Hearing on Bush Wiretaps

(Photo: Bugsweeps.com)

One of the defining controversies of the so-called War on Terror takes center stage in a Cincinnati courtroom tomorrow. The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled hear oral arguments in a lawsuit that aims to stop warrantless wiretapping by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Last year a federal judge in Michigan ruled in favor of the suit by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor made national headlines for the intensity of her criticism of the Bush regime, saying there are “no hereditary kings in America and no power not created by the Constitution.” Taylor ordered the president to shut down the program; the federal government appealed the ruling.

The administration recently announced that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court issued secret orders approving the surveillance. However, the Justice Department refused to confirm whether the orders generally authorize the program, as opposed to authorizing surveillance of individual persons based on probable cause. The ACLU says the generalized program warrants are unconstitutional.

The administration has asked the appeals court to dismiss the ACLU lawsuit because the NSA surveillance is now under the review of the secret intelligence court. But the ACLU opposes the move, arguing that Bush still claims to retain the “inherent authority” to engage in wiretapping without the oversight of the FISA court and that, without more information about what the secret FISA court has authorized, there’s no way to determine whether the NSA’s current activities are lawful.

— Gregory Flannery

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One Comment on “Hearing on Bush Wiretaps”

  1. Natasha Says:

    …”no hereditary kings in America and no power not created by the Constitution.”

    Wow, now THERE’S a revolutionary idea!!!

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