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Federal Judge: Bush's wiretapping program was illegal.





handfleisch
So now that the courts are ruling that Bush, Cheney, NSA head Michael Hayden and many other official broke the law when they shredded the Constitution, will there be jail time for these crooks? The penalty for this crime is up to five years in prison.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2010/03/31/Judge-Bush-era-foundation-wiretap-illegal/UPI-64271270069688/

Quote:
SAN FRANCISCO, March 31 (UPI) -- The George W. Bush administration's warrantless wiretap of calls made by a defunct Islamic charity were illegal, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled.

Besides granting a summary judgment to the former Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation of Ashland, Ore., U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker said Wednesday the group could file a financial compensation request, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The U.S. Treasury Department designated the foundation, the U.S. branch of an Islamic charity, as a terrorist organization in 2004. The calls between two of the foundation's U.S. lawyers and an Al-Haramain official in Saudi Arabia were wiretapped as part of Bush's anti-terrorist program.

The group claimed in court U.S. officials violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by listening in on the calls without obtaining a warrant. The U.S. Justice Department argued for the case's dismissal for national security reasons.

Walker earlier ruled procedures established under the surveillance law supersede the national security argument.

In his ruling Wednesday, Walker said the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation offered enough evidence to demonstrate the wiretapping apparently happened, and the government didn't present evidence to contest claims the eavesdropping was done without a warrant, the Chronicle said.

The government "must be deemed to have admitted that no warrant existed," Walker said.


Read the law here: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode50/usc_sec_50_00001809----000-.html
ocalhoun
Well, good.
It's about time that happened, as it was rather obvious.
Moonspider
San Francisco Chronicle wrote:
The ruling was also a rebuff to Obama. Although he had criticized Bush's surveillance program while running for president, Obama's Justice Department has repeatedly sought to dismiss the Al-Haramain suit and fought any judicial review of the wiretapping program.

The Obama administration now must decide whether to appeal the ruling and invite the first decision by a higher court on the validity of the surveillance program.


Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/03/31/BANU1CNUF6.DTL#ixzz0jx1isiCH

The Obama Administration is defending the case against the government. I know President Obama was against the program. However his administration sought to have this case dismissed.

I don't know if the government will appeal or not, however I'd be willing to bet that it does.

Respectfully,
M
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