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Late last night I posted a diary on a note I had received from a lawyer involved in a local "terrorism" (entrapment) case. I am reposting it here along with additional information from today's New York Times article.

Information are part of the argument that was denied can be found here.

Background information on the case can be found here.

The original diary and additional commentary below the fold....

A note from a friend involved in a local case challenging NSA spying was waiting for me when I got home tonight:

When I got back to my office after lunch today, I found out the government had submitted their "response" to our wiretap motion - it said, in its entirety: "classified." Their entire legal memo was classified! I got a call from the NYCLU immediately, and spoke to Corey Stoughten, who said this is completely unprecedented and wrong and illegal. So then we were talking about objecting to it, etc, and THEN the order came in from Judge McAvoy summarily denying the whole motion! No hearing, no amicus, no reply, NOTHING! AND the actual order was classified!! Terry wasn't there and then I had to leave, but I just spoke to him on the phone. He said the NYT already called him and he told them what happened. He definitely wants to fight this very strongly - it's just so insane that it's hard to know exactly what to do next. But we want to let people know. At this point any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks, Kathy"

More information on the case can be found in some of my old posts here and at The 10,000 Things.

More to come....



Update: Just received a copy of the order. All that is known of the governments legel memo is the one word...


The Judge's decision:

United States District Court
Northern District of New York

United States of America
Yassin Aref and
Mohammad Hossain

Crim No. 04-CR-402
(Hon. Thomas J. McAvoy)

Mar 10 2006
Lawrence K. Baerman, Clerk

Order Denying Defendants' Motion for Reconsideration

THIS MATTER is before the court pursuant to Defendants' Motion for Reconsideration seeking orders suppressing all evidence as tainted by illegal electronic surveillance, dismissing the indictment, and directing the government to affirm or deny the existence of electronic surveillance pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3504.

In response to Defenants' Motion, the government filed, on March 10, 2006, its in camera, ex parte classified response.

Having considered the government's submission and entered a classified Order on it, it is hereby

ORDERED that the defendants' motion for reconsideration is denied.

ENTERED at Albany, New York this 10th day of March 2006.

Thomas J. McAvoy
The Honorable Thomas J. McAvoy
United States District Judge
Northern District of New York

cc: U.S. Attorney's Office
Defense Counsel

I am told that the defense attorney's and most likely the NYCLU will definitely be appealing this decision. What shape that will take is unclear. The defense attorney has security clearance yet not only has he not been allowed to see much of the evidence in the case he has not been allowed to see the governments argument against his motion to dimiss nor even the logic and reasoning involved in the Judge's decision to deny his motion.

How do you build a case to appeal a decision you can't read based on an argument you haven't seen?

The government is essentially arguing:

  1. that they have proof that a crime was committed... but you can't see it.

  2. that the evidence against the defendant was obtained through a secret program... but you can't be allowed to know how.

  3. that the secret program was legal... but you can't be allowed to see the argument defending it's legality nor can you be allowed to see the decision of the Judge deciding that the unseen argument is sound.

  4. that the defendants are guilty as charged and are not allowed to confront the evidence against them.

The governments case is the "trust me baby" argument.

Despite all evidence that the governments domestic spying is completely and totally illegal and unconstitutional the government states that it is not... so there!

Bill of Rights? Bill'o'schmites!

Originally posted to Andrew C White on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 09:24 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sounds like (4.00)
    a Trial in Communist China.  Remember that film with Richard Gere ?  The Atty. should prolly switch over to Scooters defence.  If it's that classified, you must let my client off. This secret court shit is what bothers me the most lately.

    -8.63 -7.28 When Bush is in your face, may the wind be at your back.

    by OneCrankyDom on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 09:37:09 AM PST

    •  Excellent suggestion..... (none)
      ...Cranky One.

      And, I'm with you on the secret court trend.

      "Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status." --LJ Peter (-8.25/-7.18)

      by Hells Bells on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 05:13:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  In other news (none)
      I heard on the radio that Kenny G and Yao Ming were doing a charity benefit in China.  The Chinese gov't had some disagreement with the event and declared it "an example of the worst of democracy."  They siezed half the charity funds.  Kenny G protested the siezure and was promptly arrested.

      Note:  It was a snarky hoax, but presented pretty well.

  •  Highly recommended (4.00)
    This is how a great democracy falls. When the rule of law is used as a doormat.

