Obama invoking ’state secrets’ privilege just as Bush didApril 14th, 2009 - 12:21 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Apr 14 (ANI): President Barack Obama’s most liberal supporters are dismayed and disgusted because his administration is invoking the “state secrets” privilege just as former President George W. Bush did to shield eavesdropping programs from public exposure.
“I wasn’t happy when George Bush asserted that he could do these things and I’m not happy that President Obama is now agreeing with George Bush,” FOX News quoted Jane Hamsher of Accountability Now, as saying.
“Other than being flat wrong, the Obama administration’s position is seriously disappointing to those Americans who listened to candidate Obama’s promises of a new era of government accountability and transparency,” said Kevin Bankston, senior attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
EFF sued the government claiming that AT&T and perhaps other telecommunications companies cooperated with it to allow access to people’s phone and Internet records — a so-called dragnet in a search for terrorist communications.
Obama criticized the cooperation during the campaign, calling it an abuse of authority and arguing that the Bush Administration undermined the Constitution.
Now, the Obama administration is trying to have that same lawsuit dismissed.
Top Obama officials, including Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, dispute the assertions claimed in the suit.
“Admiral Blair in two separate affidavits sworn under penalty of perjury has flatly said that the allegations of dragnet NSA surveillance are quote false close quote,” said Bryan Cunningham, a former CIA and Justice Department attorney.
After a full review, Attorney General Eric Holder and the administration has asked the case be dismissed, arguing that hearing it would cause “extremely grave harm to national security.” (ANI)
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