Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Judge Defers Ruling on Wiretapping...

The ACLU had hope that U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor would rule yesterday that the NSA's wiretapping program was unconstitutional. The government argued that it is (and has been) essential to homeland security. (You an read the entire story at Stop the ACLU)

"The case was filed in Detroit because the area is home to one of the largest Arab populations outside the Middle East.

Nazih Hassan, a Lebanese-American, and a member of the ACLU, said the wiretapping had instilled fear in the Arab community.

"There is such a blurry line between talking about the things you care about such as the war in Iraq or the situation in Lebanon and 'supporting terrorism' that I and many of my friends have just stopped talking on the phone," he told Reuters outside the court.

The Justice Department, which represents the National Security Agency, argued that the program is legal and a key weapon in the administration's war on terror.

Anthony Coppolino, the lead attorney for the case, told the court the NSA was only intercepting calls to detect and prevent another terrorist attack.

"The government is quite confident that the president's actions are directly and narrowly focused on al-Qaida and terrorist threats," he said." (source)

Judge Taylor did not rule on the case and another hearing has been set for July 10th. Personally, I don't think the ACLU has a chance here -not only because of the scope of the President's power here, but because the huge precedence set by every other President... Wiretapping to prevent terrorist attacks or wiretapping to catch MLK cheating on his wife... Hmmmm.

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