Tuesday, January 17, 2006

ACLU and Other Civil Liberty Groups Step up... and Sue Bush!

Finally! A message is being sent to the Bush administration that domestic spying is not only illegal but also hampers free speech. The ACLU, Center for Constitutional Rights, Green Peace, Council on American-Islamic Relations, and other civil liberties organizations, as well as individuals, are suing Bush and the NSA for illegal wiretaps after September 11th. The lawsuits are taking place in New York and in Detroit. Bush, of course, claims no wrong doing, that he actually had the right to order those wiretaps because of an authorization from congress to use force in the fight against terror.

Can spying on the citizens of the USA be considered a use of force against terror? Well, in my opinion, no. First of all it is simply a way of trying to find terrorists in America and not a use of force against known terror groups. Secondly, it is not a good idea to cause fear about what is said over the phone or by e-mail because that is a way of limiting free speech. So is limiting our free speech, one of our fundamental freedoms as part of the US, the fourth amendment of the Constitution, okay if it will help to find possible terrorists? Nope, there are much better ways of rooting out terrorism than giving the Bush administration totalitarian control. Some sort of check needs to be in place and that check should be a judge’s issuance of a warrant.

Salon.com has a good article to review what is going on:




marisa said...

sadly, the lawsuits are not expected to hold water becuase the gvt. itself has to provide proof that they did indeed spy on those suing them and that it was a breach of privacy. not surprisingly, the gvt. is refusing to provide such incriminating evidence in a court of law. to counter, the plantiffs are asking for the gvt. to prove that they didn't spy on them, but that pesky innocent-until-proven-guilty thing is bound to get in the way.

it is nice to see people at least making a ruckus, however.

Andrew said...

Bush openly admitted to ordering the wiretaps though, shouldn't his statement be proof enough? Or do judges no longer trust him?

marisa said...

even though the gvt. is openly admitting to using wiretaps, they are hiding under the guise that these incidents have protected the country from terrorist attacks, and the program is considered "highly classified" so they refuse to make those specific cases public.

Alberto Gonzales claims that Bush has the supremacy to authorize the program, despite the fact that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 requires the gvt to go to a FISA court to seek a warrant within 72 hours of establishing such a wiretap. i fail to see where he's concretely backed up his claim, but he's expected to testify next month so we'll just have to wait and see.

Andrew said...

I believe that the Patriot Act made amendments to FISA that would allow for electronic surveillance without a warrant, not on direct wiretaps though although I'm not sure if the USA Patriot Act was signed until after the wiretaps in question were performed. I guess we'll just wait and see what comes of this. Since I don't really know all that much about the law in situations like this it is difficult for me to say where this might lead... to an impeachment? Probably not. A reversal of certain aspects of the Patriot Act? Hopefully.

Amber said...

What is awesome, though, is Google and Yahoo are joinging the fight to prevent the FBI from investigating commonly searched phrases to "bust pronographers." The FBI is trying to use the Patriot Act as a scape goat (ie "look, people jacking-off= terrorists!") to invade our privacy. Next thing you know gays will be in internment camps (albeit "fabulous" internment camps) and Planned Parenthood will have to take down all of it's "graphic" educational tools.

Jerems said...

Yahoo gave in. Google is the only one with the balls to tell off the Justice Department.