It’s a shame that Jimmy Carter-appointee Anna Diggs Taylor saw fit to rule against a tool for defending citizens that has repeatedly proven successful… including this past week when thousands of innocent men, women and children were spared “The Big One“.
Let’s remember who the plaintiffs are in this case:
They include Noel Saleh, a man who has proudly admitted funding Hezbollah, Mohammed Abdrabboh, a Palestinian attorney who admits in this very lawsuit that he represents terrorism suspects (despite having sworn prior to the contrary), Nabih Ayad, whose friends “openly donated millions to HAMAS and privately raised money for Iraqi insurgents at a Los Angeles area fundraiser,” and Nazih Hassan, a member of a group founded with HAMAS money.
It’s interesting what these plaintiffs claimed about the surveillance program, too:
The ACLU filed the lawsuit in January on behalf of journalists, scholars and lawyers who say the program has made it difficult for them to do their jobs. They believe many of their overseas contacts are likely targets of the program, which monitors international phone calls and e-mails to or from the U.S. involving people the government suspects have terrorist links.
They “believe many of their overseas contacts are likely targets” of a program which monitors communications with people outside the U.S. suspected of having “terrorist links”? Well, no wonder they don’t want the government to know what they’re saying or plotting.
The ACLU says the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which set up a secret court to grant warrants for such surveillance, gave the government enough tools to monitor suspected terrorists.
In 1978, the 32-bit VAX systems were the industry standard (only being used by large institutions), and cell phones were used by less than 500 people around the world. A law established in that year to regulate the “electronic surveillance and physical search of persons engaged in espionage or international terrorism against the United States on behalf of a foreign power” is outdated in this day and age of instant messaging, disposable cell phones and an enemy who’s repeatedly tried to exploit our security gaps in furtherance of their declared goal to kill us all. Asking investigators to jump through hoops that could take hours or days when a lead could go cold in less than an hour is dangerous.
Opponents of this security program (which is supported by over 60% of Americans) paint it as a system designed by George W. Bush and a few buddies on the golf course in an attempt to install a fascist dictatorship in America. What they fail to acknowledge is the oversight of this system includes it being periodically reviewed by Congress (including Democrats like Nancy Pelosi).
To say nothing of what 5 former FISA judges have said about the program:
…a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act does not override the president’s constitutional authority to spy on suspected international agents under executive order.
“If a court refuses a FISA application and there is not sufficient time for the president to go to the court of review, the president can under executive order act unilaterally, which he is doing now,” said Judge Allan Kornblum, magistrate judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida and an author of the 1978 FISA Act. “I think that the president would be remiss exercising his constitutional authority by giving all of that power over to a statute.”
So bottom line, this case is about Carter appointee incorrectly ruling on an ACLU-concocted lawsuit on behalf of admitted anti-American terrorist sympathizers challenging a type of program that has succeeded in thwarting massive terror plots on multiple occasions, claiming the President is wilfully breaking the law, despite the program having Congressional oversight and overwhelming support in the Justice Department, the legal community and the American public.
While our minimum wage airport security officials are focusing on shaving cream and toothpaste, the terrorists are being handed a gaping loophole in security by the liberal Left and their terror-loving “plaintiffs”.
Old Soldier wants to thank the ACLU for being so helpful… to terrorists.
Confederate Yankee correctly identifies one of the ACLU’s tactics in securing this bad judgment… forum shopping.
“The Great One” weighs in.
Volokh analyzes the decision.