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April 10, 2009
Warrantless Wiretapping of American Citizens A-OK According to Obama's DOJ

In the past, I have placed all of my "warrantless wiretapping of americans" posts under

Bush's Watergate on Steroids

What a joke! Ha ha! But the joke's on me - and all of us, as it turns out.

It saddens me greatly to have to create an "Obama's Warrantless Wiretapping" category.

Today is a day I never thought I'd see. Seriously. I thought something as simple as striking down warrantless wiretapping would be a no-brainer. Certainly not a policy the Obama Administration would actually endorse and defend.

This is an excerpt from EFF's Effector 22.10:

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAS EMBRACED BUSH'S POSITION ON WARANTLESS WIRETAPPING, and goes one step further than the previous administration. In a motion to dismiss Jewel v. NSA, the Obama Administration's Department of Justice (DOJ) made two deeply troubling arguments.

First, they argued, exactly as the Bush Administration did on countless occasions, that the state secrets privilege requires the court to dismiss the issue out of hand. They asserted that simply allowing the case to continue "would cause exceptionally grave harm to national security." As in the past, this is a blatant ploy to dismiss the litigation without allowing the courts to consider the evidence.

Second, the DOJ claimed that the U.S. Government is completely immune from litigation for illegal spying because the USA PATRIOT Act renders the U.S. immune from suit under the two remaining key federal surveillance laws: the Wiretap Act and the Stored Communications Act. This is a radical assertion that is utterly unprecedented. No one -- not the White House, not the Justice Department, not any member of Congress, and not the Bush Administration -- has ever interpreted the law this way.

This isn't change we can believe in. This is change for the worse.

For the full blog post:

For the press release:

For Kevin Bankston on "Countdown With Keith Olbermann":

For Keith Olbermann on Obama and Wiretapping:

***end excerpt***

This is pretty upsetting. I'm still shocked and dismayed.

I wanted to make sure you knew at least. Somehow that makes me feel a little better, usually.

Posted by Lisa at 12:35 PM