Activist Judge Turning Over Top Secret NSA Files to Leftists
by Jim Kouri, CPP
On Thursday, a federal judge decided that Americans' safety and security takes a back-seat to a left-wing groups' right to view and promulgate top secret National Security Agency documents relating to the terrorism surveillance program. In this case, one of the left-wing groups has direct ties to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who was forced to step down from his perch on the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1987 over allegations he leaked classified information to news reporters.
Just one lawyer wearing black robes has usurped the authority of the Commander-in-Chief to wage war as he believes it should be waged. As a result of this decision, the US Justice Department is ordered to respond within 20 days to requests by a civil liberties group for documents about President George W. Bush's NSA surveillance program.
The ruling is being heralded by the news media as "a victory for the Electronic Privacy Information Center," which sued the Justice Department under the Freedom of Information Act in seeking the release of classified documents. In other words, an unelected lawyer is using the FIOA to divulge the information gathered during a war to a left-wing group of lawyers, college professors and antiwar activists who will make they documents public. By public, I mean releasing classified information to everyone including terrorists, insurgents, international gangsters and other assorted misfits.
US District Judge Henry Kennedy ordered the department to finish processing the group's requests and produce or identify all records within 20 days.
"Given the great public and media attention that the government's warrantless surveillance program has garnered and the recent hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the public interest is particularly well served by the timely release of the requested documents," Judge Kennedy brazenly pontificated from on high as he sat in a courtroom far from the battlefield. Appointment to the federal bench suddenly made this lawyer an expert in warfare, intelligence, counterterrorism and homeland security. Amazing what a black robe can do for the intellect. Put it on and -- voila! -- you're an intellectual giant.
However, Kennedy did say that the Justice Department could give the left-wingers an index of the documents and a declaration stating why the documents should be withheld within 30 days. Hopefully, the left-wingers will end up with a list and an empty file folder.
David Sobel, the group's general counsel, said, "The court's opinion vindicates the public's right to know about an extremely invasive and potentially illegal government program." Since he has not received access documents regarding the NSA spy program, it boggles the mind how Sobel knows the program is invasive, unless he believes any spy program is invasive. Most clear-thinking Americans have no problem in using a program that's invasive to terrorist organizations and cells.
Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a similar lawsuit, said, "Now the Justice Department must turn over documents showing the extent of the ... warrantless domestic surveillance program." I can go on for hours about why the ACLU is a pack of disingenuous troublemakers, but suffice it to say that Mr. Romero's use of the word "domestic" is misleading and he knows it.
These groups argued that the Department of Justice played a key role in authorizing, implementing and overseeing the program, which involves surveillance by the National Security Agency.
The records sought by the group -- and ordered released by the judge -- include an audit of the program, a "checklist" guide used to determine whether an individual's phone or e-mail messages could be monitored, documents showing how information gleaned through eavesdropping had been used, and other legal opinions about the program.
The program, adopted by President Bush after the September 11 attacks, allows the monitoring of international communications into and out of the United States of persons linked to Al-Qaeda or related terrorist groups. The President is authorized by the war powers provisions in the US Constitution and the September 14, 2001 Congressional Resolution that gave President Bush the power to wage war against terrorists.
Part of waging war includes tactical intelligence gathering, as opposed to strategic intelligence gathering. We are witnessing how slowly but surely judges are being allowed to undermine the authority of the current president to wage and win a war.
Judge Henry Kennedy was appointed federal judge by none other than President William Jefferson Clinton. Prior to that he served in a number of positions, including Assistant US Attorney under another liberal president -- Jimmy "at least Hamas isn't corrupt" Carter. To say that Judge Kennedy is a liberal is the epitome of understatement. He's a favorite judge of the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights -- which is trying to get suspected terrorists and enemy combatants released -- and other leftist organizations.
The group, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC, brought the case before a judge they knew they could rely on to comply with their requests for documents. The executive director of EPIC is Marc Rotenberg, who served as counsel to Senator Patrick Leahy. Another EPIC honcho is Dave Sobel, who's made a name for himself fighting the Patriot Act. He's also affiliated with the left-wing magazine The Nation and is working to assist terrorists being detained by the military to have access to the US justice system. Another staff member, H. Kate Rears calls herself a "radical, militant librarian," although I have no idea what that entails unless she means she throws books at conservatives.
These liberal-left groups, many Democrat politicians (and some Republicans, as well), the news media and others are filling the American people's heads with garbage. I've got a news flash for the overwhelming majority of US citizens: the federal government doesn't care what you say on your telephone or what you write in your e-mail. Trust me, please. They just don't care. You have more to fear from unelected, leftist judges who believe the US Constitution says whatever they wish it to say, than from a President who in three years will be playing golf and riding bikes in Crawford, Texas. Just think, nine unelected lawyers wearing black robes decided the lives of 45 million unborn babies could be extinguished. No American president has ever killed that many people -- born or unborn.
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.