From now on if you want to talk to me, don’t use the phone.
The Obama administration revealed its official position on warrantless wiretapping Friday in a motion to dismiss filed in the case Jewel vs. NSA. This suit, brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation is aimed at ending the NSA’s dragnet surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans and holding accountable the government officials who illegally authorized it. In their motion to dismiss, the Obama government argued that the case should be thrown out because a continuation would result in the release of “state secrets” and would cause great harm to national security. This strategy is known as the “state secrets privilege”. This essentially amounts to the Obama administration embracing the policy of wiretapping laid out by his predecessor, George W. Bush.
But Barack Obama has gone a step further. Also mentioned in the motion to dismiss is the argument that the U.S. Government is and should be immune from litigation for illegal spying in any and all circumstances. This means that the Government can never be sued for surveillance that violates federal privacy statutes. Not even the Bush Administration made this claim.
This marks yet another of Barack Obama’s broken promises. While a candidate for president, Obama made the following statement,
“For one thing, under an Obama presidency, Americans will be able to leave behind the era of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and “wiretaps without warrants.”
The following video of MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann (a confirmed Obama disciple) denouncing the administration’s position should convince you that this is a big deal.