Monday. I read my home delivered copy of the Chronicle in bed this morning so, when I walked down later to have breakfast, I picked up a copy of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to see what they were reporting this first day of another new week here in Oakland. A story on page 10 of the The Times described a law suit brought against the federal government stating the plaintiffs were being illegally wiretapped by the National Security Agency.
A prior case similar to this one had recently been thrown out of court because the plaintiffs had no hard evidence to show they'd sustained an injury, but this case was different in that the government had, in error, turned over a document showing these plaintiffs had been wiretapped without court approval and, although the document was immediately retrieved by the FBI (being secret and all), the court has allowed this particular case to proceed.
So, the wiretapping program is secret and the government won't allow any information about it to be turned over to a court; the document turned over in error is also secret and can't be shown or used in court; and any references the plaintiffs might outline in their brief will, of course, reveal national secrets and can't be admitted to court which led to this comment by the plaintiff's lawyer which The Times used to end their story:
“Yesterday, under the auspices and control of my litigation adversaries, at their office and on their computer, I wrote a brief, of which I was not allowed to keep a copy, responding to arguments which I was not permitted to see, which will be met by a reply which I will not be permitted to see. ...I'd say that's the most bizarre brief-writing experience of my career.”
Well Alice, I guess we're not in Kansas anymore.