Did the NSA Wiretap Gitmo Defense Lawyers?
That’s one of the questions coming up in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit being argued today by the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of 23 lawyers who believe they may have been wiretapped without a warrant by the National Security Agency during the Bush administration. But the government won’t answer the question.
The NSA authorized its warrantless wiretapping program shortly after September 11, 2001.
After defense lawyers representing Guantanamo detainees discovered they might have been wiretapped, CCR challenged the practice in a lawsuit in New York in May 2007. But the government refused to say whether it wiretapped the lawyers or not, citing national security concerns. The federal district court sided with the government, ruling that the NSA could refuse to either confirm or deny the existence of any related records because to do so “would reveal information about the NSA’s capabilities and activities.”
The case is Wilner v. NSA and it’s being argued before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals today.