WASHINGTON — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the National Security Agency’s program of surveillance without warrants was illegal, rejecting the Obama administration’s effort to keep shrouded in secrecy one of the most disputed counterterrorism policies of former President George W. Bush.
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The ruling by Judge Walker, the chief judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, rejected the Justice Department’s claim — first asserted by the Bush administration and continued under President Obama — that the charity’s lawsuit should be dismissed without a ruling on the merits because allowing it to go forward could reveal state secrets.
The judge characterized that expansive use of the so-called state-secrets privilege as amounting to “unfettered executive-branch discretion” that had “obvious potential for governmental abuse and overreaching.”
Phi Beta Iota: The US Intelligence Community is totally out of control and stupid as well. Keith Alexander, like Mike Hayden  before him, is an administrative piss-ant with zero ethics–he means well, but he simply does not have the strategic brain-power to be honorable in the sense that every US citizen has a right to expect. Across the board, US intelligence is being administered rather than led, and the time has come for the President–if he wishes to retain a semblance of credibility with the US public as well as the international community–to bring in a wrecking crew. Not likely, but eminently necessary. On very ignorant legal advice, while administering the Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), Alexander destroyed ABLE DANGER and destroyed the early warning on two of the hijackers that ABLE DANGER produced, rather than hand over the information to the FBI as he was supposed to.  While administering NSA, Mike Hayden was the first to violate the Constitution and the law with warrantless wiretapping, and then went on to pioneer rendition and torture at CIA. He is the epitomy of well-intentioned generals who sacrifice their ethics and their integrity in favor of loyalty to a political chain of command that is abjectly corrupt irrespective of which of the two-party tyranny wings holds the White House.