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Holder To Rule Upon What Is A ‘Secret’

From a delighted New York Times:

Justice Dept. to Limit Use of State Secrets Privilege


September 23, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is preparing to impose new limits on the government assertion of the state secrets privilege used to block lawsuits for national security reasons. The practice was a major flashpoint in the debate over the escalation of executive power and secrecy during the Bush administration.

The new policy, which could be announced as early as Wednesday, would require approval by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. if military or espionage agencies wanted to assert the privilege to withhold classified evidence sought in court or to ask a judge to dismiss a lawsuit at its onset.

“The department is adopting these policies and procedures to strengthen public confidence that the U.S. government will invoke the privilege in court only when genuine and significant harm to national defense or foreign relations is at stake and only to the extent necessary to safeguard those interests,” says a draft of a memorandum from Mr. Holder laying out the policy and obtained by The New York Times.

Under the Bush administration, the Justice Department frequently asserted the state secrets privilege, blocking lawsuits by people who claimed that they had been illegally wiretapped or tortured as part of the government’s counterterrorism efforts

Leading Democratic lawmakers in both the House and the Senate have filed bills that would restrict how the privilege could be used. The Obama administration has not taken a position on those bills, but the new policy, which is intended to rein in use of the privilege by erecting greater internal checks and balances against abuse, could blunt momentum in Congress to pass legislation…

Generally, the administration’s proposed policy echoes those review requirements, but it would put them in the upper levels of the Justice Department. The policy was developed by an associate deputy attorney general, Donald B. Verrilli Jr., and would govern all new assertions of the privilege after Oct. 1.

Under the new policy, if an agency like the National Security Agency or the Central Intelligence Agency wanted to block evidence or a lawsuit on state secrets grounds, it would present an evidentiary memorandum describing its reasons to the assistant attorney general for the division handling the lawsuit in question.

If that official recommended approving the request, it would be sent on to a review committee made up of high-level Justice Department officials, and then to Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden and Mr. Holder. All those officials would be charged with deciding whether the disclosure of information would risk “significant harm” to national security, and they would be instructed to seek a way to avoid shutting down the entire lawsuit if possible.

If the Justice Department signed off on asserting the privilege, the head of the agency controlling the information would sign a classified memorandum to be filed with a court explaining in detail the government’s reasoning. A judge could request access to particular pieces of underlying evidence…

This is unreal.

The radical leftist Eric Holder will be calling the shots, deciding what is and what isn’t a secret vital to our nation’s security?

The same Mr. Holder whose law firm defends the terrorists in Guantanamo pro bono.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Holder To Rule Upon What Is A ‘Secret’”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    Oh boy!
    This is what happens when the crazies take over the mental hospital.

    Holden doesn’t head the Justice Department. He is the head of the ‘Criminal’ Justice Department. We, as a nation are headed for trouble and I’m afraid that we would be able to turn back the hands of time on this group of rubbish!

    God have mercy on us!!

  2. proreason says:

    As predicted, as the Criminals’ domestic agenda of destroying the economy and the middle class founders on the rocks of common sense and Constitutional obstacles, they are escalating their mad rush to destroy the country in other ways where the checks put in place by our Founders take longer and are less difficult to implement.

    Sharpen your blades. Dry your powder. Stock your provisions.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      On the good side, no matter what definition he comes up with, it will be so confining as to work against themselves. Eventually, if not sooner, there will be an argument where the very thing they are trying to accomplish will be stymied by their own work.

      Remember, Pro, they paint themselves into a corner every time.

    • proreason says:

      I can’t get over the brazenness of it. Every day it’s some new blight that has never happened before in our history. Some new corruption of the underpinnings of a free society.

      But I should get used to it.

      Stalin didn’t allow himself to be particularly sensitive to the dainty wishes of his countrymen either. All-powerful rulers have to rule with authority and continually expand it. Otherwise, what fun is it? If Stalin had listened to the people, he wouldn’t have enjoyed his Romanoff-like wealth, power and pleasures for 30 years. And even the Romanoffs didn’t get the sadistic kicks old Josef enjoyed. They were far more sensitive.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Yes, and every day at work, I hear, “Well, what has this idiot gone and down now?” and every day we get to discuss how it goes against everything we hold dear. Deep in my heart of hearts, as I jut e-mailed to a friend, eventually, he has to reach a saturation point where he and this adminstration will have pissed off every single human in this country, if not the world and that will be his downfall. to me, it’s inevitable because I do believe that good will triumph over evil. Unfortunately, evil gets a toehold here and there and sometimes gains control completely.

      Question is, how bad must it get before we reach that saturation point?

    • Liberals Demise says:

      “how bad must it get to hit the saturation point?”

      Soon……..he and the Justice Dept. will have to go after the Second Amendment to further their cause………hence …….saturation point will be met!

      The BRASS system will be the undoing of said beastie!

      (as taught to me at Parris Island, S.C. Marine Recruit Depot)
      This is their OWN doing!!

      btw…I don’t advocate violence in any way. I do believe in personal protection as given to me in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States of America which I defended and still will continue to do so! (Past and Present)

  3. Confucius says:

    Are Obama’s college and law school tanscripts state secrets?

    How about his Blackberry?

  4. Reality Bytes says:

    An inside look at liberalism’s logic.


  5. BillK says:

    Just remember, the majority of the sheeple don’t care.

    They just want their freebies – “free” health care, “free” infinite unemployment insurance, and so on.

    Actual “freedom?” Most Americans don’t give a rat’s a** about that – fascism is as good as anything else as long as it doesn’t interrupt American Idol or Dancing With the Stars.

  6. 1laidbackRN says:

    This guy is a freakin’ idiot. He would have never had a chance at such power if we didn’t have a racist moron as a commander-in-chief.

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