The first wheel comes off

I have a lot to say about the NSA spy case, but am finding it hard to say properly.

Spy Court Judge Quits In Protest

[U.S. District Judge James] Robertson indicated privately to colleagues in recent conversations that he was concerned that information gained from warrantless NSA surveillance could have then been used to obtain FISA warrants. FISA court Presiding Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who had been briefed on the spying program by the administration, raised the same concern in 2004 and insisted that the Justice Department certify in writing that it was not occurring.

“They just don’t know if the product of wiretaps were used for FISA warrants — to kind of cleanse the information,” said one source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the classified nature of the FISA warrants. “What I’ve heard some of the judges say is they feel they’ve participated in a Potemkin court.”

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8 Responses to The first wheel comes off

  1. Pingback: Political News and Blog Aggregator

  2. Ugh says:

    finding it hard to say properly

    Please go ahead, it’s your blog. Also, nytimes reports that the NSA program has picked up purely domestic calls. Link.

    All this despite the fact that “physics” meant that we couldn’t do this.

  3. wcw says:

    The way I see it, our “1984 moment” is officially upon us. We had executive defense of torture, then of secret prisons, and now downright pride in classified and warrantless data mining.

    I do not hear good things about what life was like under the Stasi, but there wasn’t any Red Brigade east of the wall.

    I have an EU-state passport to go with my US one and speak two of the continent’s three major business languages, so I should be okay.

    The other three hundred million of you might be fresh out of luck.

  4. Altoid says:

    What’s *with* this judge guy, he’s on the government payroll and he gets antsy about a little evidence laundering? Sheesh, you just can’t get good help these days.

  5. Ann Bartow says:

    Maybe only the first wheel is off but dude, I’m thinking it’s a wheelbarrow….

  6. Brautigan says:

    I have a lot to say about the NSA spy case, but am finding it hard to say properly.

    How ’bout this: Bush has just declared himself Dictator of America, and said, “Whatchu gonna do about it?”

    The silent response is deafening.

  7. Guerin says:

    [“I have a lot to say about the NSA spy case, but am finding it hard to say properly.”]

    ….please simply state the legal meaning of the 4th Amendment, the specific ‘right’ it is supposed to guarantee, and why it is in the U.S. Constitution at all.

  8. Michael —
    Perhaps you could address the opinion of John Schmidt found here…,0,3553632.story?coll=chi-newsopinioncommentary-hed

    I’m not a legal scholar, but the wording of his column strongly suggests that he is taking a number of court opinions out of their proper context. One big warning sign (in reference to a 1972 case) is this phrase “The passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 1978 did not alter the constitutional situation.” Generally, statutes don’t “alter the constitutional situation.” But what FISA did was specifically prohibit statutorily warrantless evesdropping on domestic targets for intelligence gathering that was not done through FISA.


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