U.S. District Court judge, Justice William Pauley, dismissed an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawsuit alleging that the National Security Agency’s phone records program was unconstitutional, based primarily on his interpretation of the 1979 Smith v. Maryland Supreme Court ruling. But elsewhere in his ruling, the judge made what seems to be a slightly Kafkaesque argument to disregard the ACLU’s statutory claim that the NSA was exceeding the bounds of section 215 of the Patriot Act.
[...]
Pauley is essentially saying that the targets of the order have no recourse to challenge the collection of their personal data because Congress never intended for targets to ever know that they were subject to this sort of spying. And that the fact that everyone knows about it now, thanks to Edward Snowden, doesn’t change the targets’ ability to challenge the legality of the order.

By this logic, all the government has to do to prevent anyone challenging a law is to keep the law secret. Additionally, if you break the law, you can’t be told what law you broke, and there’s no need for a trial since your lawyer, a jury, etc. can’t be told either. What a wonderful country we live in! Happy New Year!



  1. dusanmal says:

    Welcome to Communism/Fascism… Anyone who lived in those systems could have told you so (and some like me did, you just didn’t listen) – you give Government power (or you let it take it), it will inevitably abuse it. This is completely in sync with recent New York Pravda article on Benghazi and with intentional collapse of health care system for one and one reason only – to gain Government control over it (and as usual in those systems, plenty of official excuses for the things happening – NSA – your safety; Benghazi – your free speech caused it; health care – to help underprivileged… ) and many other abuses. Vote Left or Right but kick out Progressives from both camps or NM rectal exam at police stop will become a rule. Redistribution does not happen for the good of poor, it happens for the good of the one who controls redistribution, stop buying Utopian nonsense.

    • Cap'n Kangaroo says:

      A district court judge made a ruling in this lawsuit, so now this is the law of the land. Except another district court judge also made a ruling that essentially is the opposite of this one.

      What to do, what to do? This being a land of “Communism/Fascism” (and what a contradiction that little statement is), Justice William Pauley’s ruling will of course have to stand. Except that we have appellate courts going all the way up to the Supreme Court. I will go out on a limb and predicate that the SC will eventually take these opposing decisions up, quite possibly in an expedited fashion.

      So I hate to burst your delusional bubble, but this is a land of laws and procedures that, in the end, does usually rectify absurd lower court decisions. This is only the start of a many act opera, not the finale with the fat lady singing.

      • noname says:

        Really, you said ” but this is a land of laws and procedures that”; what a laugh! At one time, pre-Bush most people would agree with you.

        Now, we have congress passing laws they don’t read. We have Wall Street criminal activities rewarded with free money, cheap money and prosecution immunity because they are “too big to fail”.

        The president can kill anyone by fiat; because, DOJ lawyers legal memo say and justifies assassination of US citizens! How’s that for a “land of laws and procedures”.

        And of course you have in Guantanamo Bay extrajudicial detainment, punishment and executions by American authorities without permission from publicly recognized court or legal authorities, instead; we have military kangaroo courts!

        It begs the question, is America following some of the methods Nazi Germany or Stasi used to legally justify tyranny, theft (civil forfeiture), and murder?

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

        Well said Cap’n

        Its really quite childish to demand/expect a “perfect world” when there are hoomans in it.

        Doucheanus==what is your alternative to gubment? Everyone in their own separate hidey-hole with a gun waiting to shoot anyone who knocks on their front door? How would you get to work to buy your bullets???

        Noname==I totally agree with your identified issues and even the direction you take your comments. My biggest complaint re Obama: failure to prosecute, failure to break up, failure to re-regulated the Banksters. It is troubling.

        • McCullough says:

          So your biggest complaint is just Obama’s failure.

          Troubling indeed.

          • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

            I just read and found: McCullough says:
            12/31/2013 at 9:33 pm

            So your biggest complaint is just Obama’s failure.

            Troubling indeed. /// Yes, I think Obama’s failure to re-regulate the Banksters greatly aided by prosecutions and Trust Busting is only setting us/USA/the World up for a repeat of the same dismal collapse in a few short years.

