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NSA's Role In Terror Cases Concealed From Defense Lawyers 172

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can-trust-us dept.
Rick Zeman writes "'Confidentiality is critical to national security.' So wrote the Justice Department in concealing the NSA's role in two wiretap cases. However, now that the NSA is under the gun, it's apparently not so critical, according to New York attorney Joshua Dratel: 'National security is about keeping illegal conduct concealed from the American public until you're forced to justify it because someone ratted you out.' The first he heard of the NSA's role in his client's case was 'when [FBI deputy director Sean] Joyce disclosed it on CSPAN to argue for the effectiveness of the NSA's spying.' Dratel challenged the legality of the spying in 2011, and asked a federal judge to order the government to produce the wiretap application the FBI gave the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to justify the surveillance. 'Disclosure of the FISA applications to defense counsel – who possess the requisite security clearance – is also necessary to an accurate determination of the legality of the FISA surveillance, as otherwise the defense will be completely in the dark with respect to the basis for the FISA surveillance,' wrote Dratel. According to Wired, 'The government fought the request in a 60-page reply brief (PDF), much of it redacted as classified in the public docket. The Justice Department argued that the defendants had no right to see any of the filings from the secret court, and instead the judge could review the filings alone in chambers."
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NSA's Role In Terror Cases Concealed From Defense Lawyers

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  • So have NSA denied their involvement in taking facebook down today?
  • Star Chamber much? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @07:22AM (#44048323)

    And by the way who the FUCK is overseeing the chain of evidence?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @07:28AM (#44048377)

      And by the way who the FUCK is overseeing the chain of evidence?

      Obviously a secret overseer.

    • And by the way who the FUCK is overseeing the chain of evidence?

      RTFA. The NSA data was not used as evidence in court. The NSA data was used to identify suspicious behavior, and establish probable cause, but all the evidence used to convict was collected by normal law enforcement. A chain of custody is not required for all evidence. It is only required for evidence used in court.

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        Really? Up here in Canadaland, the evidence required to get a warrant(aka R&PG and/or probable cause) require a chain of evidence when presented in court, because the defense must have full disclosure.

        • Really? Up here in Canadaland, the evidence required to get a warrant(aka R&PG and/or probable cause) require a chain of evidence when presented in court, because the defense must have full disclosure.

          I believe it's the same in the US. Anything the Goverment uses to prosecute must be made available to the defense - classified or not.

      • by PraiseBob (1923958) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @10:10AM (#44050011)
        The NSA data was used to identify suspicious behavior, and establish probable cause, but all the evidence used to convict was collected by normal law enforcement.

        Court cases get thrown out every single day because of issues in establishing probable cause. It is one of the most common reasons for criminal cases to be dismissed in court. For the government to now claim that probable cause can be established without the defendant seeing the evidence is quite literally overturning centuries of jurisprudence.
        • by houghi (78078)

          For the government to now claim that probable cause can be established without the defendant seeing the evidence is quite literally overturning centuries of jurisprudence.

          The way you state it make it sound as if that is something they would not do.
          In that case, you are mistaken. They gladly and happily will do that and much, much more as long as you allow them to do so,

          Watch any show about raising kids or puppies. If you do not hold down your foot, they will go a bit further each time. In the beginning you

      • by sjames (1099)

        If the NSA evidence was improper (or false) then everything that follows from it is fruit of a poisonous tree.

  • So much for... (Score:5, Informative)

    by bleh-of-the-huns (17740) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @07:27AM (#44048359)

    The right to face your accuser. In a regular court, all evidence being used against a person has to be in both the prosecutors and defenses possession. I watch enough Law and Order to know this :) (Also, my neighbours are lawyers)

    • Re:So much for... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @07:42AM (#44048465)

      In theory, the judge is supposed to take into account whether an assertion of the state-secrets privilege prejudices the outcome of the case, and if so, is supposed to take action accordingly in the interest of justice. For example, they could exclude evidence if the defendant isn't given the proper right to examine it; or they could dismiss charges entirely if the government's assertion of privilege makes a fair trial impossible.

      In practice this does not seem to happen much.