    "I just had the basic view of the American public -- it can't be that bad out there." Marine Travis Williams after 11 members of his squad were killed.

    by Steven D on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 09:50:17 AM PST

  •  Send this stuff.... (4.00) Jane over at firedoglake.  It's exactly the kind of stuff she eats up.

    The last time people listened to a talking bush, they wandered 40 years in the desert.

    by DC Pol Sci on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 09:59:38 AM PST

  •  Why (4.00)
    have trials at all? Pass summary sentences and be done with it. Close the courts, fire the judges, convert courts into shopping malls; at least we would save some tax dollars.

    There would be no end as there was no beginning. The beginning and end are human concepts.

    by Ruffledfeather on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 10:08:57 AM PST

  •  Trepidation.. (4.00)
    In the 1970s and 1980s, as a member of the Committee on the Present Danger and "Team B," Wolfowitz and his allies, such as Richard Perle, argued that the decrepit Soviet Union was vastly more powerful than the CIA claimed it was. After the Soviet Union dissolved, it turned out that the CIA had exaggerated Soviet strength. (See
    The Power of Nightmares for more).

    With the Constitution in tatters, spies everywhere, we inhabit "one nation under surveillance with wiretaps and mail covers for all;" and everybody is terrorized about whether their houses and property will be seized next. In short, we find ourselves, as Trotsky found the Russians a century ago, midway between European monarchism and Asiatic despotism.

    Article 58 of the Russian SFSR Penal Code was put in force on February 25, 1927 to arrest those suspected guilty of counter-revolutionary activities. It was revised several times. In particular, its Article 58-1 was updated by the listed sub-articles and put in force since June 8, 1934.

    campo di concentramento?

    Does anybody else besides me, see Bushes intrepid and "little-noticed provision" to criminalize protesters under Patriot Act as
    "disruptors" remind anyone else of Stalin's,
    Article 58 (RSFSR Penal Code)?

    With reports, however controverial from Capitol Hill Blue, a report of a
    direct encounter with the panopticon* turning on jounalists who publish reports based on unsanctioned leaks from sources that are not pre-approved by the Executive. Shouldn't surprize us if true:

    As part of the investigation, the Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency are wiretapping reporters' phones, following journalists on a daily basis, searching their homes and offices under a USA Patriot Act provision that allows "secret and undisclosed searches" and pouring over financial and travel records of hundreds of Washington-based reporters.

    ... In recent weeks, the FBI has issued hundreds of "National Security Letters," directing employers, banks, credit card companies, libraries and other entities to turn over records on reporters. Under the USA Patriot Act, those who must turn over the records are also prohibited from revealing they have done so to the subject of the federal probes.

    ... Just how widespread, and uncontrolled, this latest government assault has become hit close to home last week when one of the FBI's National Security Letters arrived at the company that hosts the servers for this web site, Capitol Hill Blue.

    The letter demanded traffic data, payment records and other information about the web site along with information on me, the publisher.

    Now that's a problem. I own the company that hosts Capitol Hill Blue. So, in effect, the feds want me to turn over information on myself and not tell myself that I'm doing it. You'd think they'd know better.

    I turned the letter over to my lawyer and told him to send the following message to the feds:

    Fuck you. Strong letter to follow.

    *Consequences of the Panopticon

    as Foucault puts it:

    the major effect of the Panopticon: to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power. So to arrange things that the surveillance is permanent in its effects, even if it is discontinuous in its action; that the perfection of power should tend to render its actual exercise unnecessary; that this architectural apparatus should be a machine for creating and sustaining a power relation independent of the person who exercises it.
    •  I've been involved in Criminal Law (4.00)
      For almost 20 years in a Public Defenders office and the idea of secret trials, and motions that can't be reviewed and evidence that can't be seen about crimes that are on the secret books is the scariest thing that has happened yet.  That will be the end of it is allowed to stand.

      "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

      by NearlyNormal on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 11:21:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes. (4.00)
        it's coming.  slowly but surely.  it's coming.
        •  Only if (4.00)
          we let it happen and pay for it.

          After I saw Andrew's original diary last night, I started thinking about ways that we (concerned citizens) could begin launching a coordinated attack on the fascism emerging in our country.

          We can certainly test the legality of it where we can. We can certainly apply extraordinary pressure to current elected officials and support only the bids of those seeking office that oppose all aspects of this. We can raise money for awareness ads (sort of like the "truth campaign") and impose boycotts against companies involved in any facet of this. But we've also got one avenue of recourse that requires some serious homework to pull off correctly. We can selectively defund the federal government, a la, "No taxation without representation."

