Supreme Court Rejects Challenge To Secret Surveillance


The U.S. Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday and dealt another blow to public interest lawsuits by rejecting the standing of civil liberties groups and citizens to challenge the Obama Administration’s surveillance programs. President Obama has long been criticized for his opposition to such lawsuits and his Justice Department has continued a successful attack on the ability of citizens to challenge the unconstitutional actions of their government in the war on terror. The 5-4 opinion by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. insulates such programs from judicial review in yet another narrowing of standing rules.

Alito rejected the ability of an array of journalists, lawyers and human rights advocates to challenge the constitutionality of the 2008 law allowing secret surveillance without meeting constitutional standards of probable cause. Alito simply said that the parties could not prove that they were subject to surveillance — since the Obama Administration has classified such evidence — and insisted that their fears and precautionary actions are merely efforts to “manufacture standing by incurring costs in anticipation of nonimminent harms.”

Alito wrote that just because no one may be able to challenge the law is no reason to recognize standing — a position that guts the separation of powers principles underlying judicial review. He also cites to the secret FISA as judicial review — a truly laughable proposition. I have been in that court as a NSA legal intern and the thought that it constitutes any real form of review is a preposterous notion. I have written and testified on this court in the past.

In dissent, Justice Breyer correctly noted that “Several considerations, based upon the record along with commonsense inferences, convince me that there is a very high likelihood that Government, acting under the authority of §1881a, will intercept at least some of the communications just described.”

SAlitoAlito and his colleagues had to work hard bar these constitutional claims from review. It is a signature for Alito who has had a consistent and disturbing record of yielding to police powers. Absent a religious practice or gun claim or environmental claim where Alito turns on the government, he is the very symbol not of blind justice but the blind justice on government abuse.

The decision is Clapper v. Amnesty International, No. 11-1025, and it is a true nightmare for civil liberties. Alito and his colleagues have essentially guaranteed that even blatant unconstitutional programs can be insulated from judicial review by allowing the very same accused Administration to classify the evidence needed to bring any lawsuit.

Here is the opinion: 11-1025_ihdj

Source: NY Times

85 thoughts on “Supreme Court Rejects Challenge To Secret Surveillance

  1. Has there ever been a judicial crisis like this in American history? Like Jonathan Turley’s “Try 19” idea of a larger court. Will the next generation know how to fix it? They know America as the torturers and assassins.

  2. I didn’t think this SCOTUS could come up with a worse decision than Citizens United.

    I was wrong. However, I am not surprised. This is what happens when the highest court in the land is stacked with fascists.

  3. All the republican appointees voted for this ruling. Obama’s and Clinton’s appointments voted against it. We need one of five to retire.

  4. Another bad decision could be coming from the majority…..”From the Shelby County argument

    Following through on the deep constitutional concerns stated in its prior Northwest Austin decision, a majority of the Court seems committed to invalidating Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and requiring Congress to revisit the formula for requiring preclearance of voting changes. The vote seems quite likely to be five to four. The more liberal members pressed both the narrow argument that an Alabama county was not a proper plaintiff because it inevitably would be covered and the broader argument that there was a sufficient record to justify the current formula. But the more conservative majority was plainly not persuaded by either point. It is unlikely that the Court will write an opinion forbidding a preclearance regime. But it may be difficult politically for Congress to enact a new measure. More analysis soon.
    – See more at:

  5. We’ve got those great Democratic patriots, Al Gore and John Kerry, to thank for this continuous assault on our country. Neither one of them had the balls to challenge the traitors who usurped our electoral system.
    Gore said he didn’t want to precipitate a constitutional crisis. Really?? What does he call what we’re experiencing these past 12 years?

  6. I think of Alito and Thomas and Scalia and I just shake my head. This is a horrible decision that basically states that if the Executive branch decides that it is a “national security” issue then anything goes. It will take Congress to change the law because the Supremes won’t if Presidents keep nominating people like Alito and Thomas and Scalia.

  7. Under the Supremacy Clause [Article Six] it is the top duty of every judge and justice to uphold the U.S. Constitution (which includes the Bill of Rights). The federal courts up to the Supreme Court are supposed to “reject” legislation by Congress and the state legislatures that is blatantly unconstitutional. If you read the Fourth Amendment as written there is a real distortion going on here, if the constitution is fundamentally flawed then you amend it – but you don’t disregard it.

  8. I read this yesterday…. If you don’t have injury you don’t have standing…. I hear one of Obamas appointments switched at the last moment…once they had a majority…

    What’s interesting is the DOJ defended this suit… I suppose when you speak out of both sides of your mouth you can please everyone….

    Now, who does holder work for again….

  9. This decision, in plain English:

    A 1978 federal law gives the federal government authority to engage in eavesdropping to gather intelligence information from foreign nations, without targeting the communications of Americans. In 2008, in the wake of the government’s stepped-up efforts to monitor threats of terrorism, Congress broadly expanded that power, which is carried on with the approval of a secret court that meets in the Justice Department in Washington.

    After that expanded version of the law went into effect, a group of lawyers with clients who have figured in terrorism cases, joined by a group of journalists who have overseas sources in countries where terrorism may be ongoing, and by human rights researchers looking for people subjected to torture in secret prison, filed a lawsuit in federal court. They contended that the much greater monitoring almost certainly being done with the expanded eavesdropping power very likely will pick up some of their conversations or electronic exchanges.

    They could not prove that they actually were targets of such surveillance, because the program is surrounded in the deepest form of secrecy to protect classified information.

