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View Diary: UPDATED:The Secret Interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act (58 comments)

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  •  There seem to be two distinct dynamics at (3+ / 0-)

    work here . . .

    First, like you say, for evidence to be admissable in court, (so far) it generally has had to be obtained in a constitutional manner:

    Because my experience as a criminal attorney is that all of the courts I practice in still require an Order or a warrant.
    which does not at all preclude the government from collecting this information for other purposes (such as for making someone disappear via extraordinary rendition, for example . . .)
    •  Yes, I agree. But I think you also understand that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy, FG

      it would be irresponsible to accept assertations of secret interpretations at face value. I don't have any problem with challenging the Goverment's authority and actually have done that all of my working life. Nor do I believe that the Government stays within the bounds of the law or what most of us consider our rights as citizens.  I do think though that assertations of super secret information that is sensational but completely unverifiable is irresponsible.  If that information was gained through representation of clients in legal proceedings it is also unethical in my opinion. While some may think this diarist is courageous for treading that line so thinly I don't.  I don't want to get into a discussion of the merits of this diarist's method or intentions because opinions are pretty divided about that. I would just caution people to take the same approach to insubstantiated allegations that they would if it were another public figure who has made their agenda known.

      "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

      by stellaluna on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 07:28:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, many of the same type of "where is the (8+ / 0-)

        evidence" objections WERE raised when the Bush Administration was doing this type of thing.

        And then when (probably only the partial) facts came out, the reality went well beyond even the more paranoid fantasies of those who were accused of being conspiracy theorists and worse.

        •  I'm not saying it isn't true. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roadbed Guy

          And I'm all for aggressive investigation to find these things out. I do object to an attorney using her position to know things discovered during the course of litigation to make unverifiable allegations.  Everyday attorneys fight every day with a Government who tells the Court that defense attorneys aren't trustworthy enough to have access to information about the investigation into their client's alleged wrongdoing. When an attorney goes public with that information it just cements that belief in the minds of the Government and the Court. To cause that damage without enough proof or information to make the allegation a real issue is just immature and irresponsible in my opinion.

          "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

          by stellaluna on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 07:53:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Based on this (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fuzzyguy, blueoasis, WheninRome, gerrilea
            Everyday attorneys fight every day with a Government who tells the Court that defense attorneys aren't trustworthy enough to have access to information
            it seems that we've long since become a completely non-democratic nation.

            Because, if the government has any amount (and in the case of the USA a HUGE amount) of secret information that it refuses to share with its citizens, from what I learned about democracy decades ago in school clearly indicates that we no longer have that form of government.

            •  You are absolutely correct Roadbed Guy. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy, fuzzyguy, gerrilea

              Just because I disagree with the messenger and her methods in this case doesn't mean that I am not in total agreement. The only argument that I have with your conclusion is that for some segments of our society those "rights" you learned about in grammar school have always been illusory. It's only with the advent of the War on Terror and the possible application of those beliefs to middle class white people that the outrage has become demonstrably louder.

              "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

              by stellaluna on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 08:17:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  It could be repealed by democratic process. (0+ / 0-)

              Just because you don't like the result doesn't mean it's not democracy.

              •  To clarify, I was taught that democracy (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fuzzyguy, blueoasis, gerrilea

                depends on "the citizen" having access to sufficient information to make informed electoral decisions.

                In today's milieu (and probably more or less forever), the massive government secrecy that is currently afoot totally negates that concept.

                And I seriously don't see any pathway whereby that can be corrected "by democratic process" - it's a classic catch-22 situation.

              •  I'd love to agree with you, really (0+ / 0-)

                but we have secret evidence that we cannot reveal to you or your defense attorney's what it is so you must take our word for it.

                That happened, if I recall correctly, with Gitmo "detainees".

                This is not democracy or rule of law as defined by the constitution we agreed to.

                Secret evidence, secret courts, secret interpretations are how every democracy in history has fallen into tyranny.

                -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                by gerrilea on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 06:18:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Any government, democratic or not, has secret (0+ / 0-)

              information.

          •  I agree that it would be unethical (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis

            to reveal classified information obtained from the government during the course of defending a client who was being prosecuted for violating laws relating to national security. I agree that doing so would be inimical to the course of justice.

            I note, however, that Ms Radack's reference to non-public clients could be interpreted to mean her information was not obtained during the course of legal proceedings against the government on behalf of a client, which would mean she was not breaching a duty to the court by disclosing it, and would merely be violating the laws relating to classified information, so her actions would be criminal, but not necessarily unethical.

            " 'In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.' Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me." Elwood P. Dowd

            by paulbkk on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 08:41:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  It would be irresponsible not to believe (8+ / 0-)

        that this is happening on many levels.  

        it would be irresponsible to accept assertations of secret interpretations at face value.
      •  If you have been paying attention, the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aliasalias, 2020adam, gerrilea

        conclusions are not surprising at all.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 01:42:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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