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Federal judge delivers a secret ruling in New York

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Sergeant Sabre, Mar 11, 2006.

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  1. Sergeant Sabre

    Sergeant Sabre Member

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    A classified ruling based on classified evidence, niether of which the defense may review or contest? No, this story isn't from China or Cuba. It just happened in New York.

    A long article, so here are the cliff notes:
    Two individuals associated with a Mosque in New york are accused of laundering money in connection with terrorist operations.

    The defense for the two men requested a dismissal. The prosecution submitted classified documents to the judge, which the defense was not allowed to review. The judge then denied the dismissal request, saying that the basis for his decision was classified.

    The defense lawyers, who have some sort of clearance, have not been allowed to review the papers submitted by the prosecution or read the basis for the judge's decision.

    The article (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/11/national/11terror.html):

     
  2. Sindawe

    Sindawe Member

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    Secret judgments that defense counsel is not permitted to view, based on secret evidence that defense counsel is not permited to view. Is this a great country or what? EVEYBODY SING ALONG!!!

    Horst Wessel Song

    Die Fahne hoch die Reihen fest geschlossen
    S. A. marschiert mit ruhig festem Schritt
    Kam'raden die Rotfront und Reaktion erschossen
    Marschier'n im Geist in unsern Reihen mit

    Die Strasse frei den braunen Batallionen
    Die Strasse frei dem Sturmabteilungsmann
    Es schau'n auf's Hackenkreuz voll Hoffung schon Millionen
    Der Tag fur Freiheit und fur Brot bricht an

    Zum letzen Mal wird nun Appell geblasen
    Zum Kampfe steh'n wir alle schon bereit
    Bald flattern Hitler-fahnen Uber allen Strassen
    Die Knechtschaft dauert nur mehr kurze Zeit

    Die Fahne hoch die Reihen fest geschlossen
    S. A. marschiert mit ruhig festem Schritt
    Kam'raden die Rotfront und Reaktion erschossen
    Marschier'n im Geist in unsern Reihen mit

    :scrutiny:
     
  3. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    And I thought that was against the rules. I cant wait to go to law school so I can correct all these misperceptions.

    Whats the point of having trials if there isnt any due process? Lynchings accomplish the same miscarriage of justice more efficiently. If you are more of a statist, you can call them "summary executions."
     
  4. orangeninja

    orangeninja Member

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    If the information collected would compromise the source of intelligence and the agent is still working covertly, then the evidence will not be made public due to the safety concerns of that agent.

    I for one have no problem with this. Protect your source, especially if still in the field as an active agent.
     
  5. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    I think we should re-read the article again. This was not a trial. This was a preliminary motion for dismissal.
     
  6. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "In his motion, Mr. Kindlon cited an article in The New York Times on Jan. 17 that reported that "different officials agree" that the security agency's program had "played a role" in the arrest of Mr. Aref and Mr. Hossain."

    He cites a New York Times article that says "different officials agree" and then complains when unknown sources are used to refute it. Pfui.

    John
     
  7. Lucky

    Lucky Member

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    I don't know about this case, but we have a similar set-up in Canada now for some trials.


    alduro "If the information collected would compromise the source of intelligence and the agent is still working covertly, then the evidence will not be made public due to the safety concerns of that agent.

    I for one have no problem with this. Protect your source, especially if still in the field as an active agent."


    I respectfully disagree upon the order of priorities. It seems to me that an awful lot of rules have been written, and worded explicitly so that the order of priorities would never get confused, like that. Fundamental freedoms should be #1, and then convenience for gov't operating would be #2, in all circumstances. Even if it's Kieffer Sutherland and the fate of the universe is at stake.
     
  8. orangeninja

    orangeninja Member

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    Well, it's based on international terrorism, these men were caught by the NSA, a military organization, but it fails to say if these men are American citizens or not.

    The judge appears to have followed the law in this case, and I personally don't believe the Constitution applies to non-citizens...but that's just me.
     
  9. gc70

    gc70 Member

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    Typical "kill the trial before it gets started" defense strategy, dismissed by the judge. If illegally-obtained evidence is introduced during the trail, the defense can deal with that during the trial.

    An interesting motion to both prevent evidence from being presented during the trial AND give the defense a copy of the information that would be barred from the trial.

    <conjecture>The prosecutors may have told the judge that there is NSA information about the defendants but that information was not the basis for the case and would not be used in the trial. In such a situation, I can see the judge ruling that the case would proceed but NSA information would not be allowed. If NSA information was not part of the case, the defense lawyers would have no need to fish around in classified national intelligence information not relevant to their case.
     
  10. Sergeant Sabre

    Sergeant Sabre Member

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    It very well may be silly manuevering by the defense. However, in any other trial I've ever read about or heard of, the judge usually makes a public ruling based on evidence that is made public.

