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WHERE IS THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA NOW?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Sep. 17, 2015) — Following a hearing on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, DC, Judge Richard C. Leon scheduled a hearing date of October 8 concerning whether or not the National Security Agency (NSA) should be allowed to continue its collection of cellular phone records on millions of Americans.
Atty. Larry Klayman, who filed the case directly after Edward Snowden’s revelations regarding the NSA’s sweeping data collection on Americans without a warrant, is founder of FreedomWatchUSA and Judicial Watch, a government-watchdog, public interest law firm which has successfully sought and obtained documents through court orders on the Clinton email scandal; the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012; the IRS’s targeting of certain individuals and groups for closer-than-normal scrutiny, and other matters.
Since Leon’s initial ruling in mid-December 2013 that the NSA’s phone records collection is “likely unconstitutional,” many in the media have focused on Klayman personally rather than the constitutional questions he raised in the lawsuit, including characterizing Klayman as “eccentric,” a “legal insurgent,” and a “Tea Party gadfly.”
After Klayman obtained Leon’s injunction nearly two years ago, major media widely reported it.
Last month, an appellate court remanded the case back to Leon with the opinion that Klayman had not proved he had “standing” while not addressing the underlying constitutional challenge to the records collection.
Many in the major media reported that the appellate court had “overturned” or “reversed” Leon’s initial ruling. While the three-judge appellate panel lifted the injunction, it also sent the case back to Leon for further consideration.
In order to overcome the question of “standing,” Klayman added two plaintiffs to the case who are customers of Verizon Business Services, a company known to have provided cellular phone records to the NSA as part of its surveillance program. Klayman is a Verizon Wireless customer.
In a brief dated January 23, 2014, Klayman wrote that “The U.S. Government, on the orders authorization of the President, The Attorney General, the DOJ and the NSA, obtained a top secret court order (“Verizon Order”) that directs Verizon to turn over the telephone records of over one hundred million Americans to the NSA on an ongoing daily basis. Based on knowledge and belief, this Verizon Order is the broadest surveillance order to ever have been issued; it requires no level of reasonable suspicion or probable cause and incredibly applies to all Verizon subscribers and users anywhere in the United States and overseas.”
On September 4, Klayman predicted that the NSA’s surveillance of Americans “soon will stop.”