Fazaga v. FBI

Even Liars Get To Invoke State Secrets

As the LAT first reported, Judge Cormac Carney has dismissed a suit, Fazaga v. FBI, brought by Southern California Muslims against the FBI for illegal surveillance. Carney actually made two rulings, one dismissing most of the suit on state secrets grounds and one dismissing part of the suit against the government–but not individual FBI officers–on FISA grounds.

The rulings are interesting for four reasons:

  • Carney has basically accepted the government’s claims in a case that is closely related to one where–three years ago–he called out the government for lying to him personally
  • Carney overstates the degree to which the Administration appears to be adhering to its own state secrets policy
  • The case is an interesting next step in FISA litigation
  • Carney suggests the FBI now investigates people for radicalization

Liars get to invoke state secrets

Three years ago, Carney caught the government lying to him about what documents it had collected on Southern Californian Muslims in this and related investigations. In an unclassified version of his ruling released last year, he revealed part of the government’s breathtaking claim.

The Government argues that there are times when the interests of national security require the Government to mislead the Court. The Court strongly disagrees. The Government’s duty of honesty to the Court can never be excused, no matter what the circumstance. The Court is charged with the humbling task of defending the Constitution and ensuring that the Government does not falsely accuse people, needlessly invade their privacy or wrongfully deprive them of their liberty. The Court simply cannot perform this important task if the Government lies to it. Deception perverts justice. Truth always promotes it.

Yet in finding the government’s state secrets invocation here, he is effectively accepting the government’s word–which in some way claims to have a real predicate for its investigation into Southern Californian mosques–over the word of their former informant, Craig Monteilh, who says he was instructed to collect information indiscriminately because “everybody knows somebody” who knows someone in the Taliban, Hamas, or Hezbollah.

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emptywheel @FallenJPAngel I keep saying this country will start doing something about climate change when Lockheed figures that out @kenvogel @tedcruz
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emptywheel Cruz isn't stupid. He knows what the Kochs are purchasing, and he's all too happy to self himself as that product. https://t.co/LJhwZC5Pdj
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bmaz @MonaHol @rcjparry @walterwkatz @PolicingWatch @mattapuzzo Jesus would clearly shoot anybody that doesn't supplicate themselves to a cop.
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bmaz @rcjparry And as I said ass licking cop troll.
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bmaz @PhilPerspective @walterwkatz Three weeks is too long dammit! Can't wait for the Belgian!
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bmaz @rcjparry Go fuck yourself
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bmaz Which is not to say that those people can't be cravenly neutered by paid, arguably fraudulent, shills like Lewinski https://t.co/YYmtpMZtjU
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bmaz @walterwkatz @rcjparry Not because they are right, but because the field has been fouled with total disingenuous crap.
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bmaz @walterwkatz @rcjparry right. certainty and smooth presentation of BS that, even when countered, turns into expert battle that cops win.
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bmaz No, jackass, I am stupefied that there are recalcitrant apologists like you for abuse of force and murder by cops. https://t.co/kqcgaxn0de
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bmaz @rcjparry @walterwkatz @PolicingWatch @mattapuzzo How about you find one "actual scientist" who DOES agree. And, btw, Lewinski isn't one.
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bmaz @rcjparry @PolicingWatch @mattapuzzo @walterwkatz Also. no maybe after 30yrs of watching this fraud Im "not classy". Screw that Uncle Albert
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