Friday, October 9, 2009

FW: Can you join me at the NSA on October 10?/Bill Does Not Go Far Enough to Protect Americans' Privacy, Says ACLU/CCR Argues in Court Government Cannot Keep Secret Whether It Spied on Guantánamo Attorneys

 Each fall the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space organizes Keep Space for Peace Week: International Days of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space.  This year it was Oct. 3 - 10.  No Weapons in Space! Stop U.S. First-Strike Star Wars Deployments in Poland and Czech Republic! Convert the Military Industrial Complex! Fund Human Needs!


Members of the Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore will participate in Keep Space for Peace Week at Fort Meade to protest the illegal operations of the National Security Agency on Sat., Oct. 10 from 10 to 11 AM.  To participate, email Max at mobuszewski at



October 8, 2009
2:32 PM


Mandy Simon, (202) 675-2312; [2]

Senate Committee Passes Patriot Act Reauthorization Bill

Bill Does Not Go Far Enough to Protect Americans’ Privacy, Says ACLU

WASHINGTON - October 8 - The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the USA PATRIOT Act Extension Act of 2009 today, a bill which falls far short of restoring the necessary civil liberties protections lacking in the original Patriot Act. The bill, passed by the committee after two sessions of debate, makes only minor changes to the disastrous Patriot Act and was further watered down by amendments adopted during markup. The American Civil Liberties Union had endorsed the JUSTICE Act, an alternative bill that would heavily reform not only the Patriot Act but other overly broad surveillance laws.

  Amendments that were offered but failed by voice vote included an amendment by Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) to curb the abuse of the overly broad National Security Letter (NSL) statute and another offered by Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI) to allow the "lone wolf" provision to expire (the never-used provision that targets individuals who are not connected to terrorist groups). An amendment also failed that would make it more difficult for recipients to challenge the gag order that comes with receiving an NSL.

  However, there were two amendments included in the final bill - both offered by Senator Feingold - that are victories for privacy: The Department of Justice would be ordered to discard any illegally obtained information received in response to an NSL and the government must notify suspects of "sneak and peek" searches within seven days instead of the thirty days currently outlined in the statute. "Sneak and peek" searches allow the government to search a home without notifying the resident immediately.

  The following can be attributed to Michael Macleod-Ball, Acting Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:  

"We are disappointed that further changes were not made to ensure Americans' civil liberties would be adequately protected by this Patriot Act legislation. This truly was a missed opportunity for the Senate Judiciary Committee to right the wrongs of the Patriot Act and stand up for Americans' Fourth Amendment rights. The meager improvements made during this markup will certainly be overshadowed by allowing so many horrible amendments to be added to an already weak bill. Congress cannot continue to make this mistake with the Patriot Act again and again. We urge the Senate to adopt amendments on the floor that will bring this bill in line with the Constitution."  

To learn more about the ACLU's work on the Patriot Act, go to: [3]  


The ACLU conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

ACLU Links: Homepage [1]ACLU (Press Center) [4]ACLU (Action Center) [5]

October 8, 2009
11:00 AM

CONTACT: Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) [1]

Jen Nessel, (212) 614-6449, [2]
David Lerner, (212) 260-5000, [3]


CCR Argues in Court Government Cannot Keep Secret Whether It Spied on Guantánamo Attorneys

NEW YORK - October 8 - Oral arguments in the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) warrantless surveillance case Wilner v. National Security Agency (NSA, will take place Friday, October 9, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. in the Ceremonial Courtroom of the U.S. Courthouse at 500 Pearl Street in New York. CCR and co-counsel will be arguing that the executive agency must disclose whether or not it has records related to wiretapping of attorney conversations without a warrant. It is an appeal of the government's Glomar assertions from litigation seeking information about NSA Program surveillance of attorneys representing detainees at Guantánamo.

"Our work with our clients may have been deeply compromised by illegal surveillance carried out by the last administration," said Shayana Kadidal, Senior Managing Attorney of the CCR Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative. "The new administration has no legal basis for refusing to come clean about any violations of attorney-client privilege by the NSA."

The case is a FOIA lawsuit on behalf of 24 attorneys, including several CCR staff attorneys, law professors and partners at prominent international law firms, who believe they may have been the subjects of the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program authorized by the prior administration shortly after September 11, 2001. CCR, the Institute of Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center and the Chicago law firm Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd filed the case to demand that the government comply with requests to turn over all records related to the NSA's warrantless wiretapping of attorneys who represent detainees at Guantánamo. The case will be argued by Kathryn Sabbeth, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.

For more information on Wilner v. NSA, click here [4].

WHAT:          Oral Argument in Wilner v. NSA

WHEN:          Friday, October 9, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. (with several cases on the docket)

WHO:            CCR Attorney Shayana Kadidal, Prof. Kathryn Sabbeth

WHERE:       U.S. Courthouse 500 Pearl Street, New York, New York 10007-1312 Ceremonial Courtroom, 9th Floor


The Center for Constitutional Rights [1] is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.


Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) Links: Homepage [1]Center for Constitutional Rights (Press Center) [5]Center for Constitutional Rights (Action Center) [6]



Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at]


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs


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