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Defense says NSA likely illegally spied on cleric

Discussion in 'Legal' started by rick_reno, Dec 28, 2005.

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  1. rick_reno

    rick_reno member

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    It looks like the cat is out of the bag on this "secret" spying. This is going to be a huge mess before it's over - clearly, this "cleric" is a bad guy, urging young Muslims to join the fight against our military.

    WASHINGTON - Lawyers for an Islamic scholar and a Fort Lauderdale computer programmer want federal judges to determine whether evidence used against their clients was gathered by a secret domestic spying program. The cases are among the first to challenge the legality of the Bush administration's use of domestic wiretaps without authorization from a court.

    Jonathan Turley, a lawyer and George Washington University law professor, said there “seems to be a great likelihood” that his client, Ali al-Timimi, a northern Virginia Islamic cleric, was “subject to this operation.”

    Attorney Kenneth Swartz of Miami also said Wednesday that he wants to know whether any evidence was gathered by the National Security Agency without a warrant and used to convince a secret court to authorize six years of wiretaps of his client, Adham Amin Hassoun.

    Last month, Hassoun and Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen held for nearly four years as an “enemy combatant,” were charged with raising money to support violent Islamic fighters outside the United States.

    President Bush has acknowledged that within days of the Sept. 11 attacks he authorized the NSA to conduct warrantless intercepts of conversations between people in the United States and others abroad who had suspected ties to al-Qaida or its affiliates.

    In doing so, the administration bypassed the nearly 30-year-old secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court established to oversee the government’s handling of espionage and terrorism investigations.

    Cleric's conviction under appeal
    Turley already has appealed the case to the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, asking that al-Timimi’s conviction and life sentence be overturned. Turley argued that the prosecution was a violation of al-Timimi’s free speech rights. His conviction was based on statements he made at a dinner days after the Sept. 11 attacks at which he urged several young Muslim men to join the Taliban and fight U.S. troops overseas.

    Al-Timimi’s lawyer said he recently has contacted federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Va., where a jury convicted al-Timimi in April, seeking their cooperation in asking the appeals court to return the case to U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, who presided over al-Timimi’s monthlong trial.

    Brinkema could determine whether NSA-gathered evidence was used against al-Timimi, without the court being told, Turley said. She also could press the government to reveal whether it withheld evidence gathered by the NSA that could have helped al-Timimi’s defense, he said.

    If prosecutors decline to go along, Turley said, he will file a request next week asking the appeals court to send the case back to Brinkema.

    Prosecutors probably did not know about the domestic spying program, Turley said. “It’s possible that prosecutors had no idea of the origin of this evidence.”

    Other challenges expected
    The al-Timimi case is apparently one of other pending challenges to administration policy. The New York Times, in a Wednesday report on its Web site, reported that challenges are also expected, or being filed, in Florida, Ohio and Oregon.

    Swartz, the lawyer representing Hassoun, told The Times that “they absolutely have an obligation to tell us” whether the NSA was wiretapping the defendants.

    Carl W. Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, told The Times that a question of balance would be central in how judges rule on the scope of the spying program.

    “I would expect the government to say that it is highly sensitive material, but we have legal mechanisms to balance the national security needs with the rights of defendants,” Tobias told the Times. “I think judges are very conscientious about trying to sort out these issues and balance civil liberties and national security.”
     
  2. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    I have two questions: Why are these people here and who wanted them here?
     
  3. rick_reno

    rick_reno member

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    Pig food.
     
  4. yonderway

    yonderway Member

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    I hope they walk. Not only do I hope they walk, I hope they walk away with some punitive damages for their troubles.

    Do I like them? No. Not at all.

    But I think judges have to hold the executive branch accountable for their long running breech of 4th amendment rights. Let this one walk, so the next one will at least have a proper constitutional search done on him.
     
  5. Lobotomy Boy

    Lobotomy Boy Member

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    This is an excellent example of why the Bush administration should have followed the rules and obtained a FISA warrant. If this guy is guilty and he walks, the administration need look no further than its own arrogance as the cause.
     