    They argued that, because of their belief they were likely to be monitored, they had to take steps to protect their confidential contacts, so they changed the way they provide legal advice, perform journalistic chores, or carry out research, and they did so sometimes at considerable expense. That, they argued, was the kind of legal “injury” that gave them a right, under the Constitution, to challenge the constitutionality of the program.

    A federal judge in New York City ruled that they had not shown that they would be targeted. A federal appeals court in New York, however, ruled that they had shown a sufficient likelihood of being overheard, so their case could go to trial.

    The Supreme Court, dividing five to four, on Tuesday upheld the government’s argument that the claims of the challengers that they were likely to be targets of surveillance were based too much on speculation and on a predicted chain of events that might never occur, so they could not satisfy the constitutional requirement for being allowed to sue.

    Justice Breyer’s dissenting opinion said that the Court should have used a standard of “probabilistic injuries” to determine “standing.” If that were used in this case, the dissenters said, the challengers would have met it, and their case could have gone ahead to trial.
    – See more at:

  10. Odtained via FOIA request: The NSA’s (supreme) oath of office “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States..”. We expect our doctors to honor their oaths, our attorneys to honor attorney-client privilege and our spouse to honor their vows so why do national security agencies get a pass? When dealing with super-secret matters that involve innocent bystanders and few checks & balances – isn’t loyalty king?

  11. But the common thread is that all of these cases are being thrown out even before the courts reach the merits. And that is a disturbing thing that ought to be of concern to everybody. -Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director, ACLU

    ACLU Blasts Supreme Court Rejection of Challenge to Warrantless Spying Without Proof of Surveillance

    NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, one of the plaintiffs in the case, author and journalist Chris Hedges, wrote about the decision that it’s a very depressing one, “but one that has become routine in a court system that when faced with what the government insists are matters of national security writes lengthy opinions about why the courts cannot defend the rule of law.” Can you talk about how this decision fits into a wider range of decisions made recently?

    JAMEEL JAFFER: Well, I think that Chris Hedges is right, that there is a broader pattern here in which the courts are abdicating their role under our constitutional system. They are supposed to be ensuring that the government’s national security policies are consistent with the Constitution. Instead what’s happening is many of these challenges are being thrown out at the threshold. Different—there are different reasons. Sometimes it’s standing. Sometimes it’s state secrets. Sometimes it’s immunity. But the common thread is that all of these cases are being thrown out even before the courts reach the merits. And that is a disturbing thing that ought to be of concern to everybody.

    (Jameel Jaffer is the deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union and a fellow at the Open Society Foundations. He argued the warrantless wiretapping case on behalf of the plaintiffs before the U.S. Supreme Court.)

  12. Why couldn’t the courts issue an injunction to turn over all “unconstitutional” searches to the judge so he could notify those citizens? That would be proof of legal standing.

  13. And we can thank the 9/11 false flag operation for getting the War on Terror cranked up.

    Some right-wingers would say that 9/11 was an inside job that was worth every penny it cost. Larry “PULL it” Silverstein would surely agree.

  14. Supreme Court shields warrantless eavesdropping law from constitutional challenge

    by Glenn Greenwald


    In sum, the US government has constructed a ubiquitous Surveillance State. It has repeatedly demonstrated that it intends to eavesdrop on the communications of exactly the people who have brought this lawsuit. To prevent them from suing on the ground that the US government’s secrecy precludes them from proving with certainty that they are being targeted is to remove the US government’s surveillance actions from the rule of law and the constraints of the Constitution.

    But that is what the Obama DOJ just succeeded in convincing the five right-wing members of the Court to do: allow it to conduct its Surveillance State beyond the rule of law. What’s the point of having a Fourth Amendment that bars unreasonable searches and seizures without probable cause warrants if the US government simply shrouds its unconstitutional eavesdropping with so much secrecy that it prevents anyone from challenging the legality of what it is doing?

    The supreme irony here is that when Obama supported this 2008 eavesdropping law, it sparked intense anger among his own supporters as he ran for president. To placate that anger, he vowed that, once in power, he would rein in the excesses of this law that he oh-so-reluctantly supported. He has done exactly the opposite. He just succeeded in pressuring the Congress, with heavy GOP support, to extend this eavesdroppiong law for five years without a single reform. And now his Justice Department has used the five right-wing justices to completely immunize the law from judicial review (the only way the law could now be challenged is from a handful of extremely unlikely situations, such as if the US government criminally prosecutes the foreign clients and sources of these plaintiffs using information they obtained from the warrantless eavesdropping, and even then, the ability to challenge the law’s constitutionality is far from certain).

    When the new 2008 FISA eavesdropping law was passed, all sorts of legal scholars debated its constitutionality, but it turns out that debate was – like the Constitution itself – completely academic. As both the Bush and Obama administrations have repeatedly proven, they are free to violate the Constitution at will just so long as they do so with enough secrecy to convince subservient federal courts to bar everyone from challenging their conduct. -Glenn Greenwald

  15. ACLU’s Press Release:

    Ruling Shields Surveillance Program from Judicial Review


    “It’s a disturbing decision. The FISA Amendments Act is a sweeping surveillance statute with far-reaching implications for Americans’ privacy. This ruling insulates the statute from meaningful judicial review and leaves Americans’ privacy rights to the mercy of the political branches,” said ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer, who argued the case before the justices on October 29, when the court stayed open despite the approach of Hurricane Sandy, which shut down the rest of the federal government.

    “Justice Alito’s opinion for the court seems to be based on the theory that the FISA Court may one day, in some as-yet unimagined case, subject the law to constitutional review, but that day may never come. And if it does, the proceeding will take place in a court that meets in secret, doesn’t ordinarily publish its decisions, and has limited authority to consider constitutional arguments. This theory is foreign to the Constitution and inconsistent with fundamental democratic values,” Jaffer said.

