July 22, 2009 | By Hugh D'Andrade

SF Chronicle: Obama Position on Wiretapping is "Mind-Boggling"

Calling the Obama administration's position on warrantless wiretapping "mind-boggling," the San Francisco Chronicle ran an editorial Monday calling for a federal court not to dismiss EFF's Jewel v. NSA, which seeks to bring an end the illegal spying program.

The editorial reminds us that Obama himself has reversed position on this crucial issue, and says that the administration's stance "is looking more than ever like willful ignorance of history in the name of political calm."

The editorial also points out the heavy burden in the hands of Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker:

The decision in [Judge Walker's] lap isn't an easy one. He can side with Obama lawyers and dismiss the case in the name of national security, a path that courts often take when confronted with a flag-waving invocation of homeland defense.

Or he can open up a dark chapter in the nation's history to the plain light of legal examination. Such a decision would definitely roil the waters while the truth surfaces. But since the president won't do it, it's time the courts stepped in.

The Chronicle's call for judicial review is on the money. But this "dark chapter in the nation's history" is not over — the warrantless dragnet surveillance continues — which is yet another reason why Jewel v. NSA should not be dismissed. This case is not only about our past, but also our present — and our future.


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