Orwell warned us about these bureaucratic clowns

I have little respect for director Oliver Stone, and (normally) no time at all for his politics;  but for once I was forced to agree with him when he warned, last week, that the USA was becoming an Orwellian state.  Nothing could make this clearer than an attempt by the US government to squash a lawsuit by using secret evidence that it refused to make available to the plaintiff.

A federal judge in California has rejected the Obama administration’s effort to use secret arguments and evidence to defeat a lawsuit relating to the so-called no-fly list designed to keep suspected terrorists off of airline flights.

. . .

“Here the government seeks to affirmatively use allegedly privileged information to dispose of the case entirely without ever revealing to the other side what its secret evidence might be,” [U.S. District Court Judge William] Alsup wrote in an order filed last week (and posted here). “Only in the rarest of circumstances should a district judge, in his or her discretion, receive ex parte argument and evidence in secret from only one side aimed at winning or ending a case over the objection of the other side. Here, the government has not justified its sweeping proposal.”

“It has gone so far as even to redact from its table of authorities some of the reported caselaw on which it relies! This is too hard to swallow,” Alsup wrote.

Alsup seemed particularly exercised by what he said was the Justice Department’s proposal that it would hang on to the confidential materials, which he added would not be officially filed with the court.

There’s more at the link.

So much for ‘the most transparent administration in the history of our country‘ – and we’re stuck with four more years of this sort of shenanigans . . .



  1. For at least a few years, whenever someone has tried to take the Fed.gov to court over these secret cases, they drop them. As I'm sure you know "sources and methods" is the most secret information they have. They absolutely don't want to reveal that; ergo, any lawyer with half a brain should go right after that.

    Either they come out in public with what they're doing or they stop.

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