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 TwitterShare on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

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

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz But hey, this is exactly why the #WHCD is such offensive bullshit to democracy in the US: Press are bought off fools https://t.co/iNF8KgNZXX
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Seriously, not kidding, the only thing more pathetic than #WHCD is the thermonuclear status asinine post coverage on @CNN #EpitomeOfPathetic
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @hi_hat_truth Go fuck yourself asshole
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Honestly, as a lifelong Democrat, I am fucking embarrassed by Obama's ridicule of transparency and emulation of rapist Kobe Bryant mic drop.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz There are people I consider true friends in #WHCD and I seriously wonder if they think Obama's closing was "funny" or appropriate. #BeHonest
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz So, Obama decided perfect coda on his 8 yrs w/the press was to sign off with an homage to a rapist sports figure. Are #WHCD #NerdProm good
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Obama, after eight yrs as most powerful man on face of the earth, parrots a rapist sports figure. Hope and change bitchezz!!
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Obama to the press: "Thanks for being equal partners with me on freedom" The Devil in Hades: "What a fucking joke"
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @KevinMKruse: The UC system spent $175,000 trying to remove this picture from the internet, so please, please do NOT retweet this. https…
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz DJ Foster is a total Kevin Faulk clone if the Pats will keep+develop him. Seriously, real potential here @emptywheel https://t.co/D0eZzYtElH
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Okay, but let us all hope that Christian goes to the Packers https://t.co/Zq2IwSwTB6
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Good news for Sanchize in Denver! https://t.co/hqi6lbQAv3
3hreplyretweetfavorite
October 2012
S M T W T F S
« Sep   Nov »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031