          I was thinking it would be a good idea to go through budgets and legislation over the last few Congresses and create a table that illustrates, by percentages, the interest that each of them serves/empowers: citizens, business or government. The undertaking would be massive, but it could easily make the case that citizens are not well represented by this government. And that's all we would need to begin drawing off financial support to the federal government. Things like education ($69.4 billion allocated in 2006, versus the $439.3 billion for the Department of Defense's base budget in 2007, and infrastructure (which is now graded a "D," after slipping from the D-plus given to the infrastructure in 2001 and 2003). We need to analyze these things, break them down, and get an overall picture of which interests our federal government is best representing. Whatever the percentage of representation of citizen interest is, is the amount of our federal taxes we should all pay - no more.

          Something like this synchronized resistance would definitely have an impact. All we need to do is get on it.

          The soul that is within me no man can degrade. - Frederick Douglass

          by Kimberley on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 12:35:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's not coming, it's here. (4.00)
          Behold :
          The Panopticon Singularity

          I haven't been this freaked since I first read about Executive Outcomes INC. several years ago.

          This is like living in some kind of  John Carpenter film (think, 1994's ' In the Mouth of Madness', or Bladerunner, Brazil all rolled into one Brave New 1984 Handmadens Tale of Gattaca). These people are truely on the brink of complete insanity. And the frightening thing is they are infecting all of us with their delusions.
          Either the following is complete propagenda or we, --humanity-- has stepped over the threshold of mass psychosis. Could the following SCL story itself be a kind of meta-psyop? Their (at least partial) openness about their mission could in itself generate a lot of rumor and self-mutating memes, so really they wouldn't even have to do a lot of work--just rely on the feedback loop of the media...or am I already too paranoid?

          Strategic Communication Laboratories

          Strategic Communication Laboratories has pioneered a new methodology to enable governments and countries to manage their relationships with their key audience groups through more powerful communication.

          In a world where the perception is the reality, all countries need to have the capability to manage their own perceptual alignment - otherwise someone else will.

          A direct quote from the website of Strategic Communication Laboratories, a London based company that offers "the most powerful weapon in the world", the ability to manage every aspect of a conflict from one operation centre.

          Take a look around their website and witness sickening quote after quote explaining how their vision is to allow the total control of citizens by their government or their military, to keep it that way, and to facilitate conflicts with and the takeover of other countries and the execution of total control over their citizens.

          The idea put across by SCL is that if you can control the perceptions people have of reality, then you can control reality itself.

          it is a tight rope walk in distinction.

          George Orwell was right on the money when he envisaged the coming 21st century as a battle based on the PERCEPTION of reality. in 1984, his classic warning to the world, Orwell told us that we would have to face this threat:

          The Party said that Oceania had never been in alliance with Eurasia. He, Winston Smith, knew that Oceania had been in alliance with Eurasia as short a time as four years ago. But where did that knowledge exist? Only in his own consciousness, which in any case must soon be annihilated. And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed -if all records told the same tale -- then the lie passed into history and became truth.

          'Who controls the past,' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.' And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. 'Reality control', they called it: in Newspeak, 'doublethink'.
          - George Orwell, 1984, Chapter 3 (1948)

          SCL's vision is no different from the constructed artificial reality designed to house the minds of the human race portrayed in the feature film The Matrix. If you present all the people with a fabricated collective illusion of reality, and enough meaningless distractions, they may stop questioning that reality when things don't seem to add up.

          Finally, Indeed, the general paralysis of the Panopticon we now live in, having its own aetiology; Institute, institution, institutionalisation. "such Wise, such Rational, such Beneficial Institutions". The major effect of the panopticon of the Repressive State Apparatus (RSA)

          • Government
          • Administration
          • Army
          • Police
          • Courts
          • Prison

          is to induce a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power. The inmate, (you), must never be able to be to see his/her surveillance but always be aware that the possibility of being seen is constant. This is the history of the disastrous attempt of the bourgeois to control insanity. By cruel and inhumane means. These means did not reduce or control insanity, on the contrary it increased it. Hence,this camera obscura, manifests itself so deeply within us, internalized to the point where and average man or woman on the street when assailed by an average police man defaults to guilt. For example, all an athority figure has to do is shout "you there" and 9 out of 10 of us will confirm. Thereby, extending our guilt.

          as, W. Blake said, "One law for the Lion and different one for the Ox is Tyranny."

          How do you like Merican now?

          •  One Ring to rule them all, (4.00)
            One Ring to find them,
            One Ring to bring them all
            And in the Darkness bind them.

            The name is not the thing named, the map is not the territory. -- Gregory Bateson

            by semiot on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 02:10:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  OMG (4.00)
            I just perused their entire site and it scared the shit out of me.

            I'm a very skeptical person. Always checking the facts on everything. Heck-I can't even let a silly e-rumor continue-checking out Snopes on everything.

            It this company is what we can look forward to and is capable NOW of doing this-well, I don't know what to think. I am speechless. And frightened. And pissed.

            An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep. - Arab Proverb

            by Esjaydee on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 03:07:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Addendum: (4.00)
              unbeknowst to me, salon published a piece on SCL last year around the time rummy wanted us to invest in his flu vaccine, which was pointed out by a friend. They are for real.
              Over the past 24 hours, seven people have checked into hospitals here with telltale symptoms. Rashes, vomiting, high temperature, and cramps: the classic signs of smallpox. Once thought wiped out, the disease is back and threatening a pandemic of epic proportions.

              The government faces a dilemma: It needs people to stay home, but if the news breaks, mass panic might ensue as people flee the city, carrying the virus with them.

              A shadowy media firm steps in to help orchestrate a sophisticated campaign of mass deception. Rather than alert the public to the smallpox threat, the company sets up a high-tech "ops center" to convince the public that an accident at a chemical plant threatens London. As the fictitious toxic cloud approaches the city, TV news outlets are provided graphic visuals charting the path of the invisible toxins. Londoners stay indoors, glued to the telly, convinced that even a short walk into the streets could be fatal

  •  i gave you a recommend. important diary. (none)
  •  Thanks for recommending folks (4.00)
    If this kind of thing is allowed to go on then it really is over for The Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
  •  Kafka (4.00)
    Read the book or get the old video oF Franz Kafka's The Trial. It appears that we have now fully arrived in Kafka's world.

    One of the biggest problem with illegal wiretaps were that they could not be used in trials because they themselves were illegal. If they can be without disclosure, the creepyness rises to a whole new level. With the right judge they could just make the whole thing up in a few cases just to prove how necessary the illegal wiretaps were in the first place.

    •  or 1984. (4.00)
      check out this quote from the defense attorney, terence kindlon:

      "The government engaged in illegal electronic surveillance of thousands of U.S. persons, including Yassin Aref, then instigated a sting operation to attempt to entrap Mr. Aref into supporting a nonexistent terrorist plot, then dared to claim that the illegal N.S.A. operation was justified because it was the only way to catch Mr. Aref," Mr. Kindlon wrote in his brief.
    •  Kafka... (none)
      The Messiah will only come when he is no longer needed. --Franz Kafka

      That quote speaks to me on so many levels, one meaning I perceive is that dems will not save us, they are the problem. Imagine if every registered dem on dkos and across the nation in solidarity stopped funding them for one mouth as a warning, and then as last resort enmass left and <strike>joined</strike>, created a party for the people, all people.

      •  it would be like (none)
        herding cats to get enough people to get everyone under a big tent party strong enough to challenge the Rethugs and the Dinos.
          P.S. < strike > = < s > Less the spaces.

        "If they don't represent me, they don't get to pretend to represent me."

        by keefer55 on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 03:24:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hmm.... (4.00)
    (1) Request dismissal of the entire case based on the government's refusal to show its evidence to the defense.  File habeas petitions in every could which will listen.

    (2) Contact the United Nations.  I've been thinking for a while that it may be past time to get the General Assembly to censure the Bush Administration.

  •  Star Chamber (none)
    Justice denied is justice betrayed.

    "... the laborers still form an incoherent mass scattered over the whole country, and broken up by their mutual competition."

    by Valtin on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 11:50:30 AM PST

  •  The last six years (4.00)
    have been like the nightmare you can not wake from.   Things go from bad to worse, just when it seems like  the collective "we" (as a country) can't go any lower, the floor shatters and we fall into a deeper level of hell.

    I want my country back!

    -6.25 -5.33 and damn proud of it

    by dansk47 on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 12:00:43 PM PST

  •  Does this mean it's official? (4.00)
    The U.S. is a police state?
  •  I'd like to post a comment, but... (none)
    ...I'm speechless.

    "What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite." - Bertrand Russell

    by Mad Dog Rackham on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 12:06:22 PM PST

  •  Makes O'Connor's comments about dictatorship (4.00)
    yesterday seem very much to the point.  As she remarked it is easier to stop before it gets rolling.  Secret evidence, secret briefs and secret courts lead me to think things are rolling along faster than I thought.
    •  Well, she ought to know (4.00)
      She helped get the ball rolling.

      If I never see another mention of that woman's name it'll be soon enough.

      The soul that is within me no man can degrade. - Frederick Douglass

      by Kimberley on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 12:41:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The ultimate buyer's remorse is (none)
        O'Connor recognizing that the guy she unconstitutionally selected president represents a mortal danger to the Constitution.

        It's nice she's giving speeches that challenge the Bushites' assault on the law and the Constitution.

        But it's too little, way too late.

        If O'Connor knew that Bush was a threat to the republic, why did she give him an opportunity to replace her with the worst justice since Thomas?

        Because she's a hypocritical bitch, that's why.


        The Republicans want to cut YOUR Social Security benefits.

        by devtob on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 06:02:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It used to be that we had a Supreme Court (none)
    to defend the Bill of Rights.

    Now we have the Scalito Brothers.

  •  Here's how it works in the Long War America... (4.00)
    "Hey Judge QWERT, thanks for meeting with us. As you know, this is an important case for the Homeland and I'm sure we can assume your cooperation is forthcoming on all of this. By the way, how's your family? Your kids doing alright at XYandZ Day school that lets out at 3:10 on weekdays? And your son's soccer practice where he waits to get picked up at 6pm by Mom in the blue's that going. He's doing well as goal keeper, huh?

    So look, about this so-called "illegal" surveillance garbage. You know as well as anyone that the President is misunderstood on this. I'm sure you don't need any convincing, but just to be sure we're all on the same page on this...

    Remember last month when you posted that ad on Craigslist in the M4M category? Yeah, the "Older for Younger" post for a Daddy4Son thing. Well, right here is the trail on that. You'll notice that the IP address shows it was mailed from your home computer, which by the way, was issued by the State for official use. Not that anyone really monitors your usage or anything, but still...

    So, here's how it goes. You get to keep your life, and we get this shit "classified". Any questions?

    And by the way, your daughter was FANTASTIC in that school play last month. What a cutie! What a shame it would be for her to be late coming home after that sleep over she's going to on Friday. You know, parents can't be too careful these days.

    You Have a good one, Judge. Oh, and I like your tie. Very conservative."

    ...and now that I'm cooking with THAT line of seasoning...

    by bastrop on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 12:28:26 PM PST

  •  What happened to that liberal notion (4.00)
    That one has a right to face one's accusers?

    It's not that they don't know Jack. It's that they don't know him on a first-name basis. :)

    by cskendrick on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 12:52:36 PM PST

    •  That's So... (4.00)

      Quaint, like the Geneva Convention.

      Obsolete like 1978 FISA laws.

      Means the opposite of what you thought, like the Constitution.

      This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

      by Mr X on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 01:49:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How do they expect people to tolerate this? (none)
    This is the most egregious example of special privilege I've ever heard of in the US in my lifetime.

    Why is it so hard for these dopes to get it through their fat heads that they are working for the people of the United States, and that the reason we want to fight terrorism is because it threatens--not our buildings or our tv cables or our cars--but it threatens our rights, our freedom.

    That's the only interest the government legitimately has in the so-called, "War On Terror" (WOT).

    If we perceive judges, government agents, elected officials and law enforcement and military personnel using WOT as a means of elevating themselves to a privilged potent class while repressing and disempowering the very freedoms they claim to be dedicated to defend for the rest of us, they those usurpers are going to steamrolled by a tsunami of spontaneous patriotic outrage.

    Then the secret police and their secret judicial and political cronies will be the ones crying out for their own rights!

    The so-called, "Global War On Terror" IS Terrorism!

    by november3rd on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 12:55:45 PM PST

    •  because there are lots of people like (4.00)
      my sis-in-law who buy into the notion that Bush is keeping us safe from terrorists, so anything is OK. She called Dems (and other Repubs) who were angered by Bush by passing the very minor oversight of FISA  whiners.  She then told me I'd be sorry when we had a remake of 9/11. I asked her how many people in NYC and the Pentagon she actually knew.  She said none. I reeled of about twenty names off the top of my head, including two who worked int he WTC, and whom it took me three weeks to track down as alive and well. She hasn't spoken to me other than to say hello since then (she's always a HUGE Nancy Grace fan and hates Anderson Cooper).

      Couple this with the meme that protestors must be regarded as potential terrorists simply for not agreeing with policy and you have a marriage made in hell.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 01:04:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or (4.00)
        Moral treason.

        The country gets nailed by a terrorist organization and she loses her passion to be an American. That makes her a coward and an abettor of terrorists. It's moral treason, nothing less.

        I've got them in my family too. But, family or no, un-American citizens don't get to decide what to do with the framework of a country they don't believe in anymore. They forfeited that right when they crouched down to lick the boots of domestic oppressors and foreign enemies.  

        The soul that is within me no man can degrade. - Frederick Douglass

        by Kimberley on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 01:11:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No - they are victims. (none)
          Of BushCos' and the Repungants' immoral, unAmerican truthspeak, fearmongering and abuses of power.  Of so-called religious leaders who pervert the name of Christianity while throwing every teaching of Christ overboard in a naked Maceavillien grab for power.
          Of the media's spineless betrayal of the 1st Amendment.  Of corporate leaders who willfully forget the sacrifices made by generations of US soldiers and citizens that enable them to swim like Scrooge McDuck in their bloodstained profits.

          The posters sister, like some of my relatives and friends, suffer from Helsinki syndrome.  They have come to identify with those who have kidnapped and now hold hostage our freedoms, country and future.
          We must not condemn them, but seek to help them.  If we keep showing them truth, with patience, perseverance and love, hopefully enough will find their way out of their/our nightmare to save them and our poor, raped nation.  

          Yes, it is hard to love those who hate you.  But, if we don't try then our victory will only leave in our mouths the taste of ashes to come when these beasts come sloughing round again, as they will if our victory is driven by hatred rather than love of freedom, country and our misguided brother and sisters.

          •  You got it when you (none)
            referred to fascist religious leaders.  In 2004 this same sis-in-law-was against Bush. Then she started going to a conservative Fundy church with an ass of a preacher (down here, Methodist is Southern Baptist Lite).  And EVERYTHING changed.

            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

            by irishwitch on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 02:18:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  i will keep trying... (none)
            If we keep showing them truth, with patience, perseverance and love, hopefully enough will find their way out of their/our nightmare to save them and our poor, raped nation.

            but how much time do we have?  i am so discouraged at this point.  all of my family "are victims."  i'm having more luck with my neighbors (i live in a red of a red state) by participating in great discussions.  my family seems hopeless....

        •  No. She's not a coward-- (none)
          she's taken on her ex-husband to keep custody of their child.  But she is Southern and fundamentalist and lacks self esteem built on a surer foundation than her looks, and the church she attends is toxic.  She's never lived anywhere but Buford GA, and this is all she knows. She's frightened for her children,a nd she doesn't understand the legal issues involved  at all.    I don't think MOST people who shrug off FISA understand them--especially the ones without a college education. Think Security Mom. She has a 5 year old daughter and a 20 eyar old daughter. She doesn't want them to die in another 9/11.  The fact that her 20 year old is more likely to get drafted in Bush's next misadventure  hasn't occurred other yet/.

          I disagree with her completely, but I get where she's coming from.  

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 01:16:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Can you (none)
    imagine the power that has been released for something like this to happen, guess what guys, imagine this same power in our voting process. Oh we will all go and cast our ballots for who, and what we want,but this power they have, has already decided, who we want and what we need. We have to stand up and be counted, or it's going to get worse.
    •  Think ... (4.00)
      Coke or Pepsi!

      The American political system, since at least 1968, has been operating like a ratchet, and both parties -- Republicans and Democrats -- play crucial, mutually reinforcing roles in its operation.

      The electoral ratchet permits movement only in the rightward direction. The Republican role is fairly clear; the Republicans apply the torque that rotates the thing rightward.

      The Democrats' role is a little less obvious. The Democrats are the pawl. They don't resist the rightward movement -- they let it happen -- but whenever the rightward force slackens momentarily, for whatever reason, the Democrats click into place and keep the machine from rotating back to the left.

      The ratchet effect.

      Don't use their language, this is not the 'long war', this is an ideological and imformational war. And you are the enemy.

  •  Asked and Answered (none)
      The defense is "I am not guilty because I am guilty" has been used many times before as the means to end discussion of a one sided argument.
  •  A question (none)
    Are these men American citizens? Maybe my eyes crossed and I missed it? While I think anyone and everyone should be treated well by the law, the rights of foreigners under our law are significantly reduced when compared to the rights of American citizens.