  6. pax

    pax Member

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    "The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the very beginning if it is to be stopped at all." -- HL Mencken.

    pax
     
  7. CTI1USNRET

    CTI1USNRET Member

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    It hasn't been determined that NSA gathered or gave any info that contributed to the prosecution.

    This is just a fishing expedition by the defense.

    It will get them nowhere.
     
  8. insidious_calm

    insidious_calm Member

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    Pax......

    ....thank you.




    I.C.
     
  9. ceetee

    ceetee Member

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    If even one case against a scumbag gets thrown out because the evidence was gathered without a warrant, then all future cases wil be suspect. This will force the government to spend huge sums to prosecute, or not spend huge sums and let the scumbags walk. As tight as money is now, does anyone really think it's going to be easier to put terrorists in prison in the future?
     
  10. GoRon

    GoRon Member

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    Smarmy self righteousness at the worst of times.

    This has been going on at least since the Carter administration and some say since LBJ. In the middle of the struggle against those that would kill us the self righteous have decided to make a stand.:barf:

    I want to see how this all shakes out in court before I go making pronouncements.
     
  11. pax

    pax Member

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    GoRon,

    So you've decided to go with both "I did not!" and "They did it too!" ?

    :D

    I like that.

    pax
     
  12. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

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    It will also force the government to utilize this concept that we call due-process. It is that silly little thing that keeps the powers-that-be from trampling the rights of the citizenry. I am far more comfortable with the prospect that some scumbags will go free than I am with the idea that our government will simply replace them.
     
  13. mountainclmbr

    mountainclmbr Member

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    The defense has a free pass to lie or obvuscate. Remember when the defense said "if the glove does not fit, you must acquit"? It does not matter what the defense says about the Constitution or if the Congress passed the FISA act. The Constitution has not been ammended by 2/3 of states ratifying a reduction of the President's powers in time of war (that congress voted for). The US government can intercept communications between the enemy and anyone else NO MATTER WHERE THEY ARE. Comments to the contrary come from the Pravda wing of the democrat party or from the uninformed. This has been upheld, even in times of crisis (not war) even under carter and clintoon. Question Pravda, they have a hidden agenda. PS, Check on the FISA judge and you will find he is an anti US leftist who will block and leak all details of information he learns. He prevented the FBI from looking at the information on Moussaui's computer. I am not a registered Republican and I did not stay at a Holiday Inn last night, but my BS meter is pegged on this one. If known or suspected foreign terrorist suspects are on one end of the call there is no case. Communication between US citizens within the USA is a different story so please prove if this is the caes!!!:cuss:
     
  14. Biker

    Biker Member

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    mountain clmber...

    I don't have a link, but a number of times during interviews with Bush supporters on news staions in the last week, Quakers were apparantly targeted under Bush's new 'no-warrant' rule, and the charges weren't denied.
    How do you feel about this?
     
  15. DigitalWarrior

    DigitalWarrior Member

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    Oh my my.

    Please understand that nothing President Clinton did was against US citizens or on US Soil. http://thinkprogress.org/2005/12/20/drudge-fact-check/

    It is not only the defense that has the ability to lie and obsfucate.
    BTW What stops someone from suspecting you are a terrorist? You hang out on the same gun nut communication channels as that nut job DW. And everyone knows DW is a terrorist sympathiser. He thinks Gitmo is bad and torture is bad and human rights are for all humans.

    D\/\/
     
  16. Geno

    Geno Member

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    For fact, what we see and hear is merely the-tip-of-the-iceberg!

    and we shall never see all that lies beneath the waters of this political tide. For fact, we will never know more than a fragment of the "truths". Over time, the lawyers, the courts and the politicians will pervert and rewrite the "truths". The spin-masters and the talking-heads will attempt to fill our minds with more of their "we already decided, and now we report to brain-wash you”. :rolleyes: The only question is, will the iceberg sink any political careers?

    Change is good!!!

