( – promoted by buhdydharma )
According to White House Press Secretary Gibbs, who spoke yesterday to reporters, President Obama agrees with the position taken by his DoJ.
Responding late Friday afternoon to a suit filed by the EFF against the NSA, the Justice Department
argued that the case should be dismissed because information surrounding the program was a “state secret” and therefore couldn’t be litigated or discussed. It also proposed that the government was protected by “sovereign immunity” under federal wiretapping statutes and the Patriot Act, arguing that the United States could only face lawsuits if they willfully elected to disclose intelligence obtained by wiretapping.
In response to a question at Thursday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that President Obama stands firmly behind a Justice Department brief filed last week which aims to have a civil liberties group’s lawsuit dismissed.
He “absolutely does,” Gibbs said. “Obviously, these are programs that have been debated and discussed, but the President does support that viewpoint.”
Pretty tough to take this in any way except that which is stated. President Obama agrees with the Bush administrations claims for immunity and “states secrets” in the case of clear FISA violations and illegal wiretapping.
From Electronic Frontier Foundation’s website, reaction to Friday’s filing reflected disappointment at the Obama administration’s stance:
It’s an especially disappointing argument to hear from the Obama Administration. As a candidate, Senator Obama lamented that the Bush Administration “invoked a legal tool known as the ‘state secrets’ privilege more than any other previous administration to get cases thrown out of civil court.” He was right then, and we’re dismayed that he and his team seem to have forgotten.
Sad as that is, it’s the Department Of Justice’s second argument that is the most pernicious. The DOJ claims that the U.S. Government is completely immune from litigation for illegal spying – that the Government can never be sued for surveillance that violates federal privacy statutes.
This is a radical assertion that is utterly unprecedented. No one – not the White House, not the Justice Department, not any member of Congress, and not the Bush Administration – has ever interpreted the law this way.
And yes, I AM a
f#$@ing Democrat DFH. A very disappointed one. One who is a plaintiff in this case, and who will continue to support transparency and the rule of law with my last breath. Cuz that’s what I was told a good citizen should demand.
So sue me.