ACLU, Civil Liberties Groups Lawsuits Against Bush Are Bogus
Some are calling the ACLU the Al-Qaeda Criminal Liberties Union since they always appear to be the terrorists' favorite law firm.
by Jim Kouri, CPP
Civil liberties groups the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed lawsuits against President George W. Bush and the heads of US security agencies the day after the nation honored Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy. The lawsuits challenge the legality of the NSA eavesdropping program and demand its immediate suspension.
The suits were filed in New York by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and in Detroit by the ACLU, as well as other advocacy groups. The groups are suing on behalf of a number of plaintiffs who say they believe the Bush Administration illegally monitored their communications.
Plaintiff's include left-wing journalist Christopher Hitchens and civil liberties attorney Rachel Meeropol, granddaughter of executed Soviet spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
Calling it an "illegal and unconstitutional program" of electronic eavesdropping on American citizens, both actions sought an injunction that would prohibit the government from conducting surveillance of communications in the United States without judicial warrants.
The CCR suit, challenging the NSA's surveillance of persons within the United States without judicial approval or statutory authorization, named Bush and Army Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency (NSA), which ran the program.
Civil liberties attorney Bill Goodman noted that the legal action was being taken a day after the national holiday celebrating black civil rights leader Martin Luther King, who was the focus of FBI wiretaps for years, but he failed to mention for the history-challenged reporters that it was President John F. Kennedy and his Attorney General brother Robert who ordered the wiretaps on Dr. King.
"We are saddened that the illegal electronic surveillance that once targeted that great American has again become characteristic of our present government," Goodman said.
Democrat Al Gore, Bush's opponent in the 2000 presidential election, accused him Monday of acting illegally.
"What we do know about that pervasive wiretapping virtually compels the conclusion that the president of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and consistently," Gore said to his MoveOn.Org audience.
But there are a number of legal scholars and intelligence experts who believe the lawsuits are nothing more than publicity stunts. Some go as far as saying the ACLU crowd is trying to undermine the US war on terrorism with frivolous legal actions that lack merit.
For instance, former New Jersey Judge and constitutional scholar Andy Napolitano says that the lawsuits will probably be thrown out by whichever judges are assigned to the cases. He says that the cases have no standing since the plaintiffs are saying "they believe" or "they think," and possess no proof of injury to themselves as a result of the NSA program.
A former Marine intelligence officer, NYPD detective and owner of an international security and investigations agency says that the attorneys should know that their lawsuits will go nowhere and wonders why the members of the news media do not tell Americans the truth.
"All these people need to do is read the FISA Act. It's not mandatory for the President to seek their permission during a war," he says
With regard to Al Gore's spirited -- some say shrill -- diatribe before a group of radical leftists, under the Clinton-Gore Administration, the National Security Agency enjoyed almost total autonomy in their operation known as Echelon. And it was widely know that the NSA was spying on Americans who had no ties to Al-Qaeda. In fact, in 2000, 60 Minutes ran a story about Echelon. This was warrantless large-scale surveillance, with some saying it was a high-tech fishing expedition.
Not surprising is the fact that the ACLU and CCR didn't say one word about the Echelon operation. No full page advertisements in the New York Times, no law suits, no diatribes about police states. So it appears these guardians of Americans' civil rights have a double-standard.
Mark Levin, legal scholar with the Landmark Legal Foundation and author of the book Men In Black, says that this whole frenzy is nothing more than left-wing groups attempting to undermine the war effort. He says that the ACLU in particular is against any action taken to fight terrorism. They are even hunting for the courts they believe have the most liberal judges who may entertain their nonsense.
From criminal profiling to interrogation methods, the ACLU and their ilk are against it all. They behave as if they are part of the elected government of the United States.
One of the plaintiffs in the case is the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR which presents itself as just another civil-rights group.
According to Islamic terrorism expert Dr. Daniel Pipes, CAIR consistently defends other militant Islamic terrorists too. The conviction of the perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing it deemed "a travesty of justice."
The conviction of Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheikh who planned to blow up New York City landmarks, it called a "hate crime." The extradition order for suspected Hamas terrorist Mousa Abu Marook it labeled "anti-Islamic" and "anti-American." Not surprisingly, CAIR also backs those who finance terrorism.
When President Bush closed the Holy Land Foundation in December for collecting money he said was "used to support the Hamas terror organization," CAIR decried the action as "unjust" and "disturbing." CAIR even includes at least one person associated with terrorism in its own ranks. On Feb. 2, 1995, US Attorney Mary Jo White named Siraj Wahhaj as one of the "unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators" in the attempt to blow up New York City monuments. Yet CAIR deems him "one of the most respected Muslim leaders in America" and includes him on its advisory board.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.