Why Should We Believe Solicitors General about Warrantless Wiretapping

I’m working on a longer post about the arguments in Amnesty v. Clapper today.

But I wanted to point to this passage from the transcript, in which Solicitor General Don Verrilli responded to Justice Ginsburg’s suggestion that the FISA Court didn’t exercise very rigorous oversight, given that it had only ever rejected one application.

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Is there much of a speculation involved in how — I think it’s only one time, and it was under the pre-amended statute, that the FISA court ever turned down an application

GENERAL VERRILLI: Yes, but that, Your Honor, is, I think, not a fair assessment of the process. It’s really very much an iterative process in which there’s a dialogue between the executive branch and the FISA court in which the court can demand more information, raise objections. Those get worked out, and then there’s a final order.

So I don’t think it’s fair to infer from the fact that there’s only one rejection that this — that it’s a process that isn’t rigorous.

But there was evidence in the court room today to show how false such assurances are.

You see, Ted Olson was in the room. He was there to argue a copyright case heard just after Amensty v. Clapper. And as I have noted before, the government actually sent Olson–back when he was Solicitor General–to argue before the FISA Court of Review without disclosing the warrantless wiretapping program to him. He made a number of claims about how “lawful” the government’s activities were when, in fact, they weren’t.

Given that the government has lied to FISCR before, and given that Solicitors General apparently don’t get briefed on what the government does with warrantless wiretapping, is there any reason we should believe this Solicitor General about the FISA Court’s oversight?

Tweet about this on Twitter20Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook4Google+0Email to someone

8 Responses to Why Should We Believe Solicitors General about Warrantless Wiretapping

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel RT @joshgerstein: DC Circuit issues rare mandamus order nixing deposition for Vilsack in Sherrod v. Breitbart lawsuit http://t.co/Pz1RjXFcw6
1mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @attackerman Don't forget surveill everyoneinthewideworldistan. In case they become Whereverthefuckistan.
5mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade A really bad cover? Schindler, is that you?
22mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel "Debate abt capital punishment in US has now devolved into debating how many mins of wheezing & coughing = too many," http://t.co/edSoJShmIJ
37mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Greg Miller is better at the tie-less look than Bob Litt. #ImportantNatSecNews
53mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @JulieATate They lost ability to wiretap on parts of AQAP bc of Daily Beast story, then blamed it on Snowden. Maybe that? @KenDilanianAP
54mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Apparently Raj De did not prep by reading @bartongellman's analysis showing that you don't have to be communicating w/target to be collected
55mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel John Rizzo says 12333 has been on the books for years. Doesn't say Bush "amended" 12333 in 2001 but did not change text of EO until 2008.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @MiekeEoyang He proposes to start doing that sometime after another 5 years of tenure?
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @MiekeEoyang Also, law requires purging info not related to Foreign Intell. Both PCLOB and WaPo analysis agree that almost never happens
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @SpyTalker: Army intelligence system pulled from key test - U.S. - Stripes http://t.co/ztjcU3esLv
1hreplyretweetfavorite
October 2012
S M T W T F S
« Sep   Nov »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031