A FISA Rubberstamp

May 6 2013 @ 11:40am

David Kravets looks at the approval rate for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court:

A secretive federal court last year approved all of the 1,856 requests to search or electronically surveil people within the United States “for foreign intelligence purposes,” the Justice Department reported [last] week. … The 2012 figures represent a 5 percent bump from the prior year, when no requests were denied either. The secret court, which came to life in the wake of the Watergate scandal under the President Richard M. Nixon administration, now gets the bulk of its authority under the FISA Amendments Act, which Congress reauthorized for another five years days before it would have expired last year.

Greenwald sees this as an indication of how a “drone court” might function:

[D]oes anyone believe that a “drone court” would be any less of a mindless rubber-stamp than the Fisa court already is? Except for a handful of brave judges who take seriously their constitutionally assigned role of independence, the vast majority of federal judges are far too craven to tell the president that he has not submitted sufficient proof that would allow him to kill someone he claims is a Terrorist. The fact that it would all take place in secret, with only the DOJ present, further ensures that the results would mirror the embarrassing subservience of the Fisa court.