            McCullough–I hope you don’t become a knee jerk poster like Pedro? Prove me wrong, or at least make the effort for yourself, and share what you think Obama has done that is worse?

            ……. and I won’t even disagree with your choice, if you have one. I can think of 3 others I greatly disagree with, I just ranked the Banksters as No. 1. How could a mere ranking of admitted horribles be “troubling.”

            eh?

          • MikeN says:

            The repeat is because the Obama admin is pushing the same policies that caused the original housing collapse. Pressuring banks to lend more to the poor.

          • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

            Well Thanks Mickey for trying to Help McCullough think thru his position but right now, with my poor comprehension skills, you and I are in agreement. The Bank Fraud I criticize Obama for not correcting was mostly based on repackaging of liar loan mortgages, aka, the housing market.

            I’ve read but there is no media spotlight on it that the current market is MORE LEVERAGED and MORE CONCENTRATED than before the last crash. I don’t know what they are packaging up and fraudulently selling these days. Like I said, another example of the media not doing their job.

            ……you know…. thinking more about it, every “other” Obama failure really does come in a very distant second place.

            I’m on pins and noodles wondering what McCullogh will identify as so much worse than our nomination? Ha, ha.===>making Hilary Sect of State and positioning her as Pres for 2016 DOES NOT COUNT.

            There!

        • McCullough says:

          ” My biggest complaint re Obama: failure to prosecute, failure to break up, failure to re-regulated the Banksters. It is troubling.”

          Seriously, what were you expecting? Some kind of change? It seems trite but allow me to LOL.

          • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

            You have two possible references for your derisive LOL==me, which doesn’t make much sense as I am insignificant and but one person. Further, Obama did not run on cleaning up Wallstreet…so for “me” and Obama, there was no “expectation” as such.

            The other reference can and should be what ALL OF US expect, even DEMAND, of our gubment: to prosecute high crimes. I do hope you mean what you wrote: “did I (sic) expect a change—meaning we the peeples have been suffering under this corprotacracy for several Presidents now.

            All the more legitimacy to: VOTE ALL ENCUMBENTS OUT OF OFFICE.

            They do appear to all be in the pockets of the SUPER RICH, the corps, big donors.

            Sad, but thats what I see when I:

            Just look.

          • pedro says:

            What else can you do with the opinion of a known flip-flopper? Nothing but LOL

          • Bat Poo says:

            +1

            I can’t help but laugh out loud (LOL) too!

            When complete idiots like Bobbo vote for the kind of “gubment” we now have but then try and denounce the very crap he/she/it just voted for, I also get a big laugh.

            If you’ve read any of Bobbo’s postings then you already know what a complete and total party-of-one jack-ass he/she/it already is. According to Bobbo, there is only one party of choice (think about that statement for a minute)!

            Clearly, the party of jack asses have now successfully convinced enough “hooman” idiots to bend over, not that they were ever standing all that straight to begin with. And with enough foolish “hoomans” already in a semi slumped posture from an already overly oppressive government, the fix the jack asses have come up with was to significantly increase the load!!! But don’t tell Bobbo that since he believes it’s all for the better.

            I’ve said it before and will say it again: people who BELIEVE things in complete defiance of any/all facts are simply stupid. It not only applies to the religious fools but also to partisan pinheads like Bobbo too.

            So now you got it. You hoped things would change and they DID!

            … And talk about looking. That’s some more funny stuff coming from someone who’s not just stupid but also selectively blind!

          • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

            Ha, ha.

            ……. and your solution is?

            I predict no answer from you for it is just what I said====>paranoid dumb ass in your own private hidey hole. Prove me wrong: say anything half way intelligent.

          • Tim says:

            I League of Legended. Happy New Year, all.

          • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

            Timmmmmay: No fair. That was very intelligent.

            To you and yours as well….. and all else who tarry here.

            ……. review what we have learned….. do better.

            Yea, verily!

