The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Judge demands halt to NSA wiretaps

A federal judge on Thursday ruled that the U.S. government's warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered it ended immediately.

In a 44-page memorandum and order, U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, -- who is based in Detroit, Michigan --struck down the National Security Agency's program, which she said violates the rights to free speech and privacy.

Salon's Tim Grieve adds:

Quoting the late Chief Justice Earl Warren, Taylor wrote: "Implicit in the term 'national defense' is the notion of defending those values and ideas which set this nation apart. . . . It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of . . . those liberties . . . which make the defense of the nation worthwhile."

There's never really been any question that the White House's wiretapping was in violation of the FISA law. The administration's defense will be centered on whether the president's "wartime powers" are an acceptable justification for this particular bit of law-breaking.