Curses, foiled again!
WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s spy court said Tuesday that it will not make public its documents regarding the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, in a rare public opinion, said the public has no right to view the documents because they deal with the clandestine workings of national security agencies.
The American Civil Liberties Union asked the court to release the records in August. Specifically, the organization asked for the government’s legal briefs and the court’s opinions on the wiretapping program.
Writing for the court, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates refused. Releasing the documents would reveal closely guarded secrets that enemies could used to evade detection or disrupt intelligence activities, he said. Sources could be outed, targets could be tipped off and diplomatic relations could be damaged.
“All these possible harms are real and significant and, quite frankly, beyond debate,” Bates wrote.
One of the key documents being sought were court orders that allowed the Bush administration to bring the wiretapping program under the court’s purview in January. Previously, the so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program allowed investigators to monitor international phone calls and e-mails to or from the U.S. without court oversight.
The White House said in January that it no longer needed the program because the spy court had established standards that satisfied the administration. The ACLU said it wanted to know what those standards are, how they were set up and how they were justified.
The ACLU also wanted to know about a later court ruling that barred the government from eavesdropping on foreign suspects whose messages were being routed through U.S. communications carriers, including Internet sites. That ruling helped President Bush persuade Congress to pass an overhaul of the wiretapping laws.
In July of 2007, the ACLU initially tried to block the wiretapping program entirely, mostly for the benefit of their terrorist clients:
A federal appeals court panel in Cincinnati yesterday dismissed a lawsuit challenging President Bush’s domestic terrorist surveillance program, ruling that those who brought the suit —led by the American Civil Liberties Union – did not have the legal authority to do so.
The ACLU would just love to get its swarthy little paws on all the national security documents it can. In the intelligence business there’s a concept called “need to know basis”. The public at large (especially a subversive entity like the ACLU) does not need to be privy to the collection methods used to bring down domestic terrorist threats. The fact that they support and hire terrorists like ACLU lawyers Noel Saleh, Mohammed Abdrabboh, and Nabih Ayad, should be enough to warrant surveillence of them….which is probably why they wanted access to the documents.