Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Government Will Pay $3 Million in Coffee Table Spying Suit

wired.com

The U.S. has agreed to pay $3 million to a former government worker who accused officials with the CIA and State Department of spying on him with a bugged coffee table.

Rather than comply with a court order to provide lawyers in the case with what the U.S. government says is classified information, the government has agreed to settle to end the 15-year-old suit.

A close review of the case suggests that the Justice Department may have also decided to pay off the plaintiff in order to quash the series of damaging legal rulings issued by the influential judge overseeing the case that would have forced them to disclose the classified information. Those decisions may have a bearing on the “state secrets privilege” that the Bush and Obama administrations have used to try and thwart a high-profile lawsuit in California over illegal wiretapping conducted in the war on terror.

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