The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers,
and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not
be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause,
supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place
to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
As far as I know, this is the exact three month renewal of what has
been the case for the past seven years. This renewal is carried out
by the FISA Court under the business records section of the Patriot
Act. Therefore, it is lawful.
It has been briefed to Congress and the letters that we have
distributed — and you’ll note on the dates, this is prior to
the Patriot Act amendments coming before the body, each of those. As
you know, this is just Continue reading →
Decades before 9/11, and the subsequent Bush order that directed the
NSA to eavesdrop on every phone call, e-mail message, and
who-knows-what-else going into or out of the United States, U.S.
citizens included, they did the same thing with telegrams. It was
called Project Shamrock, and anyone who thinks this is new legal and
technological terrain should read up on that program.
Project SHAMROCK…was an espionage exercise that involved the
accumulation of all telegraphic data entering into or exiting from
the United States. The Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA) and its
successor NSA were given direct access to daily microfilm copies of
all incoming, outgoing, and transiting telegraphs via the Western
Union and its associates RCA and ITT. Operation Shamrock lasted well
into the 1960s when computerized operations (HARVEST) made it
possible to search for keywords rather than read through all
That’s the problem with secrets.
You tell somebody, even somebody who works for you,
and eventually they tell someone else:
As I recounted in Salon in July, lawyers for the Bush administration have
gone to extreme and even bizarre lengths in their attempts to prevent
the federal courts from determining the legality of the president’s
warrantless electronic surveillance program. A key problem for them is a
top-secret document that the Treasury Department accidentally disclosed
to Al-Haramain’s lawyers in 2004. The document confirmed the surveillance
of our clients, and thus, we contend, their legal standing to sue as
victims of the program.
—More evidence of Bush’s spying,
Why the White House can no longer hide the truth about its warrantless surveillance of Americans.
By Jon B. Eisenberg
12 September 2008
Given thousands (or millions?) of people spied upon, eventually somebody
is going to gain a foothold of legal standing to sue.
Oh, my, it gets better:
But since the July 2 ruling, we have discovered additional evidence of surveillance of our clients. In fall 2007, FBI deputy director John Pistole gave a speech at a conference of bankers and lawyers in which Pistole thanked the bankers for their cooperation in giving the FBI financial records for terrorist financing investigations, and then went on to describe the FBI’s 2004 investigation of Al-Haramain. In the text of the speech — which is posted on the FBI’s Web site — Pistole explicitly admitted that the FBI had used “surveillance” among other “investigative tools” in the Al-Haramain investigation, noting that “it was the financial evidence that provided justification for the initial [terrorist] designation” in February 2004.
I’ve got to wonder whether the FBI director didn’t know that he was providing
standing, or whether he did it deliberately because he’s tired of this
legal charade and wants warrantless wiretapping to stop before the eventual
lawsuits tar his agency even more than it already is.
If Al-Haramain wins, perhaps the next step would be to sue the government
officials who authorized those illegal wiretaps.