          • jpfitz says:

            Change…HA! Not from Bush III.

            Happy new year to all. As far as guano goes spread it on the weed.

            Hey bobbo may you have a better year in 2014. No more altruistic rental.

            If the SCOTUS does agree with this lower court, welcome to the new Stazi.

    • Greg Allen says:

      >> you give Government power (or you let it take it), it will inevitably abuse it.

      Yeah. You let the government build roads and they give you tickets for driving drunk on them!

      Government roads are COMMUNISM!

      … and BENGHAZI!

      Sheesh.

      Like most liberals, I have a libertarian, anti-government streak but the right winger “freedom!” rhetoric is so shrill and reactionary, it’s impossible to even engage them.

  2. LibertyLover says:

    Redistribution does not happen for the good of poor, it happens for the good of the one who controls redistribution

    I’m stealing this line.

    Kudos.

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      Well LL, you need to add “effect” to your analysis and consideration of “purpose.”

      Most issues in this best of all possible worlds we inhabit and create are mulch-facited that way. You know what more than one variable is…… right?

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      Well LL, you need to add “effect” to your analysis and consideration of “purpose.”

      Most issues in this best of all possible worlds we inhabit and create are multifaceted that way. You know what more than one variable is…… right?

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

        Well, theres my proof: once you hit the send button, you can’t modify your post if DU is “waiting.” Now….. why don’t I proof better before I send?

        Ha, ha.

    • Greg Allen says:

      >>Redistribution does not happen for the good of poor, it happens for the good of the one who controls redistribution

      The biggest redistribution in modern times was “Reaganonimics” which massively shifted weath from the middle class to the top 1%.

      There is simply no debating this, if you are at all anchored in reality.

      And we know who got the power from that — Sheldon Adleson, the Sam Walton, the Koch Brothers, etc.

      And the GOP are working overtime to give them more weath and power.

      • Frank Tagliano says:

        Amen, Glen. And short of voting out a LOT of congresscritters, which almost never happens, and likely will never happen again thanks to the buyout of the press, nothing will change in favor of the middle class. At least until the crash that hits almost everyone – watch for it in the next 2 or 3 years.

  3. Captain Obvious says:

    If it wasn’t for “Pradva media” around the world you’d still be ignorant about the NSA.

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      I thought it was Snowden and the NY Times along with some British tabloids? I’m sure Pravda reprinted after initial publication but how many in the West read Russian?

      Speaking of Kafkaesque==I have to laugh at the Political Whores who challenge Snowden to come back to America and face trial if he is a man of conviction. Spineless wormshit complaining about a national hero===whether he is right or wrong. Same with WikiLeaks. Same with the ACLU. Too bad the corporate interests won’t fund their activities….. eh?

      • jpfitz says:

        HA. Big biz backing the little mans rights. Especially when the data pulling raises their bottom line.

  4. spsffan says:

    Nothing particularly new here. Same reasoning that permitted lawsuits against “$50,000″ and so forth in so called civil forfeiture cases.

    It all started with John Adams and the Alien and Sedition laws. Got worse with Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt (both), and on in a steady line to today. Like the frog put into a pot of cold water slowly brought to a boil, we’re cooked all the same.

    • Greg Allen says:

      If you think “there is nothing new here” you still haven’t gotton your mind around was Snowdon has revealed.

  5. Mr Diesel says:

    The only thing I can see is that sooner or later people are going to get fed up with getting screwed, slow boil or not. Maybe a revolution of some sort a little stronger and more direct than the TEA Party.

    • Captain Obvious says:

      The Tea Party has painted themselves into a corner. Their own worst enemy now.

    • Uncle Dave says:

      Oh, please. We don’t teach critical thinking, much less common sense, anymore, so how do you expect people to get a concept like they are “getting screwed” when… Oops. Never mind. Kanye and Kim is coming on TV in a few minutes. Priorities!

      • Mr Diesel says:

        Thank goodness you posted it, I might have missed the show.

