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Published on Saturday, July 20, 2013 by the Guardian/UK
This Week in Press Freedoms and Privacy Rights
The travesty calling itself "the Bradley Manning court-martial", the kangaroo tribunal calling itself "the FISA court", and the emptiness of what the Obama DOJ calls "your constitutional rights" by Glenn Greenwald I'm on a (much-needed) quick vacation until Sunday, so I'll just post a few brief items from what has been a busy and important week of events, particularly when it comes to press freedom and privacy: (1) In the utter travesty known as "the Bradley Manning court-martial proceeding", the military judge presiding over the proceeding yet again showed her virtually unbreakable loyalty to the US government's case by refusing to dismiss the most serious charge against the 25-year-old Army Private, one that carries a term of life in prison: "aiding and abetting the enemy". The government's theory is that because the documents Manning leaked were interesting to Osama bin Laden, he aided the enemy by disclosing them. Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler explained in the New Republic in March why this theory poses such a profound threat to basic press freedoms as it essentially converts all leaks, no matter the intent, into a form of treason. At this point, that seems to be the feature, not a bug. Anyone looking for much more serious leaks than the one that Manning produced which ended up attracting the interest of bin Laden should be looking here. The Obama White House yesterday told Russia that it must not persecute "individuals and groups seeking to expose corruption" - as Bradley Manning faces life in prison for alerting the world to the war abuses and other profound acts of wrongdoing he discovered and as the unprecedented Obama war on whistleblowers rolls on. That lecture to Russia came in the context of White House threats to cancel a long-planned meeting over the Russian government's refusal to hand over NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to the US to face espionage charges. (2) The kangaroo tribunal calling itself "the FISA court" yesterday approved another government request (please excuse the redundancy of that phrase: "the FISA court approved the government's request"). Specifically, the "court" approved the Obama administration's request for renewal of the order compelling Verizon to turn over to the NSA all phone records of all Americans, the disclosure of which on June 6 in this space began the series of NSA revelations. This ruling was proudly announced by the office of the Director of National Intelligence, which declassified parts of that program only after we published the court ruling. In response, the ACLU's privacy expert Chris Soghoian sarcastically observed: "good thing the totally not a rubberstamp FISA court is on the job, or we might turn into a surveillance state"; the Wall Street Journal's Tom Gara noted: "Reminder: The style guide for mentioning the FISA court is that it's written 'court' with scare quotes." (3) In response to our NSA reporting, several groups, including the ACLU and EFF, filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the US government's spying programs. A federal court yesterday heard
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and the Obama DOJ asked the court to dismiss it on several grounds. he cannot be compelled to testify about the identity of his sources.org/view/2013/07/20-4?print arguments in the suit brought by the ACLU. (5) The Obama DOJ obtained what it considers an important victory: an appellate court in Virginia rejected the argument from New York Times reporter Jim Risen that. whose grandfather wrote this powerful Op-Ed in the New York Times this week under the headline "The Drone That Killed My Grandson". and after the US refused to turn them over for trial. The judge repeatedly expressed incredulity at the DOJ's argument that courts had no role to play in reviewing the legality of these killings. that the DOJ's pursuit of him is in retaliation for his prior reporting. But you do have them. as it's the Obama administration in a nutshell: of course you have those pretty rights. as a journalist. I'm sure this incident will be on many people's minds. and when the Italians learned of this. Risen believes. (4) Speaking of the Obama DOJ attempting to block judicial adjudication of the legality of its actions: a different federal judge heard a lawsuit yesterday challenging the constitutionality of Obama's extrajudicial killings by drones of three American citizens.'" Re-read that last line. 