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On closer look, Rowley memo ignores Constitution (Jonathan Turley)
Houston Chronicle ^ | June 2, 2002 | JONATHAN TURLEY

Posted on 06/02/2002 9:05:51 AM PDT by Dog Gone

The media and the public love a reformer. This may explain the reaction this week to a 13-page letter from FBI agent Coleen Rowley criticizing the investigation of Zacarias Moussaoui.

Rowley has been portrayed by national publications such as Time magazine in almost breathless terms as a cross between Martin Luther and Annie Oakley.

What is astonishing is how little of her memo actually has been read or quoted beyond its most sensational suggestions, such as the notion that Rowley and her colleagues might have been able to prevent one or more of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Rowley's criticism of the FBI largely turns on disagreement over the meaning of probable cause. Rowley insists that there was probable cause to secure a search warrant for Moussaoui's computer and personal effects. FBI headquarters disagreed, and it was right.

On Aug. 15, 2001, Moussaoui was arrested by the Immigration and Nationalization Service on a charge of overstaying his visa. At that time, the Minnesota office only had an "overstay" prisoner and a suspicion from an agent that he might be a terrorist because of his religious beliefs and flight training. If this hunch amounted to probable cause, it is hard to imagine what would not satisfy such a standard.

Rowley believes that the FBI was wrong because a warrant was ultimately signed on Sept. 11 after the attacks. That warrant contained the same information that was deemed insufficient before the attacks.

Rowley rejects the notion that the attacks in any way "improved or changed" the basis for probable cause. In her view, if probable cause existed on Sept. 11, it must have existed before Sept. 11. This is simply wrong as a matter of law. The attacks were obviously material to establishing probable cause against Moussaoui.

Rowley also places importance on a French report that "confirmed (Moussaoui's) radical fundamentalist Islamic" affiliations. This report was extremely vague and discounted by the FBI and other intelligence and foreign agencies.

Finally, Rowley says suspicions in her Minnesota field office were magnified by Moussaoui's refusal to permit a search. But Moussaoui's assertion of a constitutional right cannot be used as a "signal (that) he had something to hide."

What emerges from the memo is a disturbing view of constitutional standards.

Rowley states that she believed agents should not have been deterred in their interrogations by Moussaoui's invocation of his right to remain silent and to have counsel. Instead, she suggests that a limited "public safety exception" should be expanded to virtually negate those protections of the Sixth Amendment.

The Rowley memo does contain some new and important information. One such fact relates to the use of a controversial secret court that is little known to most Americans.

It has long been suspected that agents have used the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court in cases where they lack evidence to secure a constitutional warrant. Viewed by many as unconstitutional,FISA court allows the government to search citizens without a showing of probable cause. The citizens never know that their homes and computers were the subject of a search.

Under federal law, this court cannot be used as an alternative to a conventional warrant simply because there is insufficient evidence to meet the constitutional standard. Rowley, however, confirms this unlawful practice. When it was determined that the Minnesota office lacked probable cause, she suggested that it simply file for a FISA secret search as a tactical option.

We are gradually shifting searches from the Fourth Amendment process to a secret court that is neither mentioned nor consistent with the Constitution. This is the one aspect of the memo that has received no attention.

The Rowley memo is now being used to support reforms announced Wednesday by the FBI. Ironically, these "reforms" cut back on "reforms" implemented after such scandals as the Richard Jewell and Wen Ho Lee investigations. Those abusive investigations involved hunches that were allowed to mutate into full investigations with disastrous consequences.

Not only do such investigations produce abuses, but they diminish the agency's effectiveness and resources in pursuing more substantial leads.

Some of Rowley's criticisms of the FBI incompetence are well-established. There is need for structural reform, but we should not allow the FBI to "reform" itself into a prior image.

Turley teaches constitutional law at George Washington University and has served as counsel in a variety of national-security and espionage cases.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: billofrights; espionagelist; fbi; moussaoui; privacylist; terrorism; terrorwar

1 posted on 06/02/2002 9:05:52 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone
... We are gradually shifting searches from the Fourth Amendment process to a secret court that is neither mentioned nor consistent with the Constitution ...
A little too gradually, I should think.

