Judge rules against Bush in spying lawsuit - Poor WD 43 awe
Administration argues defending case threatens to reveal state secrets
U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker said the warrantless eavesdropping has been so widely reported that there appears to be no danger of spilling secrets.
Dozens of lawsuits alleging that telecommunications companies and the government are illegally intercepting Americans communications without warrants have been filed. This is the first time a judge has ruled on the governments claim of a state secrets privilege.
It might appear that none of the subject matter in this litigation could be considered a secret given that the alleged surveillance programs have been so widely reported in the media, Walker said.
Dismissing this case ... would sacrifice liberty
The compromise between liberty and security remains a difficult one,
And in declining to dismiss AT&T Inc. from the lawsuit, filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation privacy group,
The Justice Department did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
The lawsuit challenges President Bushs assertion that he can use his wartime powers to eavesdrop on Americans without a warrant. It accuses AT&T of illegally cooperating with the National Security Agency to make communications on AT&T networks available to the spy
Of the highest order
The government argued that divulging any information about any alleged collusion between AT&T and the government to eavesdrop on Americans could subject AT&T employees and facilities to attack and would enable terrorists to communicate more securely.
The state secrets defense, first recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in a McCarthy-era lawsuit, has been increasingly and successfully invoked by federal lawyers seeking to shield the government from court scrutiny.
BUT NOT THIS TIME - Judson Witham