Snowden Vindicated As Judge Slams "Unconstitutional, Orwellian" NSA Bulk Spying

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Claire Bernish via,

On Monday, a federal judge ordered a halt to the NSA’s bulk metadata collection program in a reiteration and confirmation of a previous ruling that found the practice “unconstitutional” — and even “Orwellian.”

“This court simply cannot, and will not, allow the government to trump the Constitution merely because it suits the exigencies of the moment,” stated Washington, D.C. District Court Judge Richard Leon in his mordant 43-page ruling.

Edward Snowden immediately hailed the decision, pointing out significant passages from the court to his millions of Twitter followers. Of particular importance — and, indeed, at the heart of both known and potentially unknown domestic spy programs — remains the impossible reckoning between Fourth Amendment protections and the government’s claims of a national security imperative.

“Moved by whatever momentary evil has aroused their fears, officials — perhaps even supported by a majority of citizens — may be tempted to conduct searches that sacrifice the liberty of each citizen to assuage the perceived evil. But the Fourth Amendment rests on the principle that a true balance between the individual and society depends on the recognition of ‘the right to be let [sic] alone — the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men,’” the ruling stated, with emphasis added by Snowden.

In another tweet, the whistleblower summarized the ruling: “Judge rejects government claim that so long as you aren’t targeted individually, dragnet searches of your life are OK.”


Though Leon’s judgment arrives mere weeks before metadata collection would naturally end under the USA Patriot Act’s Section 215 upon implementation of the newly passed USA Freedom Act, he emphasized potential implications of any undue delay in bringing such spying to a close, stating:

“In my December 2013 Opinion, I stayed my order pending appeal in light of the national security interests at stake and the novelty of the constitutional issues raised. I did so with the optimistic hope that the appeals process would move expeditiously. However, because it has been almost two years since I first found that the NSA’s Bulk Telephony Metadata Program likely violates the Constitution and because of the loss of constitutional freedoms for even one day is a significant harm […] I will not do that today.”

In other words, the judge harshly repudiated the government’s already poorly disguised emphasis on national security to justify bulk collection as wholly secondary to the individual’s right to privacy under the Constitution. Leon’s 2013 ruling was struck down in August this year, when an appeals court found the plaintiff in Klayman v. Obama had not established the legal standing necessary to dispute the constitutionality of the NSA program. Once amended appropriately, the judge was able to make a ruling on the original case and issue an injunction to halt bulk collection.

In this ruling, Leon sharply admonished the appeals court for its reversal, saying:

“Because the loss of constitutional freedoms is an ‘irreparable injury’ of the highest order, and relief to the two named plaintiffs would not undermine national security interests, I found that a preliminary injunction was not merely warranted — it was required. [emphasis by the judge]

Seemingly irritated at the insult of the government maintaining its position on the necessity of bulk collection while ignoring the preceding twenty-two months to find less invasive means to achieve the same goal, Leon searingly stated:

“To say the least, it is difficult to give meaningful weight to a risk of harm created, in significant part, by the Government’s own recalcitrance.”

Pointing out the painfully obvious, Leon derided fictitious claims the government needs bulk data collection at all, considering the program thwarted exactly zero terror attacks throughout its entire duration. In rebuttal to claims the contentious NSA program remains reasonably effective, the judge flatly stated:

“This is a conclusion I simply cannot reach given the continuing lack of evidence that the Program has ever actually been successful as a means of conducting time-sensitive investigations in cases involving imminent threats of terrorism.”

Pulling no punches, Leon concludes with a scathing challenge to the naïveté and blind acceptance Congress mistakenly presumed the public and court would give the contentiously invasive program:

“To be sure, the very purpose of the Fourth Amendment would be undermined were this court to defer to Congress’s determination that individual liberty should be sacrificed to better combat today’s evil.”

Employing linguistic subtlety which, at times, borders on a verbal smackdown, Judge Richard Leon brilliantly sent the NSA, Congress, and rest of the government a message that couldn’t be denied this second time around: Nobody buys your bullshit.

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Tom Servo's picture


TruxtonSpangler's picture

Whoa, someone didnt get the memo. Avoid balconies, hot tubs and aviation.

e_goldstein's picture

Not to mention bathtubs, knives, and the rooftop of every JPM building worldwide.

Deathrips's picture

Dead man walking.......



ZerOhead's picture

NSA spokesperson Mordechai Wankerstein says that the agency had "anticipated" the  judge's ruling...

ZerOhead's picture

So you are thinking clean head-shot by sniper then?

Two-bits's picture

It's gonna take something to the effect of one of these judges getting executed on the courthouse steps, by men in black with yellow NSA on the back, on the 6 o'clock news, during the oscars, on youtube, facefucked, twatted,and instaclammed around the fucking world before shit will start to change.


and then the herd will think it is a new Chris Angel gig...


aw fuck it all.