(Do secret courts have secret lawyers?)
2 posted on 06/02/2002 9:14:05 AM PDT by Asclepius
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To: Dog Gone
Good post. I suspect that the cradle-to-grave protect-us-at-any-cost class isn't going to care what the FBI, CIA, or anybody else does as long as we "feel" safer. That federal judge was right. Ashcroft is an idiot. parsy.
3 posted on 06/02/2002 9:16:43 AM PDT by parsifal
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To: Dog Gone
Legal scholar Turley likes to think he is the world's greatest living authority. I challenge that, I happen to think I am.
4 posted on 06/02/2002 9:23:04 AM PDT by hgro
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To: Dog Gone
If Bill Clinton had decared 'war' on islamic terrorists when he had the opportunity and a complete basis per the USS Cole attack, then maybe the analysis of the "rights" of foreign terrorists would have tipped in favor of actually PROTECTING the US citizens, rather than (as Turley asserts) the flimsy claim to 4th amendment protection that inures to an illegal alien (he had overstayed his visa, BTW).
5 posted on 06/02/2002 9:31:19 AM PDT by WL-law
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To: WL-law
Let me add to my previous comment. The "penalty" that the govt pays for a later-declared-improper search warrant is that the evidence discovered during the search is inadmissable in a later prosecution. But this should not have been viewed by the FBI as about 'prosecutions', it is war -- and counter-terrorism isn't police work, it's war that begins with intelligence gathering. The FBI had a duty to get the available intelligence and protect american citizens -- and they already had a basis for deporting him and thereby holding him in detention.
6 posted on 06/02/2002 9:40:10 AM PDT by WL-law
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To: Dog Gone
This only further confirms what we already know. Federal "law-enforcement" (what a joke) does not believe that there should be any limit to their authority.

That's not the most depressing thing, it's to be expected. What's really depressing is the number of US citizens (including FReepers) who agree with them.

7 posted on 06/02/2002 9:40:42 AM PDT by alpowolf
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To: parsifal
Finally, Rowley says suspicions in her Minnesota field office were magnified by Moussaoui's refusal to permit a search. But Moussaoui's assertion of a constitutional right cannot be used as a "signal (that) he had something to hide."
If the bad guys can use our laws to kill us, it is well past time to make some drastic changes. What I'm afarid we're seeing is the Dems once again are worried that someone might point a finger at the Clinton administration ( read bash ).Instead of doing everything possible to protect this nation the Dems will interject politics, and this is clearly no time for such nonsense.

The silly and in this case life threating rules and regulations that tied the hands of the agencies that should protect us should be known by every man, woman and child in the land, and never repeated. It needs to be discussed openly and honestly and the foolish authors of this thinking clearly identified.
8 posted on 06/02/2002 9:44:55 AM PDT by c21sac
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To: hgro
If you can poke holes in Turley's statement - then I agree, you are a better authority! One basic fact Turley fails to mention is that the FBI was NOT dealing with an American citizen so why is he protected by OUR rights?

It's now known that the terrorists were schooled in "how to manipulate the US system" - why can't our pundits and other officials understand this? While I don't advocate a police state or infringement on personal rights, I do think we have to understand the new world we now live in since 9/11. The enemies of America use our weaknesses against us - they've studied us well. The liberal PC crowd has done much over the last several decades to weaken our country - it's time to bring sanity back into the picture. Can we be a free and open country who welcomes LEGAL immigrants - I think so, but only if we start using common sense and SCREEN all who want to live here. Frankly, I would stop ALL visas for at least one year to give us a chance to locate, deport, legalize the thousands of illegals now in this country.

America is made up of immigrants BUT they should - as in the old days - become AMERICANS - not hyphenated Americans. It's one thing to honor the "memory" of your former country and customs - it's another to have that "memory" supercede the customs and country of your new home.

9 posted on 06/02/2002 9:48:06 AM PDT by Elkiejg
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To: alpowolf
There's a natural tendency to be hypocritical in what we want from law enforcement. We want, and even demand, that we be free from government prying into our personal lives.

However, we want law enforcement to investigate the hell out of that suspicious guy who lives down the street.

10 posted on 06/02/2002 9:48:35 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: alpowolf; Dog Gone
This only further confirms what we already know. Federal "law-enforcement" (what a joke) does not believe that there should be any limit to their authority.

