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When the Government Listens, the Terrorists Win
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Illegal wiretapping has been a touchy issue since Watergate, but after 9/11 it became something for every citizen to be concerned about.  When the Bush administration put the Terrorist Surveillance Program into effect, it seemed no one was safe from the G-men listening to private conversations.  Of course, no one really worried about it until the program became public in 2005.

FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, should have covered any investigations that the government needed to carry out, but instead they listened in on the Saudi-based Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation and attorneys Wendell Belew and Asim Ghatfoor.  The Foundation and the two attorneys filed suit in 2006 and this is the last case to be decided since the Terrorist Surveillance Program ended in 2007.  Wiretaps were illegally installed on Foundation phones without a judge’s authorization, it was found.

According to a story by the Associated Press, “U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker said the plaintiffs provided enough evidence to show ‘they were subjected to warrantless electronic surveillance.'”

  
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U.S. Attorney Eric Holder’s argument that this kind of case undermines ongoing intelligence work under the Obama administration puts him in the same camp as Bush administration lawyers.  The freedoms enshrined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are the same freedoms that terrorists fear and want to destroy.   This kind of denial of basic liberties to citizens of the United States undermines the foundation of this country and brings us that much closer to the ideals of the terrorists who seek to destroy us.



 

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