Chupacabra-322's picture

Which "Constitution " Mr. Executive Administrator aka "Judge. The Constitution For The United States For America or the Criminal Fraud version of the UNITED STATES, CORP. INC. ?

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Yeah right, good one... I wouldn't weep and lament for his "suicide" just yet. Do you people really think a DC judge gets to that level in a totally corrupt system by being Mr. Constitution Upholder? No, he's playing his part. This is all entertainment for the masses. Just another con to make them believe there's a thing called judicial oversight.

SafelyGraze's picture

this was in a grisham novel

the judge is later found in a mens room, seedy side of town


ZerOhead's picture

Bottom of an outhouse in a farmers field?

sixsigma cygnusatratus's picture

Meanwhile, back at the TSA, "Grope'em while ya can, boys...."

philipat's picture

So now the Telecoms Companies will do it for them, supplemented by GCHQ data swaps as necessary?

With Cameron's new legislation in the UK, GCHQ might be able to add a bonus of the entire web history. Cameron's brave new world is truly a dystopian nightmare. All just to 'protect" you, of course.

Macchendra's picture

Friend of mine went the hot tub route.  Fuckin' sad.

chumbawamba's picture

"...the right to be let alone—the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men."

I know this quote well.  I've used it in several of my papers in my battle against government tyranny.  It's from the case Olmstead v. United States (1928). To me it is as powerful as anything from the annals of American Jurisprudence and it still sends shivers down my spine when I read it.

In 1879 Brandeis began a partnership with his classmate Samuel D. Warren. Together they wrote one of the most famous law articles in history, "The Right to Privacy," published in the December 1890 Harvard Law Review. In it Brandeis enunciated the view he later echoed in the Supreme Court case of Olmstead v. United States (1928), in which he argued that the makers of the Constitution, as evidence of their effort "to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations ... conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone--the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men."

It is the fundamental tenet, the very essence of being American: just leave me the fuck alone.

I am Chumbawamba.

mccvilb's picture

I ordered a new cellphone last week and ported my old phone number over to a new carrier. The next day I received an e-mail from a GPS location app I had installed on my old phone asking me if I was all right. It said it noticed I had been off the grid for 24 hours. Apps that care. What will they think of next? 

mvsjcl's picture

Those were petty drug dealers. Perhaps, these days, more lamentable a loss than a "Judge" of Admiralty Law.

mccvilb's picture

Has this judge read the 40+/- page Windows 10 documentation outlining the exclusive rights of Microsoft 3rd parties to user data and transfer of same, and Microsoft's local control over computer hardware components and software drivers including the users' webcam? 

Opt out of anything in Windows 10 and immediately you lose hardware functionality as well as access to needed software and drivers, all run through the Hotel California "Store" in the Microsoft cloud. Accept all unconditionally or else discover the store has been shuttered without recourse. In nine months you won't be able to go back to Windows 7 and there will be no way out. But hey, The Cloud will take care of every possible need for you. It's free shit almost forever and you'll never have to download anyone else's software or worry about defective malware ever again. 


McCormick No. 9's picture

One man of principle and integrity can hold back an immense tide of evil.

HamFistedIdiot's picture

Sure. And Kennedy thought he was actually the President.


BTW: Did Mossad pull off Fukushima? Read the argument. It carries weight.

"Former NSA analyst, Jim Stone, argues that there was no mag 9.0 earthquake. The tsunami was caused by nuclear bombs in the sea and the Fukushima explosion and meltdown was caused by mini-nukes hidden in cameras installed by an Israeli security firm. The motive: punish Japan for offering to enrich Iranian uranium and straying from Illuminati diktat. This website reserves judgment but offers this introduction by James Farganne in the spirit of free discussion...."

There were no warning sirens and NO STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO BUILDINGS IN THE AREA, completely inconsistent with a 9.0 quake. Why were the people caught unawares?

emersonreturn's picture

hamF, i've read stone, especially after the event, & i believe the ussa, israhell, & GE were using fukus as a site where they could produce nuclear warheads.  that's why when the russia volunteered to assist with the clean up they were rudely dismissed, everyone knew what the site had been---& i'm willing to credit israhell with smart bondesque capabilities, i don't think israhell can create an earthquake of that size (or any); (even though nuttyhateus has sufficient hubris to believe he may).  although if the ussa sanctioned israhell's rogue action (& given waswas anything is now possible) those party to need to be put on trial & carted from town to town to city to feel the nation's wrath & disgust & then flayed publically.  it would be barbaric but their actions would deserve it.  nuttyhateus would then need to face the world court.  okay, i'll hold that dream.  right now it seems fitting, if not entirely likely.  first outlaw all duel citizens.  be they canadian/mexican/or the powerful few chosen. 