    The concerning part of the case in point is that the judge made a ruling based on evidence that the defense is not allowed to review, then declared that the defense is not entitled to review the basis of the ruling.

    In essence, it seems that the judge said "The court denies the motion, you don't get to know why, nor to you get to know what evidence I have reviewed to make my decision."
     
  11. gc70

    gc70 Member

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    If the ruling was during the trial, I would be concerned. As part of the pre-trial process, I am less concerned because the defendants will still get their day in court.
     
  12. ElTacoGrande

    ElTacoGrande Member

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    It's a Star Chamber!
     
  13. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Member

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    The NSA is a military organization? Since when? To what branch of the military do they belong? What's the command structure? Who is the commanding officer and what rank does he/she hold?

    I believe the NSA is part of the Executive Branch, not the military.
     
  14. Wiley

    Wiley Member

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    Hawkmoon, the Military is part of the Executive Branch.
     
  15. LoadAmmo

    LoadAmmo Member

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    Did he rule the Constitution is no longer valid?
     
  16. Lupinus

    Lupinus Member

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    that is acceptable in military court, no way in hell is it permisable in civilian court.
     
  17. mwelch8404

    mwelch8404 Member

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    What's the problem?

    § 4. Discovery of classified information by defendants

    The court, upon a sufficient showing, may authorize the United States to delete specified items of classified information from documents to be made available to the defendant through discovery under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, to substitute a summary of the information for such classified documents, or to substitute a statement admitting relevant facts that the classified information would tend to prove. The court may permit the United States to make a request for such authorization in the form of a written statement to be inspected by the court alone. If the court enters an order granting relief following such an ex parte showing, the entire text of the statement of the United States shall be sealed and preserved in the records of the court to be made available to the appellate court in the event of an appeal.

    (Pub. L. 96-456, § 4, Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2025.)

    US Code Title 18.


    Surprisingly for many of you, all nice and legal...

    Just as a reminder, Jimmy Carter was pres...
     
  18. Leatherneck

    Leatherneck Member

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    The judge did. Motion to dismiss denied. Come to trial, where different rules will apply.

    TC
     
  19. TequilaMockingbird

    TequilaMockingbird Member

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    From Wikipedia (not always the last word on every subject, but at least a place to start):
    Is it part of the military?
    Further reading:
    James Bamford, Body of Secrets, Doubleday, 2001.
    James Bamford, The Puzzle Palace, Penguin Books, 1983.
     
  20. LAK

    LAK Member

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    alduro
    And the net result of this idea is;

    a license in the "intelligence community" and among any of their business cronies - in the course of their dope and arms smuggling, prostitution rings, money laundering - etceteras - to set up anyone they please.

    Even if our government and intelligence organizations had been formed squeaky clean - from scratch - today; what are the prospects for the general integrity of a huge organization of paid soldiers and their bosses mixing it up with a web of drug and arms dealers etc, when the stakes at interface runs into the trillions? How long before the whole pile begins to stink?

    An accused has the right to confront the witnesses and evidence against them.

    Interesting question concerning the jurisdiction of the court; an Admiralty Court perhaps?

    mwelch8404
    No problem I guess; the federal government inserts a "law" allowing itself to be able to keep anything it pleases out of the courts and public eye merely by saying "it's a secret".

    Didn't An associate of George H W Bush hand over a large sum of cash through a Mexican money handler on behalf of his buddy Richard Nixon - so that E. Howard Hunt would keep his mouth shut and keep their secrets, secret?

    If the oligarchs and the Feds want to keep all their assassinations, arms dealing, drug smuggling etc, secret; why don't they just pay everyone off instead of trying to use the courts to cover their filth? Why don't they just pay off Hossain and Aref like they did Hunt and all the others?
    -----------------------------------------------

    http://ussliberty.org
    http://ssunitedstates.org
     
  21. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "An accused has the right to confront the witnesses and evidence against them."

    Like the man said, that's what the trial is for.

    "I think we should re-read the article again. This was not a trial. This was a preliminary motion for dismissal."

    John
     
  22. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    Expect to be disappointed. There is not enough time to include interesting topics in class, unless it is the prof's pet topic.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2006
  23. CAS700850

    CAS700850 Member

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    Amen. Law schol is where you go to assimilate what they throw at you, long enough to pass the course, then the Bar exam. Anything you learn in law school which actually carries over into proactice will be the exception, not the rule.

    BTW, as to the original topic, most states, I assume, allow for a judge to review information in camera, meaning in chambers, off the record, when ruling on a motion such as this. The reason is that, in many cases, exposure of the materials could be detrimental to a party (I used to see it often when I handled juvenile matters, with respect to adoption records, psych evaluations, etc.). If the material was formally introduced to the court, it would become a part of the court's file, and thus likely open to public review. I can't speak for all of you, but I sure wouldn't want the contents of a psych eval on me made a public record...

    And yes, the rules at trial are far different.
     
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