That's not the most depressing thing, it's to be expected. What's really depressing is the number of US citizens (including FReepers) who agree with them.

How right you are! This group is lead by the "well if you didn't do anything wrong, why do you care" people. I always wonder who they think the government is? It's that a$$ behind the desk at the Post Office, your accountant neighbor who drinks too much gin every night, the purchasing agent who takes his vacations with a lobbyist every year, the FBI agent who gives files to Clinton, the State Department manager ..... oh what the he!! most of them don't give a rats rear ......

11 posted on 06/02/2002 9:51:10 AM PDT by HoustonCurmudgeon
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To: c21sac
"If the bad guys can use our laws to kill us, "

This happens all the time and well before 9-11. For example, the "bad guys" use the second amendment to buy guns. Then they rob stores, banks, and shoot people. The answer isn't to revoke the second amendment, but to enforce the laws and punish the criminals. Similarly, the exercise of privacy rights may result in some additional terrorism. I am willing to run that risk, because I think the loss of our rights is a far more serious problem than the terrorists killing some of us.

Remember how "safe" the Germans felt once Hitler got into power and took away all their rights so that he could protect them better? parsy the far-sighted.

12 posted on 06/02/2002 9:57:21 AM PDT by parsifal
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To: alpowolf
If it is a choice between limits on law authority, or limits on the militants using legal loop-holes as their authority, I'll vote for giving up a pound of my 'right's (since I have noting to hide) until the pendlelum swings again. It always corrects - that is the beauty of democracy. The bad cops you may be fearful of can not last long in our system. Why can't we over-correct now, as we begin to learn about WMD!? A couple of elections down the road, we will find the balance, but it's a new world, alpo.
13 posted on 06/02/2002 9:58:02 AM PDT by seenenuf
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To: parsifal
I'll probably get flames galore for this, but, I feel strongly about the resrictive laws and unlimited powers given to LE. We don't need new laws. We should enforce the thousands of laws already on the books. So, here goes

In the Name Of Security

The patriot act sticks in my craw
because it’s really a Gestapo Law
now the FBI gets more powers
to spy on us for 24 hours

In the name of security

Let’s not forget history
of what happened in Germany
the majority went along
gathered together in throngs

In the name of security

Cameras here, cameras there
cameras everywhere
on the corners, in the mall
as our freedoms fall
attached to traffic lights
losing our privacy rights

In the name of security

Soon we’ll get ID cards
as they build more prison yards
they want us to watch the other guy
an entire nation to spy

In the name of security

Giving power to strangers,
to people we don’t know
presents future dangers
as their power continues to grow

In the name of security

Benjamin Franklin said it best
want to be like all the rest?
trade liberty for security
then, only those in power will be free

In the name of security

Some may think I’m paranoid
just making a lot of noise
don’t forget the FBI files
some of us are still riled

Justification has begun
we must keep terrorists on the run
in the name of security
you must give up your privacy

Give it up for security

Copyright © 2002 By John J. Lindsay. All Rights Reserved
June 1, 2002

14 posted on 06/02/2002 10:00:11 AM PDT by poet
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To: c21sac
The silly and in this case life threating rules and regulations that tied the hands of the agencies

Myself, I can't see the Bill of Rights in that light. I don't buy the notion that 9/11 happened because the federal govt doesn't have enough power.

15 posted on 06/02/2002 10:01:40 AM PDT by alpowolf
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To: seenenuf
No, it isn't a new world. The world was never perfectly safe. Some people may have thought it was but they were wrong.

Scrapping the BOR may make some people feel safe today. Again, WRONG!

16 posted on 06/02/2002 10:05:44 AM PDT by alpowolf
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To: poet
I agree. I think if the INS, FBI, and other agencies had been doing their job all along, there would have been less chance of the terrorists succeeding. They might have only been able to hijack one or two planes. Think of all the INS agents working on the Elian mess. Think of all the FBI time spent on Clinton, or WACO. I don't think the FBI is anywhere near as messed up as the INS, but these agents do not work for themselves. They have bosses who set their jobs for them. Think how many resources are devoted to stamping out marijuana, for example. In Arkansas the feds wasted a bunch of time trying to convict some guy for importing a Chinese girlfriend. He broke the law IMHO, and should not have been ignorred, but durn if they didn't try him twice before they got him. No telling how much fed resources consumed in crap like this. Meantime, we know we have Arab terrorsist in the country and over-due visa busters are left alone. parsy
17 posted on 06/02/2002 10:13:45 AM PDT by parsifal
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To: Dog Gone
Probable cause is always arguable, but from what I have seen of this case, there WAS sufficient cause to seach the computer. As I understand it, some of the clintonoids further up the chain of command within the FBI tinkered with the original application and omitted the most striking evidence, before passing it on to the Justice Department. In other words, they omitted the evidence that would have allowed a warrant to be issued.