  16. I was told was: exigent conditions now prevailed, we essentially can do anything. We opened up Pandora’s box. We’re going to turn the United States of America into the equivalent of a foreign nation for the purpose of a—of dragnet, blanket electronic surveillance. -Thomas Drake, NSA Whistleblower

    ACLU Blasts Supreme Court Rejection of Challenge to Warrantless Spying Without Proof of Surveillance

    AMY GOODMAN: We also interviewed Thomas Drake, another National Security Agency whistleblower, on Democracy Now!

    THOMAS DRAKE: The critical thing that I discovered was not just the massive fraud, waste and abuse, but also the fact that NSA had chosen to ignore a 23-year legal regime, which had been established in 1978, called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, with a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and which, at NSA, during the time that I was not only at NSA but also in the military flying on RC-135s overseas during the latter part of the Cold War, it was a contract, the one thing you did not do. It was the prime directive of NSA. It was the—the—First Amendment at NSA, which is, you do not spy on Americans—

    AMY GOODMAN: And what did you find?

    THOMAS DRAKE: —without a warrant. I found, much to my horror, that they had tossed out that legal regime, that it was the excuse of 9/11, which I was told was: exigent conditions now prevailed, we essentially can do anything. We opened up Pandora’s box. We’re going to turn the United States of America into the equivalent of a foreign nation for the purpose of a—of dragnet, blanket electronic surveillance.

    AMY GOODMAN: NSA former employee, Thomas Drake, was prosecuted. He was a whistleblower. And before that, William Binney. Jameel Jaffer, your response? And also, can you talk about President Obama himself, who, as senator in 2008, voted for the measure and has recently signed legislation in December extending the FISA amendment another five years?

    JAMEEL JAFFER: Right. Well, when we filed this case, we filed it in 2008 under the Bush administration, and so the arguments we were facing in the district court were arguments developed by Bush administration attorneys. But the case, you know, has been in the courts now for five years, and over the course of that time, obviously, the Bush administration has been replaced by the Obama administration, but the arguments have remained the same. The Obama administration lawyers have adopted all of the arguments that the Bush administration made to try to shield this statute from judicial review.

    And I think it’s important to recognize the limited proposition we were making. The case before the Supreme Court was not about whether this statute is constitutional or not. We hadn’t reached that stage. The only question before the Supreme Court is—or was: Should the courts actually evaluate whether this statute is constitutional or not? And this five-to-four decision yesterday was a decision that the court should not evaluate that decision. And that’s really a disturbing thing, that, you know, maybe there’s room for reasonable disagreement about whether a statute like this is necessary or lawful or constitutional, but those arguments should be heard in a court. The courts have a role to play in deciding whether this kind of surveillance is constitutional or not, and it’s very troubling that the courts are refusing to play that role.

  17. The Supreme Corporate Court Court strikes again. Aided by the DOJ the the Court has given this administration and any that follows the right to do anything in secret. Isn’t that special. Why does the Supreme Corporate Court hate the American People, the real human people that is.


    “American democracy has a disease, and it’s called secrecy. Since 2001 the United States Government has spent well over a trillion dollars attempting to secure the nation from terrorist attacks and other physical threats to the well-being of the American people. But the excessive secrecy that hides how the government pursues its national security mission is undermining the core principles of democratic government and injuring our nation in ways no terrorist act ever could.”

  19. Whatever happened to IMPEACHMENT of scotus “justices?” Talk about “activist judges” – this is a daymare – you can’t wake up from this.

  20. “Alito simply said that the parties could not prove that they were subject to surveillance — since the Obama Administration has classified such evidence…”

    “Alito wrote that just because no one may be able to challenge the law is no reason to recognize standing…”


    A Judicial Catch 22?

  21. Joy,

    The Obama administration should have never fought this ruling and turn over all of the documents requested…. But hey, Obamas for the people…

  22. “This is a classic Catch-22: since the surveillance is secret and no one can say for certain that their calls, e-mails and other communications have been or will be monitored, by the court’s logic no one will ever be able to show standing to bring a lawsuit.” -NY Times editorial, yesterday


    Unbridled Secrecy

    Published: February 26, 2013

    “The Supreme Court severely damaged the rule of law in its decision on Tuesday to disallow a lawsuit challenging the federal law that permits broad, secret surveillance and interception of international communications involving Americans. The suit, brought by lawyers, journalists and human rights activists, charged that the 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act violate their rights to privacy and free speech.

    The majority ruled that the plaintiffs did not have standing to sue because they cannot show they have been harmed by the surveillance law. This is a classic Catch-22: since the surveillance is secret and no one can say for certain that their calls, e-mails and other communications have been or will be monitored, by the court’s logic no one will ever be able to show standing to bring a lawsuit. “

  23. “Congress Needs to See Secret Court Orders, Feingold Argues

    By Ryan Singel
    12:51 PM

    russell feingold wisconsin senatorSenator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) introduced an amendment that would require the Administration to tell Congress when the secret foreign intelligence court interprets wiretapping law in court rulings and wiretap orders, and to provide the administration’s filings in the case so that the court’s order can be understood.

    Currently the government must turn over court rulings that significantly interpret wiretap law, but recent events show that the court sometimes makes significant interpretations of the law when issuing wiretap orders. The administration is not required to turn those – or its pleadings — over to the Congress’s Intelligence committees. The bill would affect all orders issued over the previous five years.

    “If the FISA court makes a significant interpretation of law I think Congress should know about it, and congress can’t know to pass further legislation without knowing how the court interprets the law,” Feingold said.

