Obama Takes Bush’s Secrecy Games One Step Further

March 30, 2012

by Glenn Greenwald     source: Salon    Mar 30, 2012

The ACLU is suing the Obama administration under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), seeking to force disclosure of the guidelines used by Obama officials to select which human beings (both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals) will have their lives ended by the CIA’s drone attacks (“In particular,” the group explains, the FOIA request “seeks to find out when, where and against whom drone strikes can be authorized, and how the United States ensures compliance with international laws relating to extrajudicial killing”). The Obama administration has not only refused to provide any of that information, but worse, the CIA is insisting to federal courts that it cannot even confirm or deny the existence of a drone program at all without seriously damaging national security; from the CIA’s brief in response to the ACLU lawsuit:

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(click on image to enlarge)

What makes this so appalling is not merely that the Obama administration demands the right to kill whomever it wants without having to account to anyone for its actions, choices or even claimed legal authorities, though that’s obviously bad enough (as I wrote when the ACLU lawsuit was commenced: “from a certain perspective, there’s really only one point worth making about all of this: if you think about it, it is warped beyond belief that the ACLU has to sue the U.S. Government in order to force it to disclose its claimed legal and factual bases for assassinating U.S. citizens without charges, trial or due process of any kind”). What makes it so much worse is how blatantly, insultingly false is its claim that it cannot confirm or deny the CIA drone program without damaging national security.

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ACLU, CCR Seek to have Obama Enjoined from Killing Awlaki Without due Process

August 4, 2010

by Glenn Greenwald  source: Salon    Aug 4, 2010

A major legal challenge to one of the Obama administration’s most radical assertions of executive power began this morning in a federal courthouse in Washington, DC.  Early last month, the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights were retained by Nasser al-Awlaki, the father of Obama assassination target (and U.S. citizen) Anwar al-Awlaki, to seek a federal court order restraining the Obama administration from killing his son without due process of law.  But then, a significant and extraordinary problem arose:   regulations promulgated several years ago by the Treasury Department prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in any transactions with individuals labeled by the Government as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist,” and those regulations specifically bar lawyers from providing legal services to such individuals without a special “license” from the Treasury Department specifically allowing such representation. 

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Civil Liberties Let Down: Judge Hellerstein Rejects ACLU Suit Against CIA

July 16, 2010

With all the news on Hellerstein standing up for the 9/11 first responders – I thought he might be a good guy….well, I learned something that others may already know real fast tonight .

source: AP / Yahoo  July 16, 2010

A federal judge on Thursday refused to force the public release of CIA methods relating to Sept. 11 detainees who were interrogated harshly, saying the judiciary’s authority is limited when national security is at stake.

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein rejected arguments by the American Civil Liberties Union that it should be able to force the CIA to release names and documents related to the detainees if the methods used by the agency were illegal.

He said to do so would “confer an unwarranted competence to the district court to evaluate national intelligence decisions.”

The judge said releasing the documents requested by the ACLU would provide operational details about the application of various interrogation techniques in various circumstances for a particular detainee.

“The difference between the information officially released and the CIA operational records here is different in quality, degree, and kind,” Hellerstein said.

He cited an earlier court case that he said was consistent with his findings. In that case, the Supreme Court let the government withhold identifying information of scientists who worked on a covert CIA program researching the use of chemical, biological and radiological materials to control human behavior. The program led to the death of some human test subjects.

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ACLU: U.S. Should Prosecute 9/11 Suspects in Federal Criminal Courts

July 12, 2010

July 12, 2010

The video above is from this weekends CBS airing of Face The Nation with Bob Schieffer.

Eric Holder cites “funding” as a hold up and concern in the reasoning for the delays in the 9/11 suspect trials.

There is however, no concern expressed for funding and continuing the War of Terror in the Middle East, nor any other military operation around the GLOBE that procures land or development rights for Congress’ constituent’s sponsers.

The simple, hard fact is that anyone held at Guantanamo did not ever have the ability to do this:

Below we have a letter written by the ACLU, I found it on the Common Dreams website:

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Nor Cal Truth at ACLU Awards Dinner

April 19, 2010

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April 19, 2010

On Friday April 9th, at an ACLU awards dinner, Nor Cal Truth was invited to hold a table as one of only a few tables permitted. This was a fortunate situation as the person who was originally invited to hold a table there was not able too. This kind person then offered us half of a table for 9/11 related materials if we would work the other half of the table for her in her absence. Her focus was Bohemian Grove. We said “OK.”

The 2 pictures above are from us getting ready at the event. As what normally happens with a small group of people working a table, taking pictures seems to fall into the unimportant category, as you get busy talking to people and handing out information. I wish we could have had pictures of a more crowded arena and booth, but oh well.

The main goal in my mind was to target the social leaders at the dinner for conversations and interactions. I prepared many packets of useful AE 9/11 Truth material for any and all interested.

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Revealed: Ashcroft, Tenet, Rumsfeld Warned 9/11 Commission About ‘Line’ it ’Should Not Cross’

March 17, 2010

By Sahil Kapur  source: Raw Story     March 16, 2010

Senior Bush administration officials sternly cautioned the 9/11 Commission against probing too deeply into the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, according to a document recently obtained by the ACLU.

The notification came in a letter dated January 6, 2004, addressed by Attorney General John Ashcroft, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and CIA Director George J. Tenet. The ACLU described it as a fax sent by David Addington, then-counsel to former vice president Dick Cheney.

In the message, the officials denied the bipartisan commission’s request to question terrorist detainees, informing its two senior-most members that doing so would “cross” a “line” and obstruct the administration’s ability to protect the nation.

“In response to the Commission’s expansive requests for access to secrets, the executive branch has provided such access in full cooperation,” the letter read. “There is, however, a line that the Commission should not cross — the line separating the Commission’s proper inquiry into the September 11, 2001 attacks from interference with the Government’s ability to safeguard the national security, including protection of Americans from future terrorist attacks.”

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American Bar Association, ACLU Both Support Civilian Courts for Alledged 9/11 Plotters

March 9, 2010

March 9, 2010

“The American Bar Association believes that Article III courts are the preferred forum for trying detainees accused of criminal responsibility for the 9/11 attacks on the United States.”

American Bar Association statement in full here.

This comes on the heels of the ACLU stepping into the same arena. The American Civil Liberties Union has set up a web page and petition asking Obama to hold to his promise of civilian courts for the 9/11 trials.

The alternative to Article iii courts is a military commission system at Guantanamo, potentially keeping the facilities open for years more.