Probable cause for a search warrant is not as strict as the kind of evidence "beyond a reasonable doubt" that a jury needs to convict. It only needs to be enough to justify a search for further evidence--including some likelihood that such evidence will be found in the place to be searched.

As for protecting our civil liberties, the best way to do that is to have reasonable, responsible justices and an honest and competent FBI. Which is why the FBI needs a major housecleaning, which Mueller unfortunately is incapable of doing.

18 posted on 06/02/2002 10:15:30 AM PDT by Cicero
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To: parsifal & alpowolf
I absolutely agree with both of you.

My only point is that to make such restrictive laws that apply to terrorist is very dangerous. I don't feel that terrorist have any rights such as we do, and for them to make a mochary of our system and to kill our people is more than I can stand

I didn't mean to sound like I was advocating more goverment control,coming from commie California I think both of you understand.
19 posted on 06/02/2002 10:18:04 AM PDT by c21sac
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To: poet
And another thing. . .think how many federal resources we are wasting on Johnny Jihad. Agents, time, and money down the tubes trying to convict some screwed up kid on trumped up charges. This is where I lost respect for Ashcroft. Here we are up to our neck in terrorists, and he's trying to appease the blood-seeking yahoos in the country. I had hoped he had better judgment than that and was sorely dissappointed. parsy.
20 posted on 06/02/2002 10:20:14 AM PDT by parsifal
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To: *TerrorWar;*Espionage_list;*privacy_list;*BillOfRights
Bump list
21 posted on 06/02/2002 10:27:54 AM PDT by Free the USA
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To: parsifal
"trying to convict some screwed up kid on trumped up charges"

What I am missing here?
You don't really believe the above, do you? That's where you and I part company. That "kid" is a traitor! If he was just a "peace loving muslim", he would not have been in the cave dreaming of his share of 72 virgins.

22 posted on 06/02/2002 10:46:25 AM PDT by poet
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To: poet
poet said: 'That "kid" is a traitor! If he was just a "peace loving muslim", he would not have been in the cave dreaming of his share of 72 virgins."

Fine. Then charge him with treason and produce the two witnesses required by the Constitution. The "trumped up" charges are nonsense which have been invented to circumvent the clear requirements of the Constitution. Lindh is a prisoner of war who was capured after we declared war on the Al Qaeda and later the Taliban.

There appears to be no mechanism for establishing a legal duty for Lindh to refrain from fighting with the Taliban against the Northern Alliance prior to our declaration of war against the Taliban and there may be a lack of evidence that he fought against the US after that time.

23 posted on 06/02/2002 11:24:03 AM PDT by William Tell
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To: Dog Gone
The entire political gambit that is now playing out before us is just another cynical hypocritical fraud, brought to you courtesy of the Democrat party. We are witnessing idiots like McKinney, Clinton, Nadler, and their sycophants in the extreme left of the press and academe continue to disemble and equivocate, mutating and redirecting their attempts to bring down Bush with the "Big Lie", by now focusing their mindless accusations on the faceless bureacracies of the FBI, and soon the CIA and the rest of the intelligence establishment. They desperately are attempting to smear Bush by pretenting that the history of terrorism against the US began January 20, 2001. But, they scream "Clinton Bashing" whenever a realistic factual account of the true history and origin of the intelligence failures they decry is brought up. Clinton more than dropped the ball in the "War on Terrorism." He failed to fight it, even while Americans were being killed overseas by Bin Laden's terrorist operatives. Now he lies about dropping the ball, and pretends to have actually scored fictional baskets with fraudulent spin about foiling terrorist plots, and pointing to his ineffectual attempts to criminalize the war by prosecuting the specific guilty terrorists as if they were lone operators. Crap.