    Feingold presented the bill as common sense.

    But that’s not how the administration sees it.

    After a short break, Senator Kit Bond (R-Missouri) — the ranking Republican on the Intelligence Committee — rose in opposition saying that the Intelligence committee and the Justice Department thinks that letting Congress see those orders would compromise sources and methods. That he said could destroy the intelligence community and led to the deaths of sources who help the U.S.” Feingold was on it in 2008. Hope he decides to run again. Polls show he could beat the tea bagger Johnson.

  24. “Yet typically in the national security field (and to a striking degree even in corporate and private associations without a formal apparatus of secrecy) even the “weakest links” do not break. No one tells. -Daniel Ellsberg

    Secrecy and National Security Whistleblowing

    by Daniel Ellsberg on January 8, 2013

    “Since wrong-doing virtually always requires both secrecy and lies, and further secrets and lies to protect the secrets and lies, the wrongful operation-especially in a regime that approaches democracy–is commonly highly vulnerable to a breach of secrecy by any one of the many who share the secret. Yet typically in the national security field (and to a striking degree even in corporate and private associations without a formal apparatus of secrecy) even the “weakest links” do not break. No one tells.

    And this is true even as important laws are being knowingly violated, or when many lives have been and more will be harmed by ignorance of the information being withheld. Think of the many situations in which whistleblowing was either wholly absent or very belated: the internal buildup to the Vietnam and Iraq wars; the tobacco industry; Vioxx; the accounting scandals of Enron or Worldcom, with its widespread effects on retirement accounts; child abuse by Catholic priests and cover-up by bishops; NSA warrantless wiretaps and White House-directed torture and kidnapping, after 9-11.” – Daniel Ellsberg

    The U.S. gov is sitting on a whopper of a secret. When the truth sees the light, as it inevitably will, it will be a very sad time for America, to say the least.

  25. Wyden promises to continue fight to shed light on warrantless searches despite Supreme Court decision

    by Charles Pope, The Oregonian
    February 26, 2013 at 3:58 PM


    The battle over wiretaps is only one source of tension between Wyden and the White House. He has also demanded that the Administration provide to the Senate Intelligence Committee the legal rationale for using drones to target and kill U.S. citizens overseas who are allied with terror organizations.

    President Barack Obama eventually assured Wyden during a private phone conversation the legal documents would be provided. Wyden, who is a senior member of the Intelligence Committee, suggested he might hold up the nomination of John Brennan to be CIA director.

    Despite Obama’s promise on Feb. 6, the documents have yet to be provided.

    “I don’t believe that the committee can carry out its charge to do vigilant oversight without any and all legal opinions,” a frustrated Wyden said Tuesday.

    Wyden said the Justice Department, rather than the President, is at fault for the delay. And while he would not say if would block a confirmation vote on Brennan, Wyden said the information is critical.

    “The administration, particularly the Justice Department, has not fulfilled its commitment,” he said. “The committee must have those legal opinions before the vote.”

    In dismissing the case, the Supreme Court said the groups could not prove that the government would monitor their conversations along with those of potential foreign terrorist and intelligence targets. Wyden and other critics say communications of innocent and unknowing U.S. citizens is swept up as part of the program.

    Responding to the court’s decision, Wyden said: “If Americans have no standing in federal court to challenge the potential misuse of the FISA statute then it is up to Congress to get the information it needs to oversee these incredibly powerful authorities. Without congressional oversight there is no way to be sure that the privacy and security of Americans are being protected.”

    Wyden strenuously – but unsuccessfully – contested the FISA renewal last year arguing that the government’s broad and largely unchecked power to eavesdrop on foreigners suspected of terrorism inadvertently swept of reams of email, text and phone conversations involving Americans.

    During debate last year Wyden pushed for the government to acknowledge that the communications of Americans were included in the massive tide of information that flowed to intelligence analysts.

    Wyden came close on only one question.

    “On the matter where got the most votes, the question was, should the government give a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to whether an estimate exists about how many law abiding people have had their communications swept up,” he said Tuesday.

    “Does and estimate exist? That’s the question I want answered,” he said. “We’re going to win this. The country understands that it is possible to take the fight to al-Qaeda, take the fight to terrorists and not sacrifice our values.” (end of excerpt)

  26. The idea of standing allows the government to openly continue to violate civil rights, until someone is proved to have standing. If the government is violating the Constitution, it should not matter if a Martian is the person who brings the suit. There are areas of the Constitution that the government can violate that would would probably not technically violate, even potentially, the civil rights of anyone. Do they get a free pass to do so because no one could have standing? Time to end the issue of standing.and forward suits based if there is a Constitutional violation.

  27. Any U.S. citizen, by virtue of that citizenship alone, should be conferred standing to challenge any action of his government as unconstitutional. That’s not busybodiness. Rather, it’s the essential prerogative of a free to society to enforce public rights through private actions. That was also the law of this nation until the misguided cases of Massachusetts v. Mellon, 262 U.S. 447 (1923) and Fairchild v. Hughes, 258 U.S. 126 (1922).

  28. Any U.S. citizen, by virtue of that citizenship alone, should be conferred standing to challenge any action of his government as unconstitutional. That’s not busybodiness. Rather, it’s the essential prerogative of a free society to enforce public rights through private actions. That was also the law of this nation until the misguided cases of Massachusetts v. Mellon, 262 U.S. 447 (1923) and Fairchild v. Hughes, 258 U.S. 126 (1922).

  29. It is time for a Revolution.
    Revolt and then replace SCOTUS, The President and Congress.
    The US Constitution and the Bill of Rights is not the problem. The people running our govt are the problem. Lets fix the problem.

