The secret, rubber-stamp FISA “court” has reauthorized for another 90 days the meta-data surveillance program. The Director of National Intelligence, the guy that lied to Congress about this program under oath, proudly issued the announcement. It is now up to the President (fat chance) or Congress (some chance) to de-authorized the collection by the government of all telephone meta-data of all Americans.
On the other hand, in a case challenging the right of the President to unilaterally order the execution of American citizens abroad, a Federal court did this yesterday:
A federal judge on Friday sharply and repeatedly challenged the Obama administration’s claim that courts have no power over targeted drone killings of American citizens overseas.
Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the United States District Court here was hearing the government’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by relatives of three Americans killed in two drone strikes in Yemen in 2011: Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical cleric who had joined Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula; Mr. Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, who had no involvement in terrorism; and Samir Khan, a 30-year-old North Carolina man who had become a propagandist for the same Qaeda branch.
Judge Collyer said she was “troubled” by the government’s assertion that it could kill American citizens it designated as dangerous, with no role for courts to review the decision.
“Are you saying that a U.S. citizen targeted by the United States in a foreign country has no constitutional rights?” she asked Brian Hauck, a deputy assistant attorney general. “How broadly are you asserting the right of the United States to target an American citizen? Where is the limit to this?”
She provided her own answer: “The limit is the courthouse door.”