Saturday, August 19, 2006

NSA Wiretapping Ruled Unconstitutional

Federal Judge Orders Immediate Halt
In perhaps the best news to come along in some time, US District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor has unequivocally ruled against the Bush Administration's unwarranted domestic surveillance program, ordering its immediate cessation. The case was filed by the ACLU on behalf of several clients including a number of lawyers with overseas clients.

It's about time. This program has been going on at least since 9/11, and possibly even longer. This blatant defiance of the Constitution boggles the mind. Here are excerpts from the original AP wire report as published by the Idaho Statesman:
"Plaintiffs have prevailed, and the public interest is clear, in this matter. It is the upholding of our Constitution," Taylor wrote in her 43-page opinion.
"By holding that even the president is not above the law, the court has done its duty," said Ann Beeson, the ACLU's associate legal director and the lead attorney for the plaintiffs. Beeson predicted the government would appeal the ruling and request that the order to halt the program be postponed while the case makes its way through the system. She said the ACLU had not yet decided whether it would oppose such a postponement.
Glenn Greenwald of the excellent Unclaimed Territory blog, is understandably jubilant over the decision. The NSA's various programs have been his focus for some time now. I urge readers who want a more substantial analysis of this story to head for Glenn's. This is a legal issue. He is a lawyer. 'Nuff said.

While this is undoubtedly the most significant story in the news today, it is politically embarrassing for the Bush administration that they have been legally determined to be involved in criminal activity. What do you want to bet that the Jon Benet Ramsey story gets 24/7 coverage for the foreseeable future?

Originally Posted at Les Enrag├ęs