Feds Seek to Block Oregon Spying Case


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

Feds Seek to Block Oregon Spying Case

Sep 23, 12:24 AM (ET)


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - U.S. Justice Department lawyers filed an appeal Friday 
aimed at blocking a lawsuit by a former Islamic charity that has challenged a 
Bush administration secret surveillance program.

U.S. District Judge Garr M. King ruled earlier this month that a lawsuit by the 
defunct Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation chapter in Ashland could go forward 
without damaging national security.

But government lawyers argue that state secrets would be revealed if the lawsuit
is allowed to proceed.

The case hinges on a classified document that U.S. Treasury officials 
inadvertently turned over to Al-Haramain lawyers after the charity was declared 
a global terrorist organization.

The charity's attorneys say the document shows that two U.S. lawyers for 
Al-Haramain and at least one of its officials were under electronic surveillance
in 2004.

Justice Department lawyers have argued the document falls under the "state 
secrets privilege," allowing a judge to dismiss a lawsuit if it could damage 
national security by revealing state secrets.

The appeal filed with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco 
said "the district court is wrongly attempting to create some form of secret 
adversarial proceedings, and, in doing so, is raising a serious danger of 
disclosure of important national security information."

Steve Goldberg, a Portland attorney representing the charity, said the appeal 
could delay the case by a couple of years.

He also said Judge King has been careful in handling security concerns.

"The government keeps insisting that national security will be greatly 
threatened if we proceed," Goldberg said.

But the judge is "being very sensitive in how the case proceeds to protect the 
document, so again I think the government's concerns are not justified, given 
the way the case is being handled," Goldberg said.

Calls to the U.S. attorney's office were not returned.

The National Security Agency's warrantless eavesdropping program has been 
challenged in other federal courts since The New York Times revealed it last 

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All right reserved.

Escaping the Matrix website     http://escapingthematrix.org/
cyberjournal website            http://cyberjournal.org
subscribe cyberjournal list     mailto:•••@••.•••
Posting archives                http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/
  cyberjournal forum            http://cyberjournal-rkm.blogspot.com/
  Achieving real democracy      http://harmonization.blogspot.com/
  for readers of ETM            http://matrixreaders.blogspot.com/
  Community Empowerment http://empowermentinitiatives.blogspot.com/
  Blogger made easy             http://quaylargo.com/help/ezblogger.html