  30. “It does not take a majority to prevail…
    but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” — Samuel Adams

    Our minority seems to be irate, tired and keen on just getting through the day. Just the way they want us so we won’t fight back. Somethings gotta change.

  31. Anyone else seeing the Traitors/Tyrant’s trolls on many of their blogs you read, I do.

    There are many things you can still do to defend yourselves!

    Demand your state impound an open to the public “Runaway Grand Juries” to go after those currently on Supreme Court because it’s clear by the evidence this SC is mentally insane & should be removed for cause.

    “Demand a Plan to Rid us of the American Hating Gun Grabbin Trash that’s attempting to destroy our American Citizen Stakeholder’s Inalienable Rights.”

    ** In related news, Republican Rep. Steve Stockman has vowed to further investigate allegations that the Obama administration has been employing “spambots” to send out fake twitter messages and emails to members of Congress to make it appear that there is a ground swell of support for gun control legislation.

    The messages have been linked to former Obama digital strategist Brad Schenck. The tweets were mostly sent from newly created accounts, and included the #WeDemandAVote hashtag — which Obama encouraged supporters to use.

    “Obama’s anti-gun campaign is a fraud,” Rep. Stockman said Monday.**

  32. “I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, Letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787

    It is time. Time to take back control of our country and to liberate our Bill of Rights from the corrupt whom have hijacked it. Whether their intentions were noble or not, is irrelevant. They need to be removed from power regardless.

    It is time to have a Revolution in America. It does not need to be violent. We can change over the people in our govt without violence. We just need to make sure they leave.

    Afterwards the only changes we need to make to the system is to insure that our Liberties are restored and protected against future encroachment.

    It is time for both the Liberals and Conservatives, leftwing and rightwing, and all that remain in the middle, to set aside our differences, cease arguing over trivial issues and rise up together and unite as one loud strong voice. We must not allow them to racially divide us.
    It is time to become brothers in voice and if need be, in arms. In this hour we must not speak softly, but loudly, while still wielding a big stick.

    It is time to take Big Brother and crush it. It is time to take tyranny and drive it from our govt and from our shores. It is time to show the world that we truly are the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave….and not merely land of the fat, disinterested and preoccupied with our plastic toys.

    It is time to decide whether we are nation of cowards who wish to maintain their status quo and not risk their material possessions. Or whether we are a nation of Freemen who willingly would sacrifice our homes, our plasma tvs and our iphones and then lay down our lives if need be, to insure that our children and grandchildren can live their lives in a land of true Liberty.

    Our country is teetering on the edge of the descent into Fascism. A monstrous hybrid of Totalitarianism and Corporatocracy. It must be stricken and driven to oblivion.

    Our ancestors risked their lives to make this country. Our fathers and grandfathers risked theirs to drive Fascism from Europe and the world. Why do we allow it to rise to power here now? No more.

  33. Steve Stockman Is the Nuttiest Freshman in Congress—Again
    The Texas Republican who wants to impeach President Obama is picking up where he left off—16 years ago.

    —By Tim Murphy
    | Wed Jan. 23, 2013 3:01 AM PST

    Steve StockmanRep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas). Fox News/YouTube

    On Monday of last week, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) announced that if President Barack Obama attempted to enact new gun violence prevention measures through executive order, he would have no choice but to file articles of impeachment. By Tuesday, he was comparing Obama to Saddam Hussein for using children as props at a speech introducing a gun control package. By Wednesday, he had stepped back from the precipice, asserting that “impeachment is not something to be taken lightly.” After all, where did anyone get that idea?

    This is the way it has always been with Steve Stockman: Light a fire; add some potassium nitrate; then stand back and gawk at the crater.

    The Texas congressman, who is three weeks into his second term after a 16-year hiatus from the House, is almost certainly the only member of Congress to have been caught with 30 mg of valium hidden in a cellophane wrapper in his underwear. He’s defended militia groups; accused an attorney general of “premeditated murder”; appeared on a Holocaust-denying radio program; waged a one-man war against Alfred Kinsey; compared his constituents—favorably—to Branch Davidians; and traveled to Denmark to protest climate change while wearing a red blindfold. The man who bested his 2012 opponent by 44 points isn’t the most ballyhooed of incoming lawmakers. He’s just the nuttiest.” Same Steve Stockman, Don?

  34. The first American Revolution was comprised of people of all walks. Some were assuredly ‘tinfoil’ hat wearing.
    Dismissing some people because they may hold strange or seemingly far-fetched theories is a disservice to the need of the American people to take back control of their govt from the corrupt.

    The defense of the govt will be to attack those of us on the fringe so to speak. We must defend against this.

  35. Swarthmore mom,

    Did you say thing?

    Are far down the rabbit hole about those Mafia/Fascist Aholes do you wish to go?

    Chicago, a pop of about 2.8 mil had well over 500 murders & a near complete fascist Police State Gun Ban.

    Tulsa area, Oklahoma, pop of about 1 mil had around 48 murders with very Liberal gun laws. ( Most everybody has at least one or their neighbors do.)

    Do you want to fix Chicago, get rid of the drugs laws, treat it as a medical problem & you get rid of the CIA/DHS shipping the drugs in& bring back the 2nd & crime will be cut in half tomorrow.

    Fast and Furious scandal blown wide open by … – Natural News
    Oct 2, 2012 … On September 2, 2009, 18 young men were murdered at “El Aliviane, … Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was murdered with Fast and Furious guns … In fact, the Obama Administration has gone out of its way to keep a lid on its … html

  36. Before I get involved in any of this repeat Revolutionary War stuff I need to know who is a Whig and who is a Tory ’cause I refuse to get tricked into following Schuyler anywhere.

