Saturday, August 18, 2007

So There’s This “Secret Court”

And this Secret Court has been asked by the American Civil Liberties Union to release a bunch of orders issued earlier in 2007 about the National Security Agency’s wiretapping program. And now, according to the Washington Post, this secret US intelligence court “has ordered the Bush administration to register its views about a records request by the American Civil Liberties Union”. WaPo says, “The move is highly unusual, because the court -- which approves warrants for electronic surveillance within the United States by intelligence and counterterrorism agencies -- operates in almost total secrecy and has made only one ruling public in its 29-year history.” That ruling was made public in 2002 when a new surveillance guideline proposed by the Justice Department was rejected by this court. But the court’s rejection was overturned later in 2002 by a special appeals court. And what are the chances that the ACLU will get the documents it has requested? Slim to none is David B. Rivkin, Jr.’s assessment. Rivkin was a Justice Department official in the Reagan administration and now is a partner at Baker Hostetler. Rivkin says it’s not clear whether the secret court has the authority to release documents over the objections of the executive branch. "The order is unusual, and the request is also unusual," Rivkin told WaPo. "But I would be amazed if that request were granted in the end." But the interesting thing is that the ACLU made its request and that the request is being taken seriously. The request in itself is very important. The request is as important as the result of the request. Every day more information comes to light about the Bush administration’s Injustice Department. Only when US voters realize how close the current administration is to being a Third Reich in the United States, can they make the changes necessary to return the United States of America to a democracy. Yesterday, the New York Times reported that, “Notes taken by Director Robert S. Mueller III of the F.B.I. say that Attorney General John Ashcroft was ‘barely articulate,’ ‘feeble’ and ‘clearly stressed’ shortly after a hospital-room meeting in March 2004 in which two top White House aides tried to persuade him to sign an extension for eavesdropping on Americans without warrants...In providing corroboration for (former deputy attorney general James B. Comey) Mr. Comey’s version of events, Mr. Mueller’s typewritten entries served to rebut the suggestion of some Bush administration officials who have privately dismissed Mr. Comey’s account of the hospital standoff as an overwrought and one-sided description.” We are being flooded with information on the magnitude of malfeasance in the Bush administration and that is very good.

No comments: