More on Al-Haramain and State Secrets

I had mentioned here that the Obama administration had appealed a ruling by Judge Vaughan Walker (an appointee of President George H.W. Bush) in the Al-Haramain v. Bush case; to correct a mistake I made, the government had requested Walker to stay his order to turn over sealed documents while they worked on appealing the ruling to the 9th Circuit.

This case has to do with a so-called Muslim “charity” being declared a terrorist organization by the State Department (the UN has also listed it that way) based on evidence possibly gathered through President Bush’s Terrorist Surveillance Progam (TSP) and other means. What is going on in Al-Haramain is similar to what happened after the initial ruling in ACLU v. NSA, when a district judge in that case (the Carter-appointed Judge Taylor) ruled against the government and ordered the TSP stopped, only to have the 6th Circuit stay the order on appeal; a panel of the 6th then overturned the whole lower court ruling, and the Supreme Court refused to hear any further review.

In a new development in Al-Haramain, the government filed papers Wednesday that demanded Walker stay his order the next day (yesterday) or the administration would take it up to the 9th Circuit. There’s nothing that has come out since saying whether or not Judge Walker issued the stay or if the government filed their appeal.

While the 9th Circuit is normally known for being the most overturned federal appellate court, it was a panel of that court that determined plaintiffs couldn’t use what they saw as evidence of illegal wiretapping by the government since the evidence in question had been sealed by the Bush administration (the government had inadvertantly provided the plaintiffs with the classified documents). As a result, plaintiffs were denied standing and Walker then dismissed the suit saying plaintiffs could refile within 30 days, which they did.

On January 5th, 2009, Walker ruled that due to the public nature of the previously covert TSP that was exposed by the New York Times in December of 2005, which was presented as evidence by the “charity”, the government would have to give plaintiffs’ attorneys clearance to review the sealed documents. With the changeover of administrations, leftists believed Obama would expose the “crimes” of the Bush administration’s TSP, possibly through the courts if necessary. Unfortunately for them, the Obama administration has wholeheartedly agreed with the prior administration and has fought against Walker’s ruling tooth-and-nail (from the link to the San Francisco Chronicle story above):

Department spokesman Charles Miller confirmed that the brief represented the views of the new administration and its attorney general.

Since this is still quite a new story, I don’t believe many of the usual suspects of raging moonbats has digested what is going on. Keep an eye out for any new “outrage”, because it will come.

For further information on the Al-Haramain case, you can read about it on my regular blog; this post is about Walker’s initial dismissal in July of last year, and this post is on Walker’s current ruling that is now being challenged by the Obama administration.