WASHINGTON Nov 20, 2006 (AP)— The National Security Agency is not required to release details about its secret wiretapping program, a federal judge said Monday.
The People for the American Way Foundation, a liberal advocacy group, sued to obtain records under the Freedom of Information Act. The group sought to find out how many wiretaps were approved and who reviewed the program.
Civil liberties group criticize it as an expansion of presidential power, and a federal judge has said it is unconstitutional. The Justice Department says it is a necessary tool to fight terrorism.
The NSA denied the request for documents, saying the records would jeopardize national security. The advocacy group argued that the law can’t be used to protect the government from disclosing details about illegal programs.
U.S. Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle disagreed, saying that even if the program is ultimately determined to be illegal, it doesn’t change the fact that the materials are classified and are not covered by the Freedom of Information Act.
I agree with Jay at Stop The ACLU: Common sense in the judiciary prevails. Don’t expect, though, that this ruling will stop “The People for the American Way Foundation.” They’ll still be around another day to fight against the tools the Bush administration is utilizing to protect us in the GWOT. Nevertheless, that doesn’t take away from the fact that Judge Huvelle showed these turkeys the door, just a few days before Thanksgiving