Friday, July 06, 2007

Be not intimidated ...

From Court Rejects ACLU Domestic Spying Suit:

CINCINNATI — A divided federal appeals court rejected a lawsuit Friday challenging President Bush's domestic spying program without ruling on the issue of whether warrantless wiretapping is legal.

In a 2-1 decision with Republican-appointed judges in the majority, a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the plaintiffs had no standing to sue because they couldn't prove their communications had been monitored by the government.

The decision underscored the difficulty of challenging the anti-terrorism program in court because its secret nature prevents plaintiffs from obtaining surveillance information. The National Security Agency had refused to turn over information about the warrantless wiretapping that would have bolstered the court case.

"This is a Catch-22," said Steven R. Shapiro, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the lawsuit. "I think what in effect they're saying is that we can't tell you whether you have been wiretapped because that's a secret. And unless you know you've been wiretapped, you can't challenge that program..."

That last line is hilarious, but sad and true. We're supposed to trust that the intentions of our government are worthwhile and noble while they have proven over and over again the last 6 years (and many would say longer than that) that they are not. They have not earned the benefit of the doubt.

"Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice." -- John Adams


shrimplate said...

The Founders didn't give them the benefit of the doubt either. If Jefferson were alive today he'd... well, he'd probably be locked up in Gitmo.

Laura said...

Shrimp: With all their anti-government rhetoric, I think all the founders would be labeled "terrorists" right now. I also think they'd see the irony that the head of state they opposed so much was named "George" ;)