    Doc2005
     
  17. Dan the Man

    Dan the Man Member

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    I am reminded of the 'media revelation' where a young college student was questioned by Federal Agents for an interlibrary loan of Chairman Mao's 'Little Red Book' (coupled with his extensive overseas travels). That one turned out to be a bit of fabrication, didn't it? ;)

    Now, we have a 'defense lawyer' indicating 'there is a great likelihood' his client was a 'subject of this operation'. Well, it may or may not be the case. But I would never ever consider defense counsel to be a reliable source for that information. He's starting his trial in the newspapers, a time-honored strategy for defense lawyers with little or no case. :)

    I am surprised that so many of us here do not consider articles like this with some amount of skepticism. Or a great amount of skepticism. Justin commented in the earlier thread:

    "True or not, the fact that the current state of things in this nation makes this story even seem plausible is a travesty."

    And I agree. It is a travesty that we cannot trust the media to provide us accurate information. It is a travesty that the Public School System has turned out so many Americans whose critical thinking skills are so inadequate as to prevent them from seeing through this nonsense.

    In addition, I don't worry greatly either about the NSA spying on me, or this Ali al-Timimi going free. I don't have much control over either of them. I will say, though, if Ali al-Timimi incites a group of muslim youth to gang rape my non-headscarf-wearing-girlfriend (tying in yet another thread!); they will find to their distress that she shoots well with her Smith 908, and I carry two spare mags for my Glock 34! So there better be a whole bunch of them.:cool:

    So there: three threads, and guns to boot.:D

    Regards
    --Dan
     
  18. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    So many administrators! So little time to think up creative new ways to keep assault lawyers in pay checks!
     
  19. ThreadKiller

    ThreadKiller Member

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    Why is this a problem NOW? Plenty of evidence exists that many previous admininistrations did much the same thing. Why does this situation cause so much heartburn NOW?

    I am not fond of secret government domestic spy programs. But I have to wonder where all the righteous indignation has been before now.
     
  20. Lobotomy Boy

    Lobotomy Boy Member

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    It is a problem now because rather than trying to cover up the spying or make excuses for it, the current administration simply asserts that it is not bound by the constraints of the Constitution. This is a massive change in the status quo, the equivalant of Caesar crossing the Rubicon, only W is no Caesar.
     
  21. BuddyOne

    BuddyOne Member

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    The cat's out of the bag...

    Otherwise known as a leak of information that is costing lives with no other effect than to launch an orgy of message board onanism by the usual cast of characters, madly leafing through their Bartletts Familiar Quotations for the ultimate truth...

    You'll go blind doing this,

    Buddy
     
  22. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Member

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    Thank you, Pax

    It needed to be said.
     
  23. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    Was any evidence presented at the trial from the imagined NSA wiretaps???????

    Any evidence at all?, was any evidence from the wiretaps, IF THEY HAPPENED, used at the trial, or presented to the Jury????? Was the lawyer and the defendant present at the trial??????

    ANSWER: No evidence from any secret wiretap was presented at the trial, or used to get a warrant to gather eveidence presented at the trial. If there was, it would have been mentioned at the trial, the attorney would have questioned it and it would have been ruled inadmissable.

    The appeal is a PUBLICITY stunt, no evidence from any secret wiretap a was presented at the trial.

    This ****** opened his big PIE HOLE in public in front of numerous witnesses and said "join the taliban".

    And thats how he got convited.
     
  24. Lobotomy Boy

    Lobotomy Boy Member

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    From where I'm standing it looks like you're the one who has gone blind. You might want to take up a new hobby.
     
  25. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    How do you know?

    If they presented evidence gathered from a secret, probably illegal, wiretap, they wouldn't introduce it as "Exhibit F, Transcript of Secret/Probably Illegal Wiretap." They'd introduce it as part of the body of legally gathered evidence.

    At this point, the program is still mostly secret, which means no one has any idea whether the illegally-gathered evidence has been used in court under false pretenses or not. That appears to be what the defense in these cases is trying to find out via these motions.
     
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