In a surprise ruling today, a federal judge dismissed the ACLUs lawsuit against the NSAs metadata collection program, closing a major legal avenue for NSA reform. Handing down an unusually sweeping ruling, Judge William Pauley III ruled that the NSAs phone record database was fully lawful under section 215 of the Patriot Act. Judge Pauley opens the opinion with thoughts on the attacks of 9/11, which he describes as a bold jujitsu. The opening paragraphs detail the case of 9/11 hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar, who the NSA mistakenly believed was living in Yemen at the time of the attacks. The metadata collection program grew up in response to those intelligence failures, collecting more and more data so as to suss out the missed connections.