Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Oops! "Top Secret" NSA logs were accidentally given to a Saudi charity by the Treasury Department
[O]ne rather obscure case could pull back the veil on a surveillance program that's at the heart of the US fight against terror. In the federal appeals court in San Francisco Wednesday, lawyers for a Saudi charity accused of helping Al Qaeda will argue that their clients, including two American attorneys, were illegally spied on without the required court warrant.
Whoa! How do they know that?
How do they know? Treasury Department officials inadvertently provided them with National Security Agency (NSA) call logs stamped "top secret."
Uh-ohhhh. Somebody made a biiiiig boo-boo.
The judges also said that they have "standing" in federal courts – that they have enough of a case to sue the federal government.
Yeah, yeah, same ol', same ol'. Really, how far can they get?

If the appeals court agrees with the lower court, the US Supreme Court is likely to become involved. The case could have broader significance as well since it deals with presidential power during wartime.

"The difficulty in challenging any secret program is in proving that you were a victim of it," says Jon Eisenberg, a lawyer in Oakland, Calif., who represents the now-defunct US arm of the Islamic charitable foundation. "We have that proof, and that makes us unique."

So, there we have it! Justice will prevail! Then again, if it goes to the Supremes, all bets are off. But still... they did say they have proof, and that should count for something.

Treasury and Justice Department officials refuse to comment on the case. But in court documents urging dismissal, administration officials wrote: "Whether plaintiffs were subjected to surveillance is a state secret, and information tending to confirm or deny that fact is privileged."
The italics are mine. So is the headache coming on.


At 3:56 PM, Blogger GottaLaff said...

Bush is privileged. Cheney is privileged. Gonzo is privileged. Rove is privileged. All their underlings are privileged. Now Treasury and Justice are privileged.

And let's not forget about the class of investors from my post down thread. They're really privileged.

The rest of us can all go live in formaldehyde-contaminated trailers.

At 5:00 PM, Blogger Ashen Shard said...

Those who want to be 'privileged' should watch out. It may take a while, but those who are not and feel wronged have a tendency to coalesce into a pitchfork carrying mob whose furry shall not be deflected, even for cake! Beware the great unwashed. :-p

At 5:26 PM, Blogger GottaLaff said...

I'm loving the unwashed. Nothing like getting down and dirty, especially with pitchforks. I cannot WAIT.

It can't come soon enough for me.

At 8:44 PM, Blogger ohdave said...

This line of reasoning is truly incredible.

Whether the US illegally spied on someone who has no bearing on national security is a state secret?

Give me a fucking break.

At 9:06 PM, Blogger GottaLaff said...

Exactly. Hence, the headache.

At 1:38 AM, Anonymous binzbok said...

Hearing about stuff like this starts to get overwhelming. I wonder if there are any jobs on Craigslist for shepherd in New Zealand. Standing with a bunch of fluffy sheep and not having to think about these things sounds so appealing right now.

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