Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Obama Defeated on Warrantless Wiretapping

Catchy headline, eh? Yep, they lost the last active case:
The judge's 45-page ruling focused narrowly on the case involving the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, touching vaguely on the larger question of the program's legality. Nonetheless, Al-Haramain lawyer Jon Eisenberg said the ruling had larger implications.

"By virtue of finding what the Bush administration did to our clients was illegal, he found that the Terrorist Surveillance Program was unlawful," Eisenberg said.
It took Huffpo until the 13th paragraph, below the fold (commercial), to mention the Obama administration, who had joined with the Bush position on the matter. Yes, that means they took the loss. Olbermann was having trouble rationalizing this on his show tonight along with figuring out what to think about the new drill baby drill plan--so he named O'Reilly worst person and moved on. Even the more moderate A.C. Junior thought that was a cheap tool move.

But the downplay is not surprising considering our new media's near silence on anything derogatory to the second first black president so near the end we get this, without context:
In another wiretap case targeting the Bush tactics, the Center for Constitutional Rights asked the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday to order government officials to disclose if officials eavesdropped without warrants on electronic conversations between 23 attorneys and their clients held at Guantanamo. Lower courts had tossed out that request.
Wow, isn't it a wonderful country when terrorists who wanted to kill innocent Americans can be referred to as 'clients'? Gitmo lawyers were recently accused of illegally passing information to the terrorists clients, which is the reason Bush tried to compartmentalize a lot of this stuff. Loose lips and all.

Anyway, the Center for Constitutional Rights is a far left outfit run by a guy named Michael Ratner. Marc Thiessen mentioned him prominently in his book, such as CCR awarding Holder's law firm Covington and Burling the "Pro-bono law firm of the year" award in 2008. Here's Thiessen relaying part of an interview with Ratner:
In his book, Ratner wrote evocatively of his love of Che. So while Ratner reviles America’s treatment of terrorists held at Guantánamo Bay, he idolizes the man who created Cuba’s KGB-style political prisons and served as Castro’s chief executioner. I asked Ratner if he had ever worked for Cuban prisoners. “No one’s asked me to do it; I haven’t done it,” he said.

Of course, no one asked Ratner to represent Majid Khan, Jose Padilla, Mohammed al-Qahtani, or the other al Qaeda terrorists on CCR’s client list. CCR sought them out. The fact is Ratner and the Center for Constitutional Rights have made it their business to represent America’s enemies for more than four decades. This was their business during the Cold War, and it is thriving during the war on terror.
You certainly won't get such commentary at Huffpo--especially anything like this:
Ratner is nothing if not consistent. As recently as 2006, in an interview with Socialist Worker Online (yes, such a thing exists), Ratner called America a “police state,” compared the Bush administration to Nazi “storm troopers,” and equated 9/11 to the burning of the Reichstag, which Hitler used to establish his absolute grip on power: “Really, the best analogy for people to understand is the Reichstag fire in Germany in 1933, when the parliament of Germany was burned to the ground. That night, Hitler and the storm troopers gained power. .  .  . They used the Reichstag fire the same way Bush used 9/11. .  .  . [T]hat’s really the beginning of the coup d’etat in America.” This is the man behind the campaign to grant the right of habeas corpus to captured terrorists.
CCR's ultimate goal, through use of 'lawfare', is to get Bush indicted for war crimes using an international court. They now seem to be in a lover's spat with Holder--we'll see if Justice appeals this ruling or stands by while CCR attempts to use it as a springboard to an indictment, or how it may impact the remaining clients at Gitmo. Surely Obama has a few cards left up his sleeve with the KSM thing pending and a coming mid-term election.

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