HamFistedIdiot's picture

Look. I'm a peon, and not a professional journalist or scientist. But I do have some critical faculties. I found it mind expanding to read the article, as it seemed to tie together more data points than the BS the corporate media has served to date. The Western nations are failing due, among other things, to a failure of scientific acumen: (cf. WTC 7; "persistent contrails," etc.). I presented the above info because it discusses how if the "hydrogen" explosions at Fukushima were the same as Three Mile Island there is no way they could have blown through meters of concrete -- only a nuke could do that; and how fitting that for the preceding year, the Western world was out of H3 which is required for nuke detection, which allowed the Israeli defense contractor to install the 1000+ pound cameras (that is, bombs) inside Fukushima. Anyway, I don't follow up much with most conspiracy theories. But 9/11 and 3/11 (the Fuku date) both need explaining. And if true, the nearly monolithic corporate control of the media is breathtaking.

emersonreturn's picture

hamF, i concur completely.  yes, we need in light of what's now known to be happening in the ME (thank you freddie for the youtube!)...we all have to consider the unthinkable as possible, & probably probable.  thank you ZH for continuing to lead us down the never ending rabbit hole.  may you, snowdon & this courageous judge remain safe & honoured.

dark pools of soros's picture

They hate Japan for a lot of reasons - not a lot of immigrants makes th racist you know.. but not Israel

TPTB are weakening them with child porn addiction and whatever the psychological hell to get them hating regular healthy family child breeding

freedserf's picture

Ham, there is only one problem with the stuff you are reading.      PHYSICS!!!!

Even conspiracy theorists can't change physics. You see, every seismic monitoring station in the world can tell the difference between a nuclear explosion and an earthquake. There are libraries full geophysical PHD theses that study the differences between the two types of event. Both types of event have wave propagation that is distinguished as P-waves (primary waves that are longitudinal in nature, like a spring) and S-waves (secondary waves that are transverse waves, up and down like shaking out a carpet, here the waves travel at right angles to the direction of travel). 

Explosions are depleted in S-waves.

HamFistedIdiot's picture

freedserf: Thank you for your response. I still do smell a rat here. The timing, the unusual explosions, the lack of preparedness. Did a HAARP facility help to facilitate the movement of plates below the ocean, as it is able to do? Was some other "secret" technology/weaponry employed? Too many rabbit holes here for me. I didn't mean to thread jack.  It's just that I am tired of being lied to. I wish you, the other ZH commenters, and the good judge only the best.

palmereldritch's picture

Fukushima was actually 3/11/11

Which can be construed to be 322

carlnpa's picture

I don't get that far in the conspiracy.


It does seem likely though that Japan was using Fuku to develop a nuclear weapon program, so no outside cleanup help and prying eyes needed.


Russia could have lent some expertise in this area,

Chairman's picture

I have not read the article however I was there when it happened and there is no doubt in my mind that it was an earthquake.  We had several smaller earthquakes in the 7.0 range leading up to the big one and we got P waves from all of them including the big one.  However since 1965 there has been is a one Megaton Thermonuclear broken arrow on an A-4E Skyhawk at the bottom of the ocean 80 miles off of the coast of the Ryuku Island chain.

Chairman's picture

I have not read the article however I was there when it happened and there is no doubt in my mind that it was an earthquake.  We had several smaller earthquakes in the 7.0 range leading up to the big one and we got P waves from all of them including the big one.  However since 1965 there has been is a one Megaton Thermonuclear broken arrow on an A-4E Skyhawk at the bottom of the ocean 80 miles off of the coast of the Ryuku Island chain.

not dead yet's picture

The earthquake was centered offshore, thus the tsunami and not much damage from the quake itself. The Japanese have the reputation for honesty, integrity, doing the right thing but many times it is not true. They can be just as evil and devious as the best of them. Japan has been one of the worst at copying and exploiting others work or avoiding liability for bad products. If it happens in Japan good luck in the courts as they will either rule against the foreign corporation or stall for years until it gets dropped. In the US it's always the records are in Japan and won't be produced. Many a US company lost a case in US court due to this and years later whistleblowers released documents that would have made these cases slam dunks.  TEPCO, the Japanese company that ran Fukushima, long before the incident, was told to move the backup generators away from the seawall to higher ground farther onshore. They didn't. If they had this disaster never would have occured. The US offered it's best experts and anything else they needed but TEPCO refused, possibly because they would lose face. It seems for every problem that sprung up TEPCO listed all their options and took the cheapest one not the best. Thus one disaster after another and it's still not over.

Crash Overide's picture

Judge Richard Leon, good for him to tell it how it is...

Soon we have to deal with the Freedom Act, aka Patriot act part 3 or 4 I lost count.

What a joke the names they come up with for Orwellian scripture to control us all.

