Friday, May 15, 2009

White House Refuses Order to Turn Over Secret Papers

The Obama administration refused to comply with a judge’s order to turn over classified documents to attorneys for a defunct Islamic charity who say they were spied on because doing so would weaken U.S. control of secret data.

U.S. Acting Assistant Attorney General Michael Hertz said consenting to a procedure that would allow lawyers for the Al- Haramain Islamic Foundation to view the information would remove control over classified documents from the executive branch, according to a filing today in federal court in San Francisco.

The filing was a response to U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker’s orders for the government to turn over the documents to lawyers for the foundation. The group’s lawyers seek to prove they were spied on without a warrant.

The case is Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation v. Barack Obama, 09-15266, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (San Francisco).