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It's not the first time Obama's DOJ has employed the tactic so often used by the Bush administration to block accountability for government crimes. - Oops, they did it again: lawyers for Barack Obama's Department of Justice have invoked the "state secrets" privilege to block a lawsuit seeking to reverse one of the most scandalous policies of the Bush administration.
In a motion filed in a San Francisco court on Friday, attorneys for the Obama administration moved to dismiss a challenge to the National Security Agency's notorious warrantless wiretapping program. "The information implicated by this case, which concerns how the United States seeks to detect and prevent terrorist attacks, would cause exceptionally grave harm to national security," DOJ lawyers argued in the 36-page brief, echoing an argument made ad nauseum by the Bush administration.
The case, Jewel v. NSA, was filed in September of 2008 on behalf of five AT&T customers "to stop the illegal, unconstitutional, and ongoing dragnet surveillance of their communications and communications records," according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the civil liberties organization that brought forth the suit. "Evidence in the case includes undisputed documents provided by former AT&T telecommunications technician Mark Klein showing AT&T has routed copies of Internet traffic to a secret room in San Francisco controlled by the NSA."
January 21, 2009
United States President Barack Obama announced today that his administration will roll back the secrecy that has ruled during the Bush Administration and implement a new era of government openness and transparency.
Obama called on all government agencies to err on the side of openness and release information whenever possible, which directly contradicts orders by the previous administration to look for reasons to withhold information whenever possible. Just because you have the legal right to withhold information, doesn't mean you should, Obama said at a White House press conference and staff swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday.