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December 14, 2006


Not unlike the case in Portland, OR, in which the feds accidentally turned over a transcript of a warrentless tap of phone conversations between terror financing suspects and their attorneys -- the first direct evidence of such warrantless surveillance.

The government, of course, is suing to get the transcript back, and at the same time denying that the tapping program exists.

I wonder what they're going to do with those prisoners they have tortured? Will their bodies, showing proof of torture, be subpoenaed too, for fear of revealing what they've done?

Well, you presume that those tortured prisoners will be released from custody at some point. If the DOJ gets their way, the prisoners you refer to will never be released... so no need to subpoena their bodies, because they'll never leave federal custody. You can't leak a prisoner as easily as you can leak a sheet of paper.

Kagro: you mean this case? I've seen people refer to it as "the portland seven."

as an aside, we had a guy named Wadie Said come and give a talk at my law school about 6 weeks ago. He talked about the gov't using this executive order to freeze accounts of charities accused of giving "material support to terrorists." Apparently the State Dept. has a list of charities which are "bad" and if you give money to one of them, you're subject to charges of funding terrorism. The problem (of course there are several problems...) with the list is that State won't tell you what the criteria are for making the list, and they don't provide notice to groups that are put on it, and there is no opportunity to review your placement on the list. He talked about trying to attack the program on 1st amendment (donations-of-$$-as-protected-speech) and 5th/14th amendment (takings without notice/due process) and suggested that the 5/14 approach seems to be more promising.

Of course, his legal theory is unfortunately tarnished by his personal issues, becasue he has also given talks justifying support for palestinian suicide bombers. That didn't come up, but only becuse the talk wasn't promoted outside the law school- if the general public knew he was coming, there probably would have been student protests.

But back to your post- this kind of keystone-kops-kaper approach by the feds would be funny, if it wasn't so deadly serious. "We'll accidentally give you evidence of our criminal malfeasance, and prove that your prosecution is fruit of the poison tree, but then we'll try to take it back by calling it classified and you have to pretend you never saw it." I mean, wow. That kind of incompetance in the private sector would surely cost you your job, and might get you disbarred.

i am reading a book by tolstoy 'resurrection' taking place sometime in the late 1800's? in russia and the parallels between then and now in the usa are striking and very disturbing..

That's the one.

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