil suit brought by an Islamic charity that was allegedly subjected to illegal NSA surveillance. It's one of many brought against the Bush Administration, and now one of the most important.
There's no doubt the government broke the law, and everybody knows it. That's why it's so strange the Obama Administration chose the wrong side of this issue. These cases are very important to those of us who believe the government over-stepped its authority and shredded the 4th Amendment by spying on Americans. The court has ordered the government - in the case of Al-Haramain v. Bush - to come up with a plan to safeguard classified information, while forcing it to go forward with the case. Judge Vaughn Walker rightly noted that the government has often made provisions for the discussion of Top Secret information, and that this trial should be no different. Thank you Judge Walker!
The judge also crafted his order narrowly to prevent the government from appealing it immediately to the Ninth Circuit. That was very wise. We will hear more on May 8th, when we find out whether the Administration will present a plan for safeguarding NSA classified information, OR if they just plan to re-assert their claim of state secrets. The Bush Administration was famous for claiming the privilege over and over, tweaking their claims just enough to waste the court's time, attempting to bankrupt the ACLU, while delaying cases for years. I'm hoping the Obama Administration is more honest in their dealings with America's courts.
Again, I'm disappointed that the Obama Administration has decided to defend the cases that were brought against the Bush Administration for spying on Americans. They should have allowed for justice while protecting our security. I'm sure both were possible. They idea that the government is immune from being sued after it so obviously broke the law - and admitted it many times - is outrageous.
My admiration for President Obama and Eric Holder lessened after they chose to defend what many of us consider the indefensible. When it comes to illegal wiretapping and torture, I am no fan of the Obama Administration. A matter of fact, I would say that I'm downright hostile. So far, they're very Bush-like in those areas.
Saturday's Political Rant - Michael