Monday, January 09, 2006

U.S. terrorism defendants to challenge wiretaps - Americas - International Herald Tribune

In case you missed it, now you know, not only did the the leaking of this program result in many terrorists, agents and sympathizers to change their electronic devices, email addresses and phone numbers, it will result in the questioning of the legality of certain terror cases and the probability that some of these terrorists will go free on a technicality:

"It seems to me that it would be relevant to a person's case," Tobias said. "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. I think judges are very conscientious about trying to sort out these issues and balance civil liberties and national security."[snip]

But defense lawyers say they are eager to find out whether prosecutors - intentionally or not - misled the courts about the origins of their investigations and whether the government may have held on to wiretaps that could point to their clients' innocence.

Some Justice Department prosecutors, speaking on condition of anonymity because the program remains classified, said they were concerned that the agency's warrantless wiretaps could create problems for the department in terrorism prosecutions both past and future.

"If I'm a defense attorney," one Justice Department prosecutor said, "the first thing I'm going to say in court is, 'This was an illegal wiretap."'

First of all, I sincerely doubt that a judiciary, whose primary responsibility is the protection of individual rights, is going to be able to "balance" fairly, national security issues. Its not their job, it is the job of the President. Second, this is why Lincoln suspended habeus corpus, why Roosevelt signed the order to detain thousands of Japanese Americans and why President Bush originally attempted to detain all terror suspects, in or out of the states, as "enemy combatants".

U.S. terrorism defendants to challenge wiretaps - Americas - International Herald Tribune

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