  37. The 1933 parallels are:
    The Reichstag Fire = Twin Towers
    Reichstage Fire Decrees = Patriot Act et al
    Holocaust = Whats Next For America and the World.

    As to Justice Alito:

    Alito, lito, bo bitto,
    Banana fanna fo fitto
    If the first two letters are ever the same
    Ya drop them both and say the name…
    -Name Game

  38. Stockman may be Bat Sheeet crazy, I don’t know his history, but he’s correct on Impeachment for Obama.

    Wallst Puppet Romney is as big of a America hating piece of trash as Wallst Puppet Obama.

    That’s why I voted for Wallst Puppet Obama on their rig electronic voting machines, because & want him to have Grand Jury charges brought against him & for him to have a fair trial. (Along with some of his other fascist buddies.)

    The most of the Tea Party hasn’t attacked Wallst/London Banks/Insurance Mafia that have this country in this mess & neither has Obama & the Demo Leadership.

    In the world’s history most of the trouble/problems is always caused by corrupt Bankers.

    This was a major reason so many us supported most of Ron Paul’s positions.

  39. Banksters Laundered Money for Drug Cartels and al-Qaeda – Infowars banksters-laundered-money-for-drug-cartels-and-al-qaeda/ – View by Ixquick Proxy – Highlight

    Jul 17, 2012 … A Senate investigation concluded HSBC executives repeatedly ignored … According to the report, money laundering and other large scale …
    HSBC to Pay $1.92 Billion to Settle Charges of Money Laundering … hsbc-to-pay-1-92-billion-to-settle-charges-of-money-laundering/ – View by Ixquick Proxy – Highlight

    Dec 11, 2012 … HSBC to Pay $1.92 Billion to Settle Charges of Money Laundering … Iran and enabled Mexican drug cartels to move money illegally through its …

  40. Blouise, You are right. I don’t think they will have too much luck getting us to join forces with holocaust and Sandy Hook deniers.

  41. Sam Adams,

    We don’t have to wait til 7/4 to protest.

    Many of us protest most everyday.

    There was a Nationwide protest last weekend. I went the one here, citizens/polcats gathered calling for protecting the US Constitution, it’s Preamble of the Bill of Rights & the Rights themselves.

    There are many other actions people can take.

    Stay out of evil places like Walmart, JP Morgan, away from Monsanto products, etc. The best you can.

    Grow a garden, buy from local farmers, ranchers, butchers, etc.

    Buy one ounce of silver for the Crush JP Morgan, buy silver campaign.

    Better yet buy an ounce for everyone you know. .

    Make a hobby of pass info along to others. ( Don’t force it, it’s tacky.)

    Here is one of the many groups popping up protest that have some plans.

  42. Swarthmore mom,

    How many people/kids lives have been saved by guns in the US since Sandy Hook?

    That’s never reported nationally or even locally most of the time.

    How many innocent Kids/People has Obama had murdered with the secret drone program since Sandy Hook. Any fake Obama tears for them?

    Obama just as rotten as GW, BC before him.

    BTW, I live in Oklahoma, home of many Native Americans who survived the US holocaust that the 1930’s Nazis used as a model for theirs, which the Fascist Obama, with his recent DHS purchase of 2 billion bullets likely has in mind for his & his buddies latest planned holocaust.

    Love or hate people like Alex Jones, they have gathered the actual govt docs regarding the Obama/GW types evil plans.

  43. this remind me of the ACLU v. NSA case that was decided back in 2007. At issue was the inability by way of civil suit to get the telcos to provide lists of who had been tapped in the bulk collection the NSA was using. The 6th circuit used the same circular reasoning: no standing without harm, no harm discovery without standing.

  44. ATTN: SHEEPLE who believe what the Teevee says.

    “What if the 9/11 Commission consisted of experts instead of politicians with their fingers in the wind, and what if the commissioners had too much integrity to write a report dictated by the executive branch?

    The unlikely and untenable failure of every institution of the American national security state would have been investigated, and the collapse of WTC 7 at free fall speed would have had to have been acknowledged in the report and explained. A totally different story would have emerged, a story unlikely to have locked Americans into permanent war in an expanding number of countries and into a domestic police state.

    Americans might still be a free people. And American liberty might still be a beacon to the world.

    On the other hand, a finding of government complicity in 9/11 could have threatened powerful interests and resulted in violent conflict and martial law.

    What ifs are provocative, and that is what makes them fun. Thinking is America’s national disability. I’m all for anything that provokes Americans to think.”

    REAGAN Ass’t Treasury Sec’y Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

  45. Don,

    Just wait til tomorrow when the Traitor in Chief gets slammed for the stupidity of his choice of solicitor general to argue the voting rights case….. It’s pretty sad when the Chief Justice of the court know more about the case than the attorney arguing to uphold the law…. Coincidence that the person chosen was inept in this area….. But the defender will be the detractor….

  46. Don Verrilli argued the healthcare law and was victorious. The fact that Scalia came across as a racist had nothing to do with him.


    The church of Morris Dees
    How the Southern Poverty Law Center profits from intolerance

    The Southern Poverty Business Model

    Many of you out there have no doubt received in the mail desperate cries for help from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the do-gooder group that does very little good considering the vast sums of money it raises. But before you pull out your checkbook, make sure to read the following letter that Stephen Bright, an Atlanta-based civil rights and anti-death penalty attorney, recently wrote in declining an invitation to an event that honors Morris Dees, head of the SPLC.