    That said, this is an example of how tainted collection of evidence bubbles up to poison the whole legal system. Illegal wiretapping is illegal because, not only does illegal wiretapping give data into the wrong (potentially blackmailing) hands, but then the foundation of the house of the law turns to sand, and we end up with another Milo Radulovich case (see Good Night and Good Luck).

    “A nation may lose its liberties in a day and not miss them in a century.” Montesquieu

    by sailmaker on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 01:20:50 PM PST

    •  U.S. Persons... (none)
      I don't believe that either man is a US citizen (let me check on that). However, they are both long time residents and in terms of FISA which governs electronic surveillance they are termed "US Persons." For the purpose of the FISA laws on electronic surveillance they have the same rights that you and I have (I assume you are a US citizen). They are also being tried in a US civil court where US civil law rules the day.

      Or, at least, that is how the law reads.

      Unless you are John C. Yoo, John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales, George Bush, or any of their totalitarian comrades.

      •  It may be quaint to mention this, (4.00)
        but the Fourth Amendment does not say that citizens have special rights against illegal search and seizure:

        The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

        Though alleged "strict constructionalists" may not like it, the Framers' language is pretty clear. If they wanted to use "citizens" instead of "people," they would have.

        To argue otherwise is to maintain, in the context of the Bill of Rights, that noncitizens can be tortured, have no freedom of religion or speech, cannot own guns, are not allowed public trials, can be fined excessively, etc.

        Oh, wait, most of that is happening under the Bushite regime.

        I guess "strict constructionialism" is somewhat less "strict" these days.

        The Republicans want to cut YOUR Social Security benefits.

        by devtob on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 06:48:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  For Plame addicts (none)
        this is the same mosque where Judith Miller was arrested and accused of leaking info to the money lauderers. Conversely, the jihadi sites (since scrubbed) put out very threatening messages against Miller (this was in March 2005, well before the aspens turned and we knew that Miller was in Libby's er.. pocket). The jihadi sites also said that Miller is the one who wrote Condi's mushroom cloud speach, which showed they knew more about Miller's character than most of the rest of us. This may be tinfoil turban stuff, but the fact remains that Miller was arrested there.

        This is the same mosque that Grover Norquist operated out of... whense he claimed that he had gotten 5 million Muslems to vote for Bush. Some of the folks at the mosque are not nice people: there are a copies of checks out there from Libyan terrorists (Michelle Whatsherface has copies).  At the end of the day my conclusion is that stuff on a high level was going on at that mosque, and I have no doubt that someone wants to cover it up.  

        “A nation may lose its liberties in a day and not miss them in a century.” Montesquieu

        by sailmaker on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 07:47:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That was Fitz's case too, wasn't it? (none)
          The money laundering one...

          Damn, I'm reorganizing a ton of bookmarked stuff and haven't found it yet.  I'll keep looking.

          "Look in his eyes--it's all lies. The stars and stripes, have been swiped, washed out and wiped..." Mosh, Eminem

          by lizah on Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 12:08:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Judith Miller has nothing to do with this case (none)
          and was never in this tiny little street corner mosque in Albany, NY.

          I'm not sure what you are referring to above but if that was it then it is incorrect.

          These are completely unconnected cases.

    •  Hossain is a US Citizen (none)
      Aref is a permanent resident. I got that clarified for us. IN any event, as far as FISA is concerned they are both "US Persons" and have the same rights as born citizens to not be spied upon by their government.
  •  recommend this (none)
    or else. It's your butt next.
  •  Anybody here (none) Kafka's "The Trial"?  We're living it now.

    "The survival value of intelligence is that it allows us to extinct a bad idea, before the idea extincts us." -- Karl Popper

    by eyeswideopen on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 01:47:07 PM PST

    •  IOKIYAR as a Constitutional Right? (4.00)
      Why does Scooter Libby have "special rights" denied other folks accused of criminal acts?
      "The defendant does not need the explicit details of the intelligence documents he desires to obtain," Judge Walton wrote. "The general topics of the documents would provide the defendant exactly the information he seeks, listings of the pressing matters presented to him during the times relevant to the case."