The Rowley memo is being distorted way out of any realistic proportion by those seeking any kind of chink in the Bush political armor. Any similar "warning" or "clue" that comes to light will be similarly distorted, for the sake the Democrat Party's dream of any kind of political gain, by dividing the American public during time of war. The problems with the FBI and the our ability to forsee and prevent atrocities like the WTC attacks have been long present and institutionally ingrained to the point of absurdity, in the clarity of hindsight. The FBI was by charter created and limted to be a domestic law enforcement agency, not an anti-terrorist intelligence bureau. In fact, it has been deliberatly prevented from "spying" on Americans domestically, all in the name of Leftist Political Correctness. The CIA has been proscribed by Congress from offering just the kind of cooperation to the FBI and other governmental bureaus that cynical Democrat partisans call for now. But, don't you dare point out WHO put those shackles on the FBI, CIA, etc., that is needless "dredging up" of old controversy. More "Clinton bashing."

I was amazed today to see Diane Feinstein actually admit that the PC straightjacket that our intelligence services have had to wear up until the shock of 9/11 may have contributed to the now decried intelligence failure to forsee the WTC attack. The problem is even more than the calcified attitudes of career bureaucrats in the FBI and CIA, it is the fundamental way we think about the reality of the terrorist threat. I also witnessed former Assistant Attorney General Holder say ".. the world changed on September 11th." This was an attempt to dissemble and excuse the 8 years of blindness, cover-up, and inaction that were the feeble Clinton response to deadly terrorist attacks on Americans. Think about the previous statement. Of course the world did NOT change on September 11th, except in the sense a sleeper and a dreamer would experience upon waking to reality. This attitude is emblematic of the blindness of the diplomatic/intelligence culture of the US State Dept, DOJ, and Government as a whole. This was a self imposed blindness; using PC and geopolitcally inspired blinders left over from past years, and seemingly glued to our eyes, until they were literally blasted off.

Don't sit still for more of the coming political travesty. Don't get talked into Hillary's and Daschle's version of a media circus "blue ribbon" investigation, that is only focused on blaming Bush for 9/11, and somehow vindicating idiots like Cynthia McKinney and other lunatics. Don't even let conservative or normally moderate pundits talk you into such a joke of an investigation. It would be nothing more than a nostalgic trip down Watergate Lane for the Democrats, desperate for any kind of political issue to save their butts in November. It would be a media spectacle of wild accusations, innuendos and obfuscation, with leaks galore. Instead of getting to the heart of the problem, it would cover it up; and that is the failed foreign intelligence policies of many of the past administrations.

24 posted on 06/02/2002 11:37:46 AM PDT by Richard Axtell
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To: parsifal
, because I think the loss of our rights is a far more serious problem than the terrorists killing some of us. Ask the relatives of the Pentagon employees about our 'so called loss of rights'. Where are the roadblocks, the rousting of mosques, the wholesale detention of islamic radicals? Rights only mean a damn if you're alive. If Moussaoui was not enough of a probable cause to search his computer, wow! The terrorists in America haven't hit us again because they can't get off the floor because they're laughing too much.
25 posted on 06/02/2002 11:55:49 AM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: Richard Axtell
Bump to you! If those Lefty pols hadn't screamed so hard in their 'fight against racial profiling', (just tell those black folk what they want to hear), the reasoned in the USA wouldn't have had their hands tied and eyes averted in the airports. Remember all the TV reports regarding the gym bag going into a trunk and the lack of 'reasonable cause' or the blacks not getting cabs in NYC. Now we know who was driving some of those cabs, but no profiling on them! Why?
26 posted on 06/02/2002 12:05:34 PM PDT by seenenuf
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To: William Tell
Then charge him with treason and produce the two witnesses required by the Constitution.

Actually he was fighting a war out of uniform. When he attempted to surrender they should have blown his head off. If they thought he had any information, they should have tortured it out of him, THEN blown his head off. End of story.

27 posted on 06/02/2002 12:49:03 PM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla
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To: Dog Gone
This discussion of constitutional rights points up, to my mind, the need for a formal declaration of war.

Under the constitution, there are things that, thank God, the FBI simply can not do to a citizen. The rules are looser with non-resident, non-citizens, but there are limits even there.

