Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Practical Considerations

Someone could do a blog just on the inane five-minute hourly news summaries that NPR puts out hour after hour. This morning I had to hear Martin Koste reporting on arguments being heard today in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The two cases deal with illegal electronic surveillance. Given the Bush Administration's obsession with secrecy and subversion of Constitutional checks and balances you might assume that these two cases are extremely important - with what's left of our civil liberties hanging in the balance. Not so in Koste's report. He turns to Orin Kerr, who seems smart enough as far as knowing the intricacies of computer law, but who seems gullible as Gomer Pyle when it comes to trusting Uncle Sam.

Noting that the administration wants the lawsuits thrown out Koste states, "Orin Kerr a George Washington University Law Professor specializing in national security says the government's argument is based on practical considerations -[Kerr's voiceover comes in] 'It's really hard to have the courts figure these things out in open court when we're dealing with national security secrets.'"

What really ticks me off is not that NPR quotes Kerr. But to feature him only and his extremely subjective comments is ridiculous. So it's just national security secrets and practical considerations? A balanced report would have talked to someone like Jennifer Granick who wrote the Wired piece linked above or Jack Balkin who wrote this post on the latest FISA sellout in Congress.

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