Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Federal Lawsuits Filed Over Bush's Domestic Spying

Today federal lawsuits were filed against Dubya's domestic spying program, calling it an "illegal and unconstitutional program" against American citizens.
The lawsuits were filed in federal court in New York by the Center for Constitutional Rights, and in Detroit by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The New York lawsuit was filed on behalf of the center & individuals & names Bush, the head of the National Security Agency, & the heads of the other major security agencies. The suit is challenging the NSA's surveillance of people within the U.S. without judicial approval or statutory authorization. It asked a judge to stop Bush & goverment agencies from conducting warrantless surveillance of communications in the U.S.
The Detroit lawsuit also names the NSA & was filed by the ACLU, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greenpeace, & several individuals. This suit said the plaintiffs, who frequently communicate by phone & email with people in the Middle East & Asia, have a "well-founded belief" that their communications are being intercepted by the goverment.
In the New York suit, the Center for Constitutional Rights said it's work was directly affected by the surveillance because it's lawyers represent a potential class of hundreds of Muslim foreign nationals detained after 9/11. It said it's attorney-client privilege was likely violated as it represented many men detained without charge at Guantanamo Bay & a Canadian citizen picked up at a NY airport while changing planes, sent to Syria & tortured & detained without charges for nearly a year.
The group said the surveillance program has inhibited it's ability to represent clients vigorusly, making it hard to communicate via phone & email with overseas clients- in fear the conversations would be overheard. Although it will be difficult, in my opinion, to win any lawsuits stating they have a "well-founded belief" they are being spied upon without any real proof (although we all believe they probably are!), this argument about how it is affecting their ability to represent their clients to the fullest & making it difficult for them to communicate via phone & email in fear they are being overheard & compromised, stands ground.
I suspect that this is just the start of the lawsuits which will undoubtably be coming in as a response to the Bush administration's illegal attempt to spy on U.S. citizens, & rightfully so.