    Kenneth C. Randall, Dean and
    Thomas L. McMillan, Professor of Law
    School of Law
    University of Alabama
    249 Law Center
    Box 870382
    101 Paul W. Bryan Drive
    Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0382

    Dear Dean Randall:

    Thank you very much for the invitation to speak at the law school’s commencement in May. I am honored by the invitation, but regret that I am not able to accept it due to other commitments at that time.

    I also received the law school’s invitation to the presentation of the “Morris Dees Justice Award,” which you also mentioned in your letter as one of the “great things” happening at the law school. I decline that invitation for another reason. Morris Dees is a con man and fraud, as I and others, such as U.S. Circuit Judge Cecil Poole, have observed and as has been documented by John Egerton, Harper’s, the Montgomery Advertiser in its “Charity of Riches” series, and others.

    The positive contributions Dees has made to justice–most undertaken based upon calculations as to their publicity and fund raising potential–are far overshadowed by what Harper’s described as his “flagrantly misleading” solicitations for money. He has raised millions upon millions of dollars with various schemes, never mentioning that he does not need the money because he has $175 million and two “poverty palace” buildings in Montgomery. He has taken advantage of naive, well-meaning people–some of moderate or low incomes–who believe his pitches and give to his $175-million operation. He has spent most of what they have sent him to raise still more millions, pay high salaries, and promote himself. Because he spends so much on fund raising, his operation spends $30 million a year to accomplish less than what many other organizations accomplish on shoestring budgets.

    The award does not recognize the work of others by associating them with Dees; it promotes Dees by associating him with the honorees. Both the law school and Skadden are diminished by being a part of another Dees scam.

    Again, thank you for the invitation to participate in your commencement. I wish you and the law school the very best.


    Stephen B. Bright

    cc: Morris Dees
    Arthur Reed
    Dees award committee

  48. Jonesy:

    I care far less what a man earns financially than what he does. If you want an egoless, pauper traversing the countryside doing good read the New Testament or Don Quixote. If you want reality:

    You don’t fight entrenched soulless financial interests without a war chest.

    And as for our sanctimonious — but accomplished — Stephen B. Bright, you really need to add that he is the long term director of the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR). The SCHR competes for public donations with the SPLC. Professional jealousy is never very pretty and ego is a universal malady.

  49. I am wondering if the FBI is still using wiretaps at the supreme court to intimidate and influence opinions that limit their actions against average Amerikan citizens as was reported on the Geraldo program and in a book by Alexander Charns…This is bigger than watergate and we need a complete Senatorial and Congressional investigation of this matter and Robert Mueller should have to testify
    on this….This writer filed a suit on this subject in 1996…w.voinche v. FBI, 940 F.Supp.323(DDC 1996)and forced the fBI to release about 200 pages on this subject and filed a Writ of Certiorari…but the Supreme Court would not hear the case or force the fbi to release all of the documents on this subject…Is the FBI trying to intimidate the major branches of government)makes one wonder if we now have government by fbi fiat and are moving toward Orwellian Fascism????

  50. Wondering if Mr. Turley would like me to send him the Writ of Certiori i filed and the documents released to me on this subject and has the Kahoonas to revisit this landmark case?

  51. OT:

    L.A. to ask high court to overturn ruling on homeless belongings

    City cites public health threat in seeking the reversal of a lower-court ruling barring random removal and destruction of unattended personal property.,0,5722333.story


    Stan Goldman, a Loyola Law School professor, said it may be a long shot to ask the Supreme Court to weigh in, given how few cases it has taken up in recent years. But he said: “History has shown that the conservatives on the Supreme Court like nothing better than reversing liberal 4th Amendment decisions out of the 9th Circuit.”

  52. OT Breaking News
    Bradley Manning Pleads Guilty

    By Ed Pilkington, Guardian UK

    28 February 13

    Bradley Manning has pleaded guilty to having been the source of the massive WikiLeaks dump of US state secrets, though he has denied the most serious charge against him that he “aided the enemy” that could see him languishing in military prison for the rest of his life.

    Through his lawyer, David Coombs, the soldier pleaded guilty to 10 lesser charges that included possessing and willfully communicating to an unauthorised person all the main elements of the WikiLeaks disclosure. That covered the so-called “collateral murder” video of an Apache helicopter attack in Iraq; some US diplomatic cables including one of the early WikiLeaks publications the Reykjavik cable; portions of the Iraq and Afghanistan warlogs, some of the files on detainees in Guantanamo; and two intelligence memos.

    These lesser charges each carry a two-year maximum sentence, committing Manning to a possible upper limit of 20 years in prison.

    Manning also pleaded not guilty to 12 counts which relate to the major offences of which he is accused by the US government. Specifically, he pleaded not guilty to “aiding the enemy” – the idea that he knowingly gave help to al-Qaida and in a separate count that by causing secret intelligence to be published on the internet he knowingly made it accessible to the enemy.

    He also denied that at the time he made the transmission of information to WikiLeaks he had “reason to believe such information could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation”.

    With Manning having pleaded not guilty to these overarching charges, the prosecution is now almost certain to press ahead to a full court-martial which is currently set for 3 June. The judge has indicated that the trial could run for 12 weeks, although Manning’s guilty plea to the lesser charges may short-circuit the process as the government will no longer have to prove that he acquired and communicated the trove of classified material to WikiLeaks.

    Manning confirmed that he wishes the trial to be conducted by the judge, Colonel Denise Lind, presiding in the case sitting alone. There will be no military equivalent of a jury.

    Lind made clear that she will reserve her judgment on whether or not to accept Manning’s guilty pleas until a later date. She has no power to influence the charges other than to ensure that they are consistent with the law – which she has already done.

