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Wiretaps Mess Will Foul Courts and Congress for a Long Time

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:47 AM
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Wiretaps Mess Will Foul Courts and Congress for a Long Time
Wiretaps Mess Will Foul Courts and Congress for a Long Time
By Jeff Stein, CQ SpyTalk Columnist


It must have occurred to even John Yoo now that the secret warrantless wiretapping program wasnt worth it.

Putting aside its constitutional ramifications, the Bush administrations surreptitious sifting through every Americans e-mail and telephone calls in a hunt for terrorist suspects has not only left an oozing stain on every Justice Department lawyer, its likely to gum up terrorism-related trials for years to come.

Take the case of Ali al-Tamimi, a popular Muslim speaker in the Washington, D.C., area until he was convicted in 2005 on charges of incitement to violence, to wit, encouraging his young followers to stop playing paintball in Northern Virginia and join the Taliban.

Prosecutor Paul McNulty, one of those Christian zealots running things in the Justice Department back then, broke new ground when he convinced a jury that the issue wasnt Tamimis constitutional right to express any nutty idea he had.

There is definitely a line crossed where someone is not just expressing views about our country, but encouraging, directing and enabling individuals to act on those words, i.e., commit an illegal act, McNulty said.

By that standard, of course, many Bush administration officials should be in jail.

more...

http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=5&docID=hsn...
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