You are herecontent / Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Wiretapping Case

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Wiretapping Case

Government Can Keep Secret Whether NSA Spied on Guantánamo Attorneys

NEW YORK - October 4 - Today, the Supreme Court said it would not take up a warrantless surveillance case, Wilner v. National Security Agency (NSA), filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). The lawsuit argued that the Executive Branch must disclose whether or not it has records related to the wiretapping of privileged attorney-client conversations without a warrant. Lawyers for the Guantánamo detainees fit the officially acknowledged profile of those subject to surveillance under the former administration’s program, and the Bush administration argued in the past that the Executive Branch has a right to target them.

“The Obama administration has never taken a position—in this or any of the other related cases—on whether the Bush administration’s NSA surveillance program was legal. In this case they claimed that even if it was illegal, the government has the right to remain silent when asked whether or not the NSA spied on lawyers,” said Shayana Kadidal, Senior Managing Attorney of the CCR Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative. “Today the Supreme Court let them get away with it.”

The 23 Guantánamo attorneys who brought the suit include CCR staff attorneys Gitanjali S. Gutierrez and Wells Dixon, a number of law professors and several partners at prominent international law firms. CCR, the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center. The Chicago law firm Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd filed the case in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on May 17, 2007.

The plaintiffs filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking records of any surveillance of their communications under the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program, which began after 9/11 but was only disclosed to the public in December 2005. The government refused to either confirm or deny whether such records existed, and the lower courts refused to order the government to confirm whether it had eavesdropped on attorney-client communications. The question before the Supreme Court was whether the government can refuse to confirm or deny whether records of such surveillance exist, even though any such surveillance would necessarily be unconstitutional and illegal.

The district court ruled the NSA could refuse to say anything either confirming or denying the existence of any related materials because to do so “would reveal information about the NSA’s capabilities and activities.” Plaintiffs argued on appeal that the program and many details about it had already been made public, and a confirmation or denial that the lawyers were subject to surveillance cannot possibly harm the NSA’s intelligence-gathering abilities. At argument in the lower courts, the government’s attorney refused to state whether the Obama administration believed the NSA Program was legal or illegal. The Obama administration has similarly refused to take a position in the numerous other cases now pending or on appeal that challenged the NSA program’s legality, including CCR’s original challenge to the legality of the program, CCR v. Bush, filed in January 2006, which the government is currently seeking to dismiss before the federal district court in San Francisco.

The filing included declarations from the Guantánamo attorneys detailing how the threat of illegal surveillance by the NSA has made it harder for them to gather evidence in their cases from witnesses overseas, including family members of detainees, who are often unwilling to speak freely on the phone given the threat that the government may be listening in.

Visit for more information.

CCR has led the legal battle over Guantanamo for the last eight years – sending the first ever habeas attorney to the base and sending the first attorney to meet with a former CIA “ghost detainee” there. CCR has been responsible for organizing and coordinating more than 500 pro bono lawyers across the country in order to represent the men at Guantánamo, ensuring that nearly all have the option of legal representation. CCR represented the detainees with co-counsel in the most recent argument before the Supreme Court and is actively working to resettle Guantánamo’s refugees.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

"Crypto Wars! Obama Wants New Law to Wiretap the Internet"

by Tom Burghardt,, Oct 3, 2010


The original copy is linked in the copy at uruknet where the name of the blog is given just before the article's text.

People who are truly peace, justice, rights activists will certainly want to fully and carefully read this article. This is very widespread, nationally and internationally so; government spying on electronic or Internet communications. It involves the NSA, FBI, et cetera, in the U.S., and foreign governments; including in Canada, Sweden and Britain.

This is another facet of the plan for global and "full spectrum dominance" by the top ruling elites. They [delusionally] want to dominate over this world and this logically would be in all respects related to legitimate freedoms; legitimate rights and liberties.

It's another example of totalitarianism. We don't have a democracy; we have totalitarianism falsely labeled as democracy. It's truly a democracy in Constitutional terms, sure, but the elites treat that as Bush Jr did; "just a piece of paper". But voters, if a majority [wake up], can possibly make a real difference on election days, like next month. Will they answer to the call for real democratic and legitimate rights and liberties, et cetera? Well, we don't have to be patient any longer. Next month will reveal the answer.

We know, or we certainly should know by now anyway, that these elites are not acting to prevent crime and/or terrorism. They're working to repress opposition to their crimes, which include state terrorism. We should have realized this years ago, and I hope that a serious majority has finally come to realize this by now; but next month might provide very bad news after the election results become known. Hopefully not, though.

These so-called elites, the power "people" (we call them people anyway) want "full spectrum dominance" militarily, but their intentions clearly include more than military means. It's "full spectrum dominance" and totalitarianism; [full]. They want [total] control, which I doubt that they could ever fully have, but they certainly seem to want it; desperately so.

They're [delusional] quacks. They're nuts. They can't win. They have BIG plans, but they can't win. If they ever arrive at a time when they will think that they've won, then this world will surely be of no good to [anyone]. They don't know how to live with this world. They have this sick obsession with trying to dominate, yet they should be failed in any course on good management abilities. But don't count on Harvard, et cetera, for proper assessment of students; because these schools are controlled by the elites and money is what counts to them all. These schools have graduated many socipaths as well as psychopaths!

They gave Bush Jr a passing grade, an average even as high as C. That's high, considering his high level of stupidity. He need sicko Karl Rover for a "brain"; and people have called that a "brain"? Worthless schools! A C average must've been paid for so that he could get this, and I guess B would've cost too much, so they settled on C. Maybe Bush Sr asked for B average and Harvard said, okay, we'll grant that for $10mn, or you can buy a C average for $1mn, and the "old man" decided to save $9mn, figuring it didn't make any real difference anyway; except for what he could save on this bargain-basement (or basement-bargain?) pricing.

So how did Obama graduate as his supporters in 2008 oddly claimed that he did, which is as a graduate in Constitutional Law? After all, it doesn't seem that he ever studied the Constitution at all, really. Who paid for him to be given that piece of paper?

We're in trouble.

Run for your lives. Where? Don't ask me, but if you find out, then let us all know. Use carrier pigeons, for the totalitarian government will likely, enough anyway, forget to monitor these birds. When you can not win against technologically advanced totalitarianism, then maybe reverting back to primitive means can work. :)

But definitely read this article.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.


Support This Site


Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.



Speaking Truth to Empire


Families United


Ray McGovern


Julie Varughese


Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.



Ca-Dress Long Prom Dresses Canada
Ca Dress Long Prom Dresses on

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.