Pumpkin's picture

Well, the 'Shit All Over Your Freedoms Act' title was a bit too close to the truth.

Renfield's picture

Chupacabra, this is the heart of the matter.

By the way, I owe you a personal thanks. When I first noticed your comments on this, I said to my husband, "There's this commenter on the Hedge, he sounds completely reasonable on everything but then he says something about UNITED STATES CORP., INC. (or other national, state, individual corporations) and that sounds crazy." Well, you kept it up and it bothered me so much that I looked into it... and read and read and read. Now I am much more informed, and it was your comments that started my journey. So, thank you. That administrative corporation, a product and enabler of the BIS banking system and its fiat regime, IS the heart of the issue and thank you for raising it enough to get me (and I'm sure, others) to notice.

And for anyone out there who thinks their comments below an article are just 'useless venting', it isn't true. These comments can be very educational. One of the reasons I love the Hedge is for the (relatively) free comments section. Lots of noise and heat, yes, but also some light.

eatthebanksters's picture

I wonder if Palantir's valuation takes a hit as a result of this...

FixItAgainTony's picture

I'm sure they will pursue grandfathered in TPP damages and get a nice settlement out of the taxpayers.

WillyGroper's picture

part 1.

follow the grant money.

got us all by the shortncurlys.

Two-bits's picture

Easier to follow now:


Tim Cook, your Appledaddi, says "Fuck your cash!"

Renfield's picture

WillyGroper, listening now. Long but great link.

"By what authority?" Exactly.

WillyGroper's picture

Corporate law. Constitution & BoR have been suspended since 1933. Ruled by executive order.

USSA all the way down to your municpality.  They compete for grants.  Each one gives those at the top...pick your alleged rep, more payola & projects awarded cronies.  This is also implementing Agenda 21 via "green areas," read parks & rec, those great bike lanes, roundabouts.  Did I mention the CPS monetization?

It's precisely those grants that captured education, science, medical, not to mention the privatization of the PIC for their sick medical transhuman lab rats.

Go to 10:50:00 in & marvel at not only the responsiveness, but the representation.

Chupacabra-322's picture

@ Renfield,

You completely welcome. I've posted a couple of different summaries I've putt together about the Criminals Deceptive Fraud being carried out on the American People on a mass scale. It's being conducted by deceptive lingo by these Charlitans simply be our ignorance & using Black's Laws Dictionary being used against us by our Silence / CONSENT. It all boils down to simple Contract Lwa which inevitably is null & void if both parties aren't privy / informed to the info contained in such agreement.

I suggest Start Pageing "The Bankruptcy of The United States" given on the House, excuse me, Board of Trustees floor by the late James Trafficant.

Go to the last pages of this thread & I will repost them for ypu. Cut, paste & share the insight with you friends & loved ones.


Renfield's picture

Will do, Miggy. I will try to share but alas, this is now difficult as fewer people want to hear as the rabbit hole gets darker and deper. It comes down to, when it personally affects THEM, and only then do they listen. (Hence FSA benefits.) No matter, as events continue to unfold this info will become more relevant to those who are affected. Contract law has completely overtaken 'constitutional' law (such as even that is) but I am convinced that as more of us get affected by these adhesion contracts, where you don't even know the terms or that you even signed onto them, this information will eventually be seen as very relevant. An uniformed 'party' is not a real party at all. This is show very clearly in the TPPA - 'laws' that are kept secret for years, really? The Truth About The Law is also a great site for getting perspective.

Chupacabra-322's picture

It's all starts with the Birth Certificate. In Essence, that is the first Null & Coid contract. Being a baby cannot by any stretch of the means be able to agree, much less read it to agree.

WillyGroper's picture

BC, DL...anything you sign, is "presumed" consent.  Read UCC.

Sign everything prefaced with...without prejudice 1-308, your name.

Gives you legal standing to ask ever so politely for any & all binding agreements & decline "presumed" consent.

dark pools of soros's picture

Ain't many honest folk left. Tell most people about all the corruption and they'll ask how they get in on it and then stop trusting you since they'll think you are out to scam them because how you know about scams so much if you ain't scamming too?

The cycles of betrayals have jaded the masses so much they target anyone that seems good natured as a crop to be reaped

4 wheel drift's picture

NSA spokesperson Mordechai Wankerstein says that the agency had "anticipated" the  judge's ruling...

i see.....    so criminals with contempt...  -lol  if so, why did they do it ANYWAY....   you mean they

could not figure this out BEFORE they did it....    yeah.. right....

these fuckers are incorregible hypocrites and need to be hung from the highest pole...

contempt upon complacency....  (to belive that the USA became a great country just by happenstance - i.e. no effort involved)...


bonderøven-farm ass's picture

Of coure it was anticipated.

They probably had the poor bastard's chambers bugged, his emails on a live feed, and cameras in his water-closet.