Godlike Productions - Conspiracy Forum
Users Online Now: 2,658 (Who's On?)Visitors Today: 2,639,829
Pageviews Today: 3,600,653Threads Today: 705Posts Today: 16,354
11:15 PM


Rate this Thread

Absolute BS Crap Reasonable Nice Amazing
 

Analysis: NSA Lawsuit Like Alice's Wonderland -- Should a secret be kept secret if they can't say what it is because it's a secret?

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 283889
United States
08/17/2007 05:09 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Analysis: NSA Lawsuit Like Alice's Wonderland -- Should a secret be kept secret if they can't say what it is because it's a secret?
donkey
2007-08-16

How can the government prove that something should be kept secret if it can't say what it is because it's a secret?

If you're the U.S. federal government, how can you prove to someone that something should be kept secret if you can't tell them what the secret is because it's a secret? If you're a federal judge, how can you decide whether someone gets to keep a secret if the secret-keeper won't say what the secret is?

The debate over liberty versus security in this post-9/11 age took a trip down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass in a federal courtroom in San Francisco Wednesday, over the alleged U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) program of monitoring the phone and e-mail communications of Americans to try to stop terrorists before they strike.

More than one participant likened the testimony to "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," the classic children's book by Lewis Carroll. Compare and contrast this excerpt from the book with what went on in court. This snippet occurs when Alice, attending the Mad Hatter's tea party, suddenly notices the March Hare's curious timepiece.

"'What a funny watch!' Alice remarked. 'It tells the day of the month, and doesn't tell what o'clock it is!'

"'Why should it?' muttered the Hatter. 'Does your watch tell you what year it is?' Alice felt dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter's remark seemed to have no sort of meaning in it, and yet it was certainly English."

Testimony at the hearing Wednesday was in English but often left the judges "dreadfully puzzled."

At the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, a U.S. Department of Justice lawyer asked three appeals court judges to dismiss a class-action lawsuit brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of an AT&T customer. The suit accused AT&T of violating the privacy rights of its customers by letting the NSA set up shop inside an AT&T switching station in San Francisco, monitoring customers' e-mails and phone calls without a warrant.

The DOJ sought the dismissal because, at trial, it could be revealed that the NSA worked with AT&T to wiretap Americans without a warrant, which is a state secret, if indeed such a program existed at all. The government can't say, because that's a state secret.

Airing evidence in the case "would reveal the sources, methods and operational details" of government intelligence activities, argued Gregory Garre, deputy solicitor general in the DOJ.

Appellate Judge Margaret McKeown responded by paraphrasing public comments by U.S. President George W. Bush, whom she reported as saying, "There is no surveillance of domestic phone calls without a warrant."

The Bush comment came up again when AT&T attorney Michael Kellogg, also argued for dismissal on the Wonderland-like grounds that allowing the case to go forward, yet not violate state secrets, would prohibit AT&T from presenting a defense.

"Any sort of program is a state secret," Kellogg said

"Even if the program doesn't exist?" McKeown replied, referencing the president's claim.

"Whether or not it exists is a state secret," Kellogg answered.

"But if President Bush said it's not happening, how could that be a secret?" the judge asked.

These are some of the reasons the hearing lasted two and a half hours.

Garre also asked the judges to dismiss a case brought against Bush, specifically, over the NSA's warrantless surveillance program. The plaintiff is the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, which claims it was spied on by the NSA without a warrant.

At a news conference on the courthouse steps after the hearing, attorney Jon Eisenberg, representing the foundation, admitted it felt "surreal" trying to discuss in court a partial exchange of affidavits between himself, the U.S. government and a judge arguing a point in the case that can't be made public.

"I'm at a disadvantage because I don't know the government's side of that argument. I only know my side. They have seen my secret brief. I have not seen their secret briefs," Eisenberg said. "Yeah, I guess it is a bit like going down the rabbit hole."

Eisenberg concurred when, in court, McKeown remarked, "I feel like I'm in Alice in Wonderland."
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 283889
United States
08/17/2007 05:14 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Analysis: NSA Lawsuit Like Alice's Wonderland -- Should a secret be kept secret if they can't say what it is because it's a secret?
And speaking of secrets, how did "donkey" at the top transform into "donkey"? Very weird.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 283889
United States
08/17/2007 05:17 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Analysis: NSA Lawsuit Like Alice's Wonderland -- Should a secret be kept secret if they can't say what it is because it's a secret?
Okayyy... I guess donkey is one of those forbidden phrases that comes out "donkey", even though it appears in the news column on the left.
Secret code word "donkey&
User ID: 115
United States
08/17/2007 11:47 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Analysis: NSA Lawsuit Like Alice's Wonderland -- Should a secret be kept secret if they can't say what it is because it's a secret?
So what is the secret meaning of "donkey"?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 284180
United States
08/18/2007 12:00 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Analysis: NSA Lawsuit Like Alice's Wonderland -- Should a secret be kept secret if they can't say what it is because it's a secret?
It's the publication with the forbidden name:

donkey

Hope it doesn't come out "monkey" again!

BTW, great article. Now we don't even know if a secret is really a secret because the government says it's a secret!

Deeper we spiral into the language manipulations of "1984":

War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.

And we can't tell you what's a secret because it's a secret. Trust us.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 284180
United States
08/18/2007 12:05 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Analysis: NSA Lawsuit Like Alice's Wonderland -- Should a secret be kept secret if they can't say what it is because it's a secret?
I'll be damned, even spelled out in a vertical column, it still came out "donkey"!

This cracks me up. It's only one of the most popular "PC" magazines in the "world."

Yes, it's the donkey donkey magazine!
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 284340
United States
08/18/2007 12:11 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Analysis: NSA Lawsuit Like Alice's Wonderland -- Should a secret be kept secret if they can't say what it is because it's a secret?
284180, give us some more hints. Try spelling it backwards. Thanks...
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 284340
United States
08/18/2007 12:16 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Analysis: NSA Lawsuit Like Alice's Wonderland -- Should a secret be kept secret if they can't say what it is because it's a secret?
donkey?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 284340
United States
08/18/2007 12:16 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Analysis: NSA Lawsuit Like Alice's Wonderland -- Should a secret be kept secret if they can't say what it is because it's a secret?
Ah, "PeeCee World"!
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 284340
United States
08/18/2007 12:17 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Analysis: NSA Lawsuit Like Alice's Wonderland -- Should a secret be kept secret if they can't say what it is because it's a secret?
What I find amusing is when Trinity is discussing the GLP word filter as a matter of factly in some thread or another as if he has not control over it...

...and if HE has not control over it, then who does?

...NSA ???
I D W
User ID: 284250
United States
08/18/2007 12:21 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Analysis: NSA Lawsuit Like Alice's Wonderland -- Should a secret be kept secret if they can't say what it is because it's a secret?
"national security" is being used as a way of protecting a criminal conspiracy. All we need to do is it isn't OUR security (this nations) they are talking about, but thier own agenda. Shouldn't be that hard. Even those on the left of the bell curve are beginning to see the pattern! Look at some of the jokers on this website.


The "federal government' is a criminal conspiracy against the soveriegn republic

elect Ron Paul in '08

News