Monday, April 6, 2009
Following Bush lead, Obama moves to block challenge to wiretapping program
Source: Raw Story - John Byrne
President Barack Obama has invoked "state secrets" to prevent a court from reviewing the legality of the National Security Agency's warantless wiretapping program and moved late Friday to have a lawsuit challenging the program dismissed.
The move -- which holds that information surrounding the massive eavesdropping program should be kept from the public because of its sensitivity -- follows an earlier decision in March to block handover of documents relating to the Bush Administration's decision to spy on a charity. The arguments also mirror the Bush Administration's efforts to dismiss an earlier suit against AT&T.
The decision Friday involves a lawsuit filed by the civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is suing the NSA for the wiretapping program. The agency monitored the telephone calls and emails of thousands of people within the United States without a court's approval in an effort to thwart terrorist attacks.
In attempting to block a San Fransisco court from reviewing documents relating to the NSA program, the Obama Administration is also protecting other individuals named as defendants in the suit: Vice President Dick Cheney, former Cheney chief of staff David Addington and former Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.