      • Greg Allen says:

        >>We don’t teach critical thinking, much less common sense, anymore,

        I work in the schools and I teach crtical thinking.

        We don’t incidentally teach it — it’s a core part of the curriculum. And, we work hard at it getting our kids to think critically.

        I do live in a Blue State. Are you talking about your Red State? I can believe that.

      • noname says:

        Uncle, nice typical DU thuggery, deleting my comments with greater secrecy then NSA!!

        I see where you get your immutable courage from!

        • Uncle Dave says:

          I didn’t. And you don’t have any posts in the spam folder, which I checked in case there was one that accidentally got deleted while I was deleting spam that got through the filter. So, it must never have gotten posted.

          You do have one way down at the bottom in response to MikeN. Is that it?

  6. MikeN says:

    So you are at least realizing you jumped the gun with your previous post, where the judge merely said ‘likely’ and didn’t issue a definitive conclusion?

  7. normankeena says:

    now it 02 o1 2014… or is that o’one month and oooh tooo date.. ye yanks wank mee…

    me ex’ at her mother, or was.. neah it was mee mother at her mothers’ dinner table. and me ‘bride’ say… in a kind of engolandish… ‘woot ye do when (public worker) wank off at the job.. englolandish was more… ‘skivvie’ gilley off, reneigh.. excuse me lingo… buh me ‘bride’ din’t get this word from me.. well it embaarress me infront me our mother…

    damm mother’s—

  8. ± says:

    The ACLU’s record is like guessing what number I am thinking of between 1 and 30. Everyone once in a while they will be right in their cause by dumb luck.

  9. Glenn E. says:

    The thing about judges in the US, is that they’re being installed by corporations, instead of citizens. You may vote for some of them. But these judges’ campaigns are heavily financed by wealthy and power special interests, and corporations. Who are counting on “their judge” deciding in favor of whoever bought them. When so case comes up, that effects the wealthy’s bottom line. And the same could be true of Federal judges. Who I know are “appointed” by the current Administration. But that doesn’t mean their decisions are not being influenced by rich and powerful entities. Rather than them, looking out for the average citizens. That’s why so many Federal judges have come to the defense of the Music and Motion Picture industry’s over extended intellectual property rights. As if someone drawing their own version of Mickey Mouse, might bring down all of western civilization, as we know it. Or singing Happy Birthday, at a public event, without paying a royalty, is such a heinous crime. All of our taxes, pay for these judges, to decide mostly for the benefit of the wealthiest. Who probably managed to pay very little or no taxes. And the same goes for these secret laws. That you know, will never be applied to anyone with enough wealth and power, to tell the govt. to go screw itself. They call those, the “too big to jail” types.

  10. MikeN says:

    So a Bill Clinton appointee said yes, while a George Bush appointee said no, err ‘likely unconstitutional.’

  11. MikeN says:

    There is nothing Kafkaesque about the ruling. Congress basically said you have no right to stop these orders, except at FISA Court. Senator and Candidate Obama voted for it, and now he is enforcing it as President, and his nominees will uphold it.

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      Well Mickey—BASIC constitutional “natural law” issues are in play. Our good editor has posted the key issue in the header, you read it, thought about it, and yet keep your ass secure around your head. Why is that? Congressional Lapdog?????….. Ha, ha.

      How about this? Congress pass a law in secret and says cops can break into your house and take your guns and put you in prison and you aren’t allowed a lawyer or to have your case reviewed………except in a FISA Court.

      You good wid dat?

      Curious people want to know.

      • MikeN says:

        That’s already happened.

        • Tim says:

          No due process. I hate it when that happens. My heart breaks for you — Do tell us all about the experience, though; How are you communicating now? Did Lemmiwinks smuggle out a Bluetooth device for you under his lantern-hat?

  12. pedro says:

    Don’t worry. I bet the new California illegal immigrant lawyer will make that good again.

    • noname says:

      Oh the irony, as Cap’n Kangaroo proclaimed “this is a land of laws and procedures” and we have illegal immigrants to make sure of it!!