'How broadly are you asserting the right of the United States to target an American citizen? Where is the limit to this?' "She provided her own answer: 'The limit is the courthouse door' . . which then led to this exchange: "'Are you saying that a US citizen targeted by the United States in a foreign country has no constitutional rights?' she asked Brian Hauck. several months ago: here. 2 of 4 7/20/2013 11:23 PM . "'Mr. Lady ended up in Panama. and US behavior in it. dear citizens. The US government intervened and applied significant pressure to Panamanian officials. they requested his extradition to Italy. and President Obama will deliver another really majestic speech soon in front of the Constitution about how cherished and valued they are. I wrote about that case. Hauck acknowledged that Americans targeted overseas do have rights. Milan CIA station chief Robert Lady. predictably released Lady and put him on a plane back to the US. really important. including his having exposed the NSA's warrantless eavesdropping program in 2005. was sentenced to several years in prison. It should be. It's just that nobody can enforce them or do anything to us when we violate them. including that it "cannot be challenged in a court of law". The next time the US lectures the world about the rule of law and need for accountability. and they're really. a deputy assistant attorney general. The CIA then rendered their kidnapped victim back to Egypt where he was interrogated and tortured. . who. they were convicted in abstentia.This Week in Press Freedoms and Privacy Rights | Common Dreams http://www. including the 16-year-old American-born Abdulrahaman Awlaki. Italian authorities criminally charged the CIA agents with kidnapping. but he said they could not be enforced in court either before or after the Americans were killed. with good reason. As he set forth in his affidavit.commondreams. . two dozen or so CIA agents kidnapped an Egyptian citizen from a street in Milan where he was living after Italy granted him asylum from persecution by the US-allied Mubarak regime. yesterday. (6) In 2003. I wrote last year about the reasons the Obama DOJ's pursuit of Risen is so pernicious and threatening to press freedom and gave the background to the case: here. and we do value them so very highly. One of them.
What makes that so ironic is that I've been arguing for many years now that Hayden and the other Bush officials who implemented the illegal warrantless eavesdropping program aimed at American citizens should be criminally prosecuted. but Rep.unlike Snowden . A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. He is the recipient of the first annual I. A physicist by profession. Having Rush Holt in the Senate would be a substantial boost to all sorts of issues that I write about here most. he's incredibly smart. His other books include: Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency. Stone Award for Independent Journalism. who will be a loyal party member and is drowning in Wall Street cash. he says that I am "far more deserving of the Justice Department's characterization of a co-conspirator than Fox's James Rosen ever was". he was until 2012 a contributing writer at Salon.org 3 of 4 7/20/2013 11:23 PM .org/view/2013/07/20-4?print Also: for those in official Washington . and unique. do read this remarkable exchange between AP's excellent reporter Matt Lee and a State Department spokesman over Russia and Snowden. Rush Holt is running for the New Jersey Senate seat that became vacant when Democrat Frank Lautenberg died.has committed serious crimes (kidnapping) and has been convicted of those crimes? (7) For a glimpse into the mind of the National Security State when it comes to transparency and press freedoms. who . The special election is on August 13. and How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok. more Glenn Greenwald Article printed from www. among other things. support and donate to his candidacy here. A former constitutional lawyer. (8) I'm going to write more about this next week. Michael Hayden about the NSA stories in which.This Week in Press Freedoms and Privacy Rights | Common Dreams http://www. the bill enacted with a bipartisan majority (including the support of President Obama) that legalized much of the massive surveillance state that now plagues us: The favorite in the race is a typical Democratic establishment candidate. Holt has long been one of the best members of Congress: a genuine stalwart on civil liberties and privacy and vehement opponent of the crony capitalism that governs DC. independent. © 2013 The Guardian/UK Glenn Greenwald is a columnist on civil liberties and US national security issues for the Guardian.CommonDreams. will you be demanding the same of CIA official Robert Lady. With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful. His most recent book is.commondreams.who have been demanding that Edward Snowden come and "face the music" of the charges against him.F.including its press corps . Here he is in 2007 warning again of the dangers of the surveillance state: Those interested can (and I hope will) read about. Speaking of glimpses into the minds of the US National Security State. Here was Holt on the House floor in 2008 expressing his vehement opposition to the 2008 FISA Amendments Act. do read this unhinged screed published by CNN from Bush-era CIA and NSA chief Gen. Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
org/view/2013/07/20-4?print Source URL: http://www.commondreams.This Week in Press Freedoms and Privacy Rights | Common Dreams http://www.org/view/2013/07/20-4 4 of 4 7/20/2013 11:23 PM .commondreams.