      Judge Walton also said the government need supply only the summaries from June 7 to July 14, 2003, which is the period in which Mr. Libby spoke to three reporters, and for the two days before and two days after his appearances before the grand jury and his interrogation sessions by the F.B.I. He also ordered that Mr. Libby be given general information about his inquiries to intelligence officials.
      (Source: New York Times Judge Tries Compromise on Briefs Libby Is Seeking

      Compare and contrast with the rights of brown-skinned people:
      Mr. Kindlon asked that all evidence in the case stemming from N.S.A. wiretaps be given to the defense. He argued that the program was unconstitutional and so the evidence should be suppressed.
      Whether or not the program is constitutional is a matter of intense political and legal debate that has not been resolved by the courts. Since the government classified its motions, there is no way at this point to know what argument persuaded Judge McAvoy.
      (Source: New York Times Judge Issues Secret Ruling in Case of 2 at Mosque
      Scooter Libby can review things W and his Bush League minions tried to withhold from the 9/11 Commission and Congress, like the topics discussed in Presidential Daily Briefings, but an attorney with a "top secret" clearance can't see the government's legal arguments against them???
  •  My pitchfork is oiled (none)
    and sharpened, how about your's?


    -6.13,-5.64 Our parents wouldn't allow us to have an easy button, but they did give us state-of-the-art bullshit detectors.

    by imabluemerkin on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 01:52:06 PM PST

  •  Who is this judge? (none)
    What President appointed him?

    All I can say is that this is judicial activism at its worst -- he is placing partisan politics over intepreting and applying the law.

    •  Reagan, in 1986 (4.00)
      The only way the government can win this racist, unconstitutional, bullshit entrapment case is with a D'Amato/Reagan judge.

      The Republicans want to cut YOUR Social Security benefits.

      by devtob on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 06:09:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  what's the stop this being used to achieve (none)
    political goals--like shutting people up?

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 04:43:57 PM PST

  •  In what way is this not already a police state? (4.00)
    What we have here is the complete apparatus of dictatorship. If I am mistaken about this, please somebody explain to me how I would distinguish the two situations.
  •  This case is based on (none)
    a government-created crime, aided and abetted by a scumbag looking to reduce his sentence for real crimes.

    It's classic entrapment, plus illegal wiretapping.

    Before 9/11, it would have been laughed out of court. But everything changed that day, you know.

    The Republicans want to cut YOUR Social Security benefits.

    by devtob on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 06:15:30 PM PST

  •  Where is this being documented? (none)
    I need some serious help here before I get tin-foil burns on my head.

    A number of diaries tonight are focussing on the use of the Patriot Act or worse, deWines proposed legislation, to emasculate the Bill of Rights.  I can fully believe that the cases such as ACW's diary above are true.

    But I have a question?  Should ACLU be documenting these egregious cases?  I don't see anything other than high level (abu Ghraib and Guantanamo) stuff on their site.  Wouldn't it be in ACLU's interest to start creating a log of cases where "classified" material is being used to hide charges?  Do we know how many domestic (not Guantanamo detentions) detentions have occurred?  If anyone knows of a good, reliable site which is collecting this information, I'd like to know about it.

    Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. H. L. Mencken

    by captainlaser on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 08:05:56 PM PST

  •  what have they cracked? (none)
    The government doesn't want to provide the evidence to the defense because if the defense knows what the evidence is, they'll be able to figure out the rest of the surveillance program. There's a lot more to it then just it being warrentless.

    This is highlighted by the bill legalizing the domestic spying program that applies "criminal penalties for anyone who 'intentionally discloses information identifying or describing' the Bush administration's" warrentless domestic spying program.

    So what is is they've figured out? Cracked some encryption code? Found a version of a "short weather code book?" Put a back door into MS Office?

    even just speculating we'd be subject to criminal penalties for "describing" the spying program.


  •  Impeach the Judge (none)
    Rather, launch a public campaign for his impeachment.
  •  WQhat more could you want? (4.00)
    Secret filings - ok.
    Secret rulings - ok.
    Defense denied access -ok.

    All that on top of:
    'Sealed' filings and rulings -ok

    And a Congress that allows 'secret' oversight of an illegal and unconstitional progrem?  - AOK!

    I used to think the President (this one) was the enemy of the people and liberty; I think now that the Congress is, too - in order to protect political hegemony, special interests, etd.; and not the courts?  Apparently so.

    Damn!  The clouds on the horizon are very dark, indeed!

    Life is not a 'dress rehearsal'!

    by wgard on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 09:41:10 PM PST

  •  Told you so (none)
    I keep telling people this is not America.
    We don't live in America anymore.
    The province we live in is called Northcomm and it's just a mere province in the totalitarian world government.  It's run by a secret matrix of asshole billionaires who pull the strings of governments worldwide.
    How's your tin foil hat now?
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