In its submission to a San Francisco district court, the Obama Justice Department states that any disclosures concerning the relationship between AT&T and the National Security Agency would “cause exceptional harm to national security.” Here’s an AT&T engineer explaining just what NSA wants to keep from American citizens: that the NSA is engaged in the warrantless surveillance of all communications (whether telephone conversations, emails, IMs or in other forms) involving AT&T customers.
AT&T and NSA entered into this agreement in flagrant violation of U.S. criminal law, with the assumption that the Bush Administration would not enforce the criminal law against itself or those who entered into criminal conspiracies with it. There is without a doubt an “exceptional harm to national security” here, and it emanates directly from NSA and the Department of Justice. The Jewel litigation should proceed so that the full extent of criminal wrongdoing can be charted–the first step towards stopping it and providing accountability for the instigators.
– By Scott Horton