    She does, however, have the responsibility to ensure that Manning has made his plea in full knowledge of what it means for his future, and voluntarily with no coercion.

    They will now spend the rest of the day in deliberations designed to meet that responsibility. Lind has said that Manning will be allowed to read out a statement, believed to run to 35 pages, that explains his decisions and may reveal his thinking about what he did and why he did it in transmitting such a huge mountain of classified material to WikiLeaks.

  53. Rachel Maddow’s discussion of Scalia’s remarks included video of extremely long lines of mostly Blacks waiting to vote in the last election.

  54. Hey the Scotus voted in favor of secrecy? Who knew, they allowed Obamacare that draconian and morally bankrupt(and financially) piece of garbage through, why not this. The Patriot Act is legal, NDAA appears to remain legal, this court has morphed into Authoritarians by and for Authoritarians. Constitution be damned, we’ll interpret it with any so called clause that fits our narrative. Liberal or Conservative justice is almost irrelevant anymore, everything is justified under some naive progressive idea of the constitution.
    Liberals and Conservatives want big govt but only their idea of big govt, well sorry big govt is bad news no matter which direction you think is noble.

  55. Dave, “Liberals and Conservatives want big govt but only their idea of big govt, well sorry big govt is bad news no matter which direction you think is noble.”

    Obama has been shrinking the government considerably. Just keeping the government the same size would help the economy tremendously. We came out of past recessions by the government getting bigger, not smaller. Obama is doing what the conservative right wing wants done. The Rs would have a hard time doing it but he gets away with it b/c he’s a D.

  56. Betty, Obama is a lying weasel. He should be impeached. The entire Supreme Court should be impeached as well.
    This country has become a evil twin mockery of itself.

  57. When are Liberals going to wake up and realize that Obama is not one of them and actually works against them in reality.


  58. Details Revealed on Secret U.S. “Ragtime” Domestic Surveillance Program

    By Ryan Gallagher

    Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, at 4:39 PM


    Earlier this week, the Supreme Court ruled that Americans didn’t have standing to challenge secret surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency. Now, new details about the eavesdropping have surfaced—which will likely fuel fresh concerns about the scale and accountability of the agency’s spy programs.

    A book published earlier this month, “Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry,” contains revelations about the NSA’s snooping efforts, based on information gleaned from NSA sources. According to a detailed summary by Shane Harris at the Washingtonian yesterday, the book discloses that a codename for a controversial NSA surveillance program is “Ragtime”—and that as many as 50 companies have apparently participated, by providing data as part of a domestic collection initiative.

    Deep State, which was authored by Marc Ambinder and D.B. Grady, also offers insight into how the NSA deems individuals a potential threat. The agency uses an automated data-mining process based on “a computerized analysis that assigns probability scores to each potential target,” as Harris puts it in his summary. The domestic version of the program, dubbed “Ragtime-P,” can process as many as 50 different data sets at one time, focusing on international communications from or to the United States. Intercepted metadata, such as email headers showing “to” and “from” fields, is stored in a database called “Marina,” where it generally stays for five years.

    About three dozen NSA officials have access to Ragtime’s intercepted data on domestic counter-terrorism, the book claims, though outside the agency some 1000 people “are privy to the full details of the program.” Internally, the NSA apparently only employs four or five individuals as “compliance staff” to make sure the snooping is falling in line with laws and regulations. Another section of the Ragtime program, “Ragtime-A,” is said to involve U.S.-based interception of foreign counterterrorism data, while “Ragtime-B” collects data from foreign governments that transits through the U.S., and “Ragtime-C” monitors counter proliferation activity.

    Only very rarely do details of this nature surface, mainly due to the extreme secrecy that shrouds the NSA. In 2006, a whistleblower from AT&T made a sworn declaration in which he stated that the NSA was routing AT&T communications through a secret “secure room” where they could be intercepted. A former NSA employee said last year in his own sworn declaration, made as part of an ongoing legal case, that the spying described by the AT&T whistleblower involved the use of a “Semantic Traffic Analyser,” which would allow the NSA to mine “addresses, locations, countries, and phone numbers, as well as watch-listed names, keywords, and phrases” from within the data flowing through communication networks. Other previously disclosed NSA spy programs have been codenamed “ThinThread” and “Trailblazer.”

    On Tuesday, a group of civil rights groups, journalists, and lawyers lost the right to challenge the constitutionality of a so-called “warrantless wiretapping” law that allows the NSA to conduct eavesdropping on international communications. The plaintiffs’ argument failed largely on the grounds that they could not conclusively prove that they had been subject to surveillance. The Supreme Court, in a split 5-4 opinion, said that “it is highly speculative whether the government will imminently target communications to which respondents are parties.”

  59. Long-ago wiretap inspires a battle with the CIA for more information

    By Ian Shapira, Published: March 2

    “Paul Scott, the late syndicated columnist, was so paranoid about the CIA wiretapping his Prince George’s County home in the 1960s that he’d make important calls from his neighbor’s house. His teenage son Jim Scott figured his dad was either a shrewd reporter or totally nuts.

    Not until nearly 45 years later did the son learn that his father’s worries were justified. The insight came in 2007 when the CIA declassified a trove of documents popularly called “the family jewels.” The papers detailed the agency’s unlawful activities from long ago, including wiretapping the Scott home in District Heights. The operation even had a code name: “Project Mockingbird.

    Jim was floored: The CIA really did eavesdrop on Dad.

    Now Jim, 64, a retired Navy public relations officer who lives in Anne Arundel County, is waging an operation of his own against the agency. For the past five years, he has sought to declassify and make public any documents Langley might still have on his father and why he was wiretapped.” (article continues)

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