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Obama Agrees With Bush On Wiretapping

November 2. 2009

President Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama is reneging on a campaign promise he made regarding transparency in government and honoring the Constitution, by asserting State Secrets Privilege, in having an Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) lawsuit thrown out of court, which was brought on behalf of a group of people, alleging they have been wrongfully, unlawfully and unethically wiretapped.

The mere fact the government is moving to have the lawsuit tossed out of court, lends credence to the EFF's claims. Clearly, something very egregious is going on and this is indeed a cover-up.

Thanks to the New York Times, the public has learned the White House, under George W. Bush, had been engaging in warantless wiretapping. The public learned the U.S. FBI has been reading citizens emails, scanning bank accounts and engaging in warantless wiretapping thanks to the Sound Off Column.

We've learned through Fox News the FBI routinely uses roving cell phone bugs (mobile phones), even when one's cell phone is turned off, to surreptitiously listen into conversations being held in the same room the phone is located. Other items hit the news such as the FBI's spyware program CIPAV.

The public also learned over a decade ago that the NSA routinely spies on select U.S. citizens via Echelon in England, as a technical, but unethical way to sidestep U.S. law, regarding spying on domestic citizens.

As many surveillance tools have now been uncovered, one can deduce, as there are only a number left that remain hidden, this case is based on covering ongoing behavior the government told the nation and the world it denounced and discontinued, but clearly have not, much to the chagrin of the Constitution. Such conduct erodes the nation's name.

I agree with the EFF regarding the current administration's about face, as it is indeed, "Incredibly disappointing." The public expected more.

Obama administration: Toss wiretap lawsuit

WASHINGTON Attorney General Eric Holder says a lawsuit in San Francisco over warrantless wiretapping threatens to expose ongoing intelligence work and must be thrown out.

In making the argument, the Obama administration agreed with the Bush administration's position on the case but insists it came to the decision differently. A civil liberties group criticized the move Friday as a retreat from promises President Barack Obama made as a candidate...

The Bush administration invoked the privilege numerous times in lawsuits over various post-9/11 programs, but the Obama administration recently announced that only a limited number of senior Justice Department officials would be able to make such decisions...

The lawsuit was filed by a group of individuals who claimed the government illegally monitored their communications. To proceed with the case, Holder said, would expose intelligence sources and methods...

Kevin Bankston, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group in San Francisco that is pursuing a similar lawsuit against the government, called Holder's decision "incredibly disappointing."

"The Obama administration has essentially adopted the position of the Bush administration in these cases, even though candidate Obama was incredibly critical of both the warrantless wiretapping program and the Bush administration's abuse of the state secrets privilege," said Bankston.




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