But there is a term for emergency situations which civil law and criminal law are not adequate to deal with; the term for that is "war". In the situation of a direct threat to our survival, government and citizens cut to the chase, and deal with the threat by extra-legal means. That is what war is. No one reads anyone their rights, no one gets a jury of their peers, the 82nd Airborne simply deals with them directly.

But, under our system, to dispense with the legal protections of evil-doers requires a legal declaration of a state of war. To do what we are trying to do without that "finding" on the part of the executive and legislative branches is to tie ourselves in legal and constitutional knots that are unnecessary.

28 posted on 06/02/2002 1:10:31 PM PDT by marron
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To: Lucius Cornelius Sulla
As soon as America figures out that arresting these jihadists won't deter them, we'll be that much better to the good. Those sob's need to be exterminated, not incarcerated.
29 posted on 06/02/2002 1:14:43 PM PDT by csvset
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To: c21sac
I see where you're coming from. The problem is that when somebody is busted we don't know that they're terrorists. It isn't enough for the feds to insist they know, it has to be proven by due process. Otherwise the authorities could jail whomever they wish on a mere whim.
30 posted on 06/02/2002 1:53:45 PM PDT by alpowolf
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To: Dog Gone
I think we should pass an ammendment to the constitution as follows:

No rights, priviledges, or protections whatsoever afforded by this Consititution shall apply to persons who are citizens of any nation other than these United States of America.

31 posted on 06/02/2002 3:08:54 PM PDT by Lessismore
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To: Lucius Cornelius Sulla
Lucius Cornelius Sulla said: "Actually he was fighting a war out of uniform. When he attempted to surrender they should have blown his head off. If they thought he had any information, they should have tortured it out of him, THEN blown his head off. End of story."

His "uniform" was the same as the rest of his Taliban as far as I know and probably not any different from the "uniform" of the Nothern Alliance. How would it be justified to have "blown his head off" if that treatment was not deemed justified for the hundreds who surrendered with him?

32 posted on 06/02/2002 4:02:55 PM PDT by William Tell
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To: Lessismore
Lessismore said: "No rights, priviledges, or protections whatsoever afforded by this Consititution shall apply to persons who are citizens of any nation other than these United States of America."

Actually, I believe that our foreign policy has suffered over the years because we fail to insist that unalienable rights apply to every one. Supporting the Shah of Iran rather than distancing ourselves from his regime resulted in justified resentment of the US by Iranian citizens. We are free to point out that they are not better off under their present regime but that in no way justifies showing favoritism to the Shah.

I see a similar problem with our treatment of China. We run a significant risk if we become too willing to ignore tyranny, no matter how economically attractive it may be. Our long time favoritism toward Saudi Arabia, though understandable given their control of such a large portion of the world's oil, may cost us dearly in future years. I would prefer to see us develop Alaskan oil and reduce our need to tolerate the Saudi government.

33 posted on 06/02/2002 4:15:31 PM PDT by William Tell
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To: William Tell
How would it be justified to have "blown his head off" if that treatment was not deemed justified for the hundreds who surrendered with him?

It wasn't. The same thing should have happenned to all of them, unless it was not in our interests to do so.

34 posted on 06/02/2002 4:24:04 PM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla
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To: William Tell
I'd be perfectly happy to have every other country adopt our Bill of Rights and apply them to their citizens. That is not inconsistent with their citizens not having constitutionally protected rights when visiting our country. Furthermore, legislation could give them an appropriate degree of protection according to their visa status and/or US residency. However, a citizen of another country should be presumed to be loyal to that other country and not to the United States.
35 posted on 06/02/2002 7:46:29 PM PDT by Lessismore
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To: swarthyguy
Ask the relatives of the Pentagon employees about our 'so called loss of rights'. Where are the roadblocks, the rousting of mosques, the wholesale detention of islamic radicals?

Maybe you should pose your question to the government which failed miserably in protecting those persons who died right's. Maybe you should ask just why that same government (despite a $2trillion/year budget) why it was unable to perform it's most basic function, which is to defend the liberties of it's citizens.

Government can not protect you. It's already proven that it can't, yet you welcome more draconian laws so that it can fail some more and make more excuses. How many times did you burn your hand before you figured out the stove was hot?.

