Illegal U.S. citizen spying continues
Monday, July 9th, 2007
Unauthorized spying on U.S. citizens' international tele-communications will continue, as an appeals court in Cincinnati dismissed the case brought against the Bush administration to stop the surveillance activity.
The illegal wiretapping program was authorized by Bush after the 9/11 events and allows the monitoring of (amongst others?) international telephone calls e-mail.
"The Bush administration is basically left free to violate an act of congress with impunity – the foreign intelligence surveillance act, which congress adopted over 30 years ago to prevent the executive from engaging in precisely this kind of unchecked surveillance," Goodman [ACLU] said.
"They are effectively saying you can't show that you've been wiretapped and you'll never be able to show that you've been wiretapped because the whole thing is so secret."
The reason the case was thrown out: The appeals court panel ruled that the groups and individuals (ACLU on behalf of other groups including lawyers, journalists and scholars) who brought the lawsuit did not have the legal right to bring the challenge. Judge Julia Smith Gibbons, a Sixth Circuit judge (appointed by Bush naturally), said: "The plaintiffs failed to show they were subject to the surveillance and therefore do not have standing for their claims."
Kind of hard for the people that do have standings for their claims to sue, as basically everything from McDonald's coffee-recipe to how many sheets of toilet paper Bush uses on the toilet has been classified under the National Security/Terrorism Threat strawman. So, if you want to sue, it has to be you who they've been spying on or the case will get dismissed. But you can't know you're being spied on, since everything is classified.
Land of the Free indeed.