Appeals Court Allows 'Classified, But Leaked' Evidence To Be Used In Warrantless Wiretap Case

from the good-news-for-justice dept

We've covered the ridiculous hoops the gov't made people go through to prove that a document that the gov't itself leaked could be used in a trial to prove that the gov't was wiretapping people without warrants. Despite all the hurdles, a court ruled that the document could, in fact, be used. Some had hoped that, after the Obama administration took over, it would stop trying to kill this particular case, but that didn't happen. In fact, the Obama administration made the same claims as before, and continued to appeal the ruling. However, an appeals court has shot the administration down and allowed the document to be used. The government, of course, will likely appeal.

The whole situation still seems ridiculous. In business, if a confidential document is made public, and many people have seen it, it's no longer considered confidential. Yet, here, even though many, many people have seen the document outlining the warrantless wiretapping, the gov't still wants to pretend that it's totally secret -- in part, because it doesn't want its warrantless wiretapping program tested in court. This case is very important from a civil liberties perspective, because previous attempts to get a court to weigh in on such warrantless wiretaps failed -- due to the fact that, without specific evidence that one of the parties filing the lawsuit was actually wiretapped without a warrant, they had no standing to sue.

Every time we write about this case, we get angry comments from people claiming that we should shut up and this case should go away because the gov't needs to protect us from terrorists. I have no doubt that the gov't does, in fact, need to do quite a lot of work every single day to help protect us from those who want to kill Americans. But, there is a legal process for that, and it involves getting warrants if you want to wiretap someone. The process of getting a warrant is not hard. In fact, if you need a wiretap in a rush and can't wait for the warrant, you can go ahead with the wiretap and then go back afterwards to get the warrant. This is an important check on the ability of the gov't to spy on its citizens, and it makes sure the process is not abused (as it has been in the past). It's difficult to see how anyone who actually believes in the right to a free society could support a gov't's ability to spy on folks without any check on that power. Hopefully this case does move forward, and the rule of law is upheld where it concerns getting a warrant before wiretapping someone within this country.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Feb 27th, 2009 @ 6:24pm

    "In fact, if you need a wiretap in a rush and can't wait for the warrant, you can go ahead with the wiretap and then go back afterwards to get the warrant. This is an important check on the ability of the gov't to spy on its citizens..."

    Um, no. No it's not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Feb 27th, 2009 @ 6:35pm

    Re:

    Are you saying it's not important, or that it is not a sufficient check? If you mean the former, please move to China or North Korea. I think you'll like the climate better there. If you mean the latter, right on. I understand there are rare cases of emergency, but having any more than 24 hours to file a warrant is ridiculous, and filing after-the-fact should only be allowed when no other choice was possible.

     

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  3.  
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    Dan, Feb 27th, 2009 @ 10:34pm

    Note to Obama and his minions: the constitution IS law, neither you or anyone else may violate it with impunity. You should have learned this on day one of constitutional law 101. This was one of the prime reasons you got elected, we thought understood the constitution and took your oath of office seriously. If this was a bad assumption please let us know NOW so we can arrange for a replacement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Feb 27th, 2009 @ 11:07pm

    Keep Up The Good Reporting! - This Why I Subscribe!

    Great Article ...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Travis W., Feb 28th, 2009 @ 6:54am

    Re:

    "If this was a bad assumption please let us know NOW so we can arrange for a replacement."

    Think about this Dan, our replacement is either going to Joe Biden or Nancy Pelosi. I think I'd rather want to stick with Obama, even if he is illegally wiretapping citizens because who knows what Joe or Nancy will do in Obama's place.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2009 @ 3:21pm

    Re:

    Come on, if you forget about the millions and millions of votes he got from dead people, people acorn drove around to vote dozens of times, etc. Ignore that 99% of the blacks voted for him just because he was black, millions and millions of illegals voted for him because they know he wants to destroy our economy and won't send them home. The primary reason he got elected is because he is black, and used the race card to make a bunch of retards think they were racists if they didn't vote for him.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Paul`, Feb 28th, 2009 @ 9:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Speaking of retards, Look at this guy.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Feb 28th, 2009 @ 10:38pm

    Case on warrantless wiretapping

    Right on, Michael! I totally agree with you!
    I will point out, though, that the GOP is still able to gum things up if Obama "pulls a W" and ignores the other side.
    I wonder how much of the administration continuing the case is an accommodation of radical Republicans (assuming there are moderate Republicans - well, maybe McCain).
    If the answer is that this is what Obama wants, we have been betrayed; but I don't think that is the case.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Chris, Mar 1st, 2009 @ 6:32am

    i hate the term "civil liberties"

    could we just go back to using "freedom", please?

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    DCX2, Mar 1st, 2009 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re:

    Boohoo, my party favor screwed up the election because they were chasing the racist vote, so now I'm going to go whine on an Internet message board about how life isn't fair.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2009 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re:

    Come on, if you forget about the millions and millions of votes he got from dead people, people acorn drove around to vote dozens of times, etc. Ignore that 99% of the blacks voted for him just because he was black, millions and millions of illegals voted for him because they know he wants to destroy our economy and won't send them home. The primary reason he got elected is because he is black, and used the race card to make a bunch of retards think they were racists if they didn't vote for him.

    I don't support either major party (or, specifically, ANY political party), but I find the above comment to be hilariously stupid.

    At the beginning of the presidential election cycle, it was pointed out by many that Obama had no chance to win because he was black, and there were just too many people who wouldn't vote for a black man no matter what.

    Now people are claiming he *won* because he was black? There's simply no way to square those two things. For pretty much all of the history of this country, being black is something a politician needs to overcome to get elected, not some booster.

    To claim otherwise suggests one is totally ignorant, which is then supported by your claims that millions of dead people voted for him. Apparently you get your talking points from idiots. The issue with ACORN was that thanks to a dumb registration process, a bunch of bogus *registrations* were put in and CAUGHT BY ACORN. None of those fake registrations VOTED.

    But, I guess, if you want to be clueless....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    y8, Mar 2nd, 2009 @ 7:33am

    Government Appeal

    "The government, of course, will likely appeal. "

    I find the government less and less appealing all the time.

     

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  13.  
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    r villan, Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 10:36pm

    this is happening with me they wiretapped my phone for six months until i did something wrong now ive been fighting this case for over a year can anybody help

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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