---max

36 posted on 06/02/2002 9:20:46 PM PDT by max61
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To: poet
I think the kid is some kind of a nut but I don't think he is necessarily a traitor. He was a soldier in Afghanistan fighting against the enemies of the Taliban. Until after 9-11 the USA was not fighting the Taliban and even after 9-11 our bone of contention with the Taliban was through their sheltering of UBL, not necessarily a direct conflict with the Taliban.

Look at it this way. How many agents are involved in prosecution of JJ? How many gov't lawyers? How much federal court resources? Now, take those same resources and apply them to finding and deporting Arabs who have overstayed their welcome.Which makes more sense?

Think of it another way. Suppose that the prosecution of JJ is successful. How many other Americans do you scare away from joining the Taliban? There ain't no huge number of Americans flying to Pakistan to join up. So all you accomplish by winning is ---nothing. Just some revenge against a goofy-a** twerp from California.

And what if the G'ovt loses? The case against JJ is very weak. The only way they could even charge him was to allege he was involved in a conspiracy to kill the CIA operative over there. Wow, that's an uphill battle. You got about a thousand or so bitter enemies of America in a closed facility with weapons and some of them decide to kill the American. The odds of that happening were about 99.9% whether JJ was there or not. The only lawsuit here would be a negligence action against whatever idiots let the prisoners in without taking their weapons and maybe a suit against the CIA guy's bosses for sending him into a death-trap.

And what about the negative propaganda aspects of JJ walking free? No, it is sheer idiocy to prosecute this guy. The US has a lot to lose and nothing to gain. IMHO. parsy.

37 posted on 06/03/2002 6:58:37 AM PDT by parsifal
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To: Asclepius
(Do secret courts have secret lawyers?)

Yes. As Kafka's "The Trial" adumbrates.

38 posted on 06/03/2002 7:12:47 AM PDT by Doctor Stochastic
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To: Dog Gone
On Aug. 15, 2001, Moussaoui was arrested by the Immigration and Nationalization Service on a charge of overstaying his visa. At that time, the Minnesota office only had an "overstay" prisoner and a suspicion from an agent that he might be a terrorist because of his religious beliefs and flight training. If this hunch amounted to probable cause, it is hard to imagine what would not satisfy such a standard.

He was (technically) an illegal, not a citizen. I was under the impression that the Constitution was for US Citizens.

39 posted on 06/03/2002 8:38:54 AM PDT by Terriergal
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To: parsifal
For example, the "bad guys" use the second amendment to buy guns.

Exactly my point.. these 'bad guys' are non citizens. They shouldn't have the same rights as citizens.

40 posted on 06/03/2002 8:41:02 AM PDT by Terriergal
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To: Terriergal
Terriergal said: "He was (technically) an illegal, not a citizen. I was under the impression that the Constitution was for US Citizens."

Imagine that you have always believed that you are a US citizen. The knock comes at the door at 1am. The FBI has obtained a secret warrant from a secret court based on hearsay evidence that you are, in fact, an illegal from the Middle East conspiring to blow up apartment buildings.

You are now not entitled to a lawyer or due process. Your family is never informed as to your whereabouts. Courts refuse your families entreaties that the FBI be forced to identify who it has in custody and when, if ever, they will be charged.

Just how do you go about proving that you are a US citizen? Driver's licenses and birth certificates can be faked. If you are not allowed legal representation or communication with your family and friends, what do you do?

The protections of the US Constitution refer to "people". The rights which are enumerated and all of the other rights of man are "unalienable". You have them because you are born human. Rights are not an invention of man they are the recognition of the endowments of a Creator. For those of us who are agnostic, they can be thought of as a recognition of the order of nature.

The mother bear has claws and is not asked to justify their possession. Her survival and the survival of her cubs depends on her ability to defend herself. "Human rights" recognize that humans deserve the same ability to make their own way in the world without having their government deny them the basic abilities that every organism relies upon.

41 posted on 06/03/2002 11:53:55 AM PDT by William Tell
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To: Dog Gone
What is astonishing is how little of her memo actually has been read or quoted beyond its most sensational suggestions

Oh, yeah. That's quite a surprise, isn't it?

42 posted on 06/03/2002 11:55:18 AM PDT by Howlin
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