Friday, June 22, 2007

States Have No Right to State Secrets

The federal government is asking a judge to dismiss lawsuits brought by five states concerning the Bush administration's domestic spying program. The handful of states asked telecommunications companies to reveal their participation in a warrantless eavesdropping program. Justice Department lawyers claim national security trumps any individual privacy rights.

In December 2005 President Bush confirmed the NSA has been conducting warrantless surveillance of calls and e-mails thought to involve al-Qaida terrorists if at least one of the parties to the communication is outside the United States. The administration contends the program is legal and necessary, but has been silent on whether purely domestic calls and electronic communications are being monitored, as many of the lawsuits allege.

So why not have an actual legal determination made by a court and end the contention? Could this be a deja vu given the CIA's historical dirty laundry exposition?

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