Congress trying to send spying scandals to secret court
Looks like the Bush Administration and its gang are up to some new tricks in their bid to sweep the warrantless spying scandal under the rug of Orwellian "national security." There's a bill coming from the Senate Judiciary committee, headed up by Arlen Specter, that would transfer all of these spying cases to the secret FISA court, and it's being hailed as this great big concession by the administration -- which is, of course, complete BS. From the EFF:
Although the bill creates a process for the executive branch to seek court review of its secret surveillance programs, it doesn't actually require the government to do so. The bill would, however, require that any lawsuit challenging the legality of any classified surveillance program -- including EFF's class-action suit against AT&T -- be transferred, at the government's request, to the FISA Court of Review, a secret court with no procedures for hearing argument from anyone but the government. The bill would further allow the government to prevent the court from disclosing any information about the government's surveillance programs to opposing counsel, regardless of the court's strict security procedures.
There's an action page over at the EFF where you can send messages to members of the Judiciary Committee and other relevant committees.
Via Mojo Blog, a quote that summarizes what's about to happen with this bill:
"Barely two weeks after Hamdan [Supreme Court decision declaring military commissions set up by the Bush administration to try Guantanamo detainees were illegal], which appeared to be the most important separation of powers decision in our generation," writes Jack Balkin, the Yale Law School lawyer who specializes in constitutional law and director of Information Society Project, "the Executive is about to get back everything it lost in that decision, and more."