Saturday, May 27, 2006

White House Wants NSA Lawsuits Nixed

CBS News

The Bush administration asked federal judges in New York and Michigan to dismiss a pair of lawsuits filed over the National Security Agency's domestic eavesdropping program, saying litigation would jeopardize state secrets. In legal papers filed late Friday, Justice Department lawyers said it would be impossible to defend the legality of the spying program without disclosing classified information that could be of value to suspected terrorists.

National Intelligence Director John Negroponte invoked the state secrets privilege on behalf of the administration, writing that disclosure of such information would cause "exceptionally grave damage" to national security. The administration laid out some of its supporting arguments in classified memoranda that were filed under seal.


In New York, the Center for Constitutional Rights has asked a judge to stop the program, saying it was an abuse of presidential power. The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups have filed a similar lawsuit in Detroit.


Shayana Kadidal, an attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, called the administration's motion "undemocratic." Ample safeguards could be put in place to allow the case to continue without disclosing classified information, he said. The Center has also argued that the court already has enough information in hand to decide whether the spying program was legal, based on admissions the administration has already made about the effort.

"The Bush administration is trying to crush a very strong case against domestic spying without any evidence or argument," he said in a written statement. "Can the president tell the courts which cases they can rule on? If so, the courts will never be able to hold the president accountable for breaking the law."


Carol Ann said...

I keep having this strange thought running through my mind:

why are the administration's privacy and secrets so inviolate and why can they be protected (according to the administration)by jailing people who reveal them, and yet my secrets and privacy are the business of this administration, and if i object, I am threatened with jail?

Isn't this bizarre?

TOTAL KAOS said...

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