Court Finds NSA Guilty of Illegal Wiretapping

This was the lawsuit against the NSA for their warrantless wiretapping of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, and their discussions with their lawyers, and Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker has granted a summary judgment against the government, basically saying that the Foundation had good evidence of wiretapping, and if the US government was unwilling to provide exculpatory evidence, it was making a broad claims of the state secrets privilege.

Basically, he said that the government refused to defend themselves, and that the state secrets privilege is trumped by FISA. so they lose the case.

As Emptywheel notes:

Walker is basically saying, “Well, government, if you won’t give us any evidence to prove you legally wiretapped al-Haramain, and given all the evidence they’ve presented proving they were wiretapped, then they win!”

Here’s his argument. The government had a way to defend against al-Haramain’s case directly, in camera, but they refused to avail themselves of it.

Unfortunately, this may not mean much, because they actually had proof of wiretapping, because the prosecution accidentally delivered logs of the wiretaps to them during discovery.

This is unlikely to be repeated.

Needless to say, I am sick and tired of the Obama administrations full throated defense of executive branch overreach and secrecy, as well as their attempts to further the coverup of Bush administration law breaking under the guise of “looking ahead.”

I am very happy that they lost today.

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