Thursday, July 31, 2008

Through The Looking Glass, Again

The 'Lewis Carroll' pleadings showed the Department of Justice arguing that its findings were true because it repeated them three times. In the future, this same discredited Justice Department wants to keep any other pleadings off the table. As long as no argument is presented against its pleadings, it can finally prove something. Saying something three times isn't enough for the mad hatter department, it now has to have everyone else just shut up.

In a brief filed late yesterday with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), the Bush administration asked that any review of the new warrantless surveillance law be kept secret and that the court refuse to accept legal briefs from anyone other than the Justice Department itself. The government is responding to a motion the American Civil Liberties Union filed earlier this month asking the FISC to ensure that any proceedings relating to the scope, meaning or constitutionality of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) be open to the public to the extent possible.

The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project:

“The government is proposing that the intelligence court should consider the constitutionality of the new surveillance law in proceedings that will be entirely secret. If the government’s request is granted, the court won’t hear arguments from anyone except the government and those arguments will be presented to the court in secret briefs. At the end of the process, the court will issue a ruling that is also secret. The process the government is proposing is completely unacceptable. Especially because the new surveillance law departs so significantly from the standards that have applied to government surveillance for the last 30 years, any proceedings relating to the new law’s constitutionality should be adversarial and as informed and transparent as possible.”

In a separate legal challenge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the ACLU seeks a court ruling declaring that the FAA is unconstitutional and ordering its immediate and permanent halt. Plaintiffs in the case include Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch, the Nation and PEN American Center. (Emphasis added.)

This politicized group of second- and third-rate attorneys is certainly trying to cut the country off from any prospects of achieving the Justice this department was named for - back in the day. Its disreputable agents should be ordered out of the court, and a replacement with some degree of actual ability to represent its real client, the U.S. public, retained. The Republican National Committee should be ordered to pay the costs.

The Justice Department was set up to protect the Rule of Law, but the worst administration ever has much to fear from the law. Its power has been misused, and the effort made to keep the war criminals from justice. This has to be stopped, and the ACLU has never been needed so badly.

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