      • Re:So much for... (Score:4, Informative)

        by xelah (176252) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @08:02AM (#44048627)
        Very definitely a problem. The UK has some secret evidence in court proceedings (for control orders, I think this was), and AIUI, a problem which comes up is that the defence is left guessing what they have to rebut. The defence lawyers have to ask the defendent (hmm, I'm not sure if he's technically a defendent) to guess what secret evidence might have been presented so that they can, say, present some evidence that he was at a certain place at a certain time in the hope that it invalidates some of the claims. Sounds rather farcical.
        • by gay358 (770596) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @09:47AM (#44049707)

          If prosecutor is allowed to present secret evidence to the judge, the defence lawyers should also have the right to present their own secret evidence that the prosecutor will not be able to see/hear. I wonder how fair they would find it...

        • The defence lawyers have to ask the defendent (hmm, I'm not sure if he's technically a defendent) to guess what secret evidence might have been presented so that they can, say, present some evidence that he was at a certain place at a certain time in the hope that it invalidates some of the claims.

          Dangerous, dangerous. What if the only way to "guess" about the evidence is to either be guilty, or be privy to the secret info?

          If the government might have evidence that defendant was at place P at time T, and defence now shows that defendant was elsewhere E at time T, then the fact that defendant knows that T is material to the case might already show that he knows something which he couldn't if he were innocent. Nice Catch-22.

    • Re:So much for... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by portwojc (201398) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @07:43AM (#44048471) Homepage

      You are facing your accuser. You just don't have the security clearance to view the evidence. And because such evidence will raise nasty questions about how it was collected. Like what's happening now...

      There is a quote out of SW EP1 that rings so true in government when anything goes south on them: "I will make it legal" - Darth Sidious

      • You just don't have the security clearance to view the evidence. And because such evidence will raise nasty questions about how it was collected.

        Well, not all the evidence anyway. The fact that some evidence exists at all reveals important things about how it was uncovered.

        For the purposes of illustration, suppose the US was able to listen in on a North Korean spy that had just delivered a load of man portable anti-aircraft missiles to an al Qaida cell*. If the al Qaida leader had told the North Korean spy that he had a plan to shoot down a passenger jet at San Francisco airport, and the spy reported that back to headquarters, the US could interce

        • For the purposes of illustration, suppose the US was able to listen in on a North Korean spy that had just delivered a load of man portable anti-aircraft missiles to an al Qaida cell*. If the al Qaida leader had told the North Korean spy that he had a plan to shoot down a passenger jet at San Francisco airport, and the spy reported that back to headquarters, the US could intercept that message and know about it. There might be enough information in the spy's report (to whom the missiles were delivered, where, when, what they would be used for) to lead to an arrest of the terrorist. But if the source of the information leading to the arrest was made public, then North Korea would know that it didn't have secure communications with its spies in the field, and would change its codes and/or communication procedures. If it did that, the US would lose its ability to conduct surveillance of the spies of a hostile nation, which would be a pretty important thing to lose. There can be plenty of conundrums that arise from this sort of thing.

          It is a problem, but even arresting the guy would could have the same impact. It's not as if his chums will assume that the SEALs came on account of those outstanding speeding tickets. Of course I understand that merely arresting the guy won't necessarily tip them off to the source.

          I see a bigger problem in the form of evidence being kept secret and used against someone in a trial. That's a bigger risk, as at that point we may as well employ the Star Chamber for "terrorism".

          I'm fine with evidence being kept

          • I see a bigger problem in the form of evidence being kept secret and used against someone in a trial. That's a bigger risk, as at that point we may as well employ the Star Chamber for "terrorism".

            It is problematic for trials and other court proceedings. I have seen cases reported in which a defense attorney was given a security clearance to review the evidence and work the issues it creates. Of course that attorney is limited in what he or she can tell the defendant. And not every attorney is trustworthy in handing national security related matters.

            Conviction of disbarred lawyer Lynne Stewart upheld for smuggling messages to jailed terrorist [nydailynews.com]

            It would be way better if al Qaida would simply stop att

        • by rthille (8526)

          I accept your premise, but I reject that North Korea changing their codes and our agencies having a harder time listening in being worth giving up our Constitution for. A few downed planes a year isn't worth giving up our freedoms for.

          • I reject the assertion that the Constitution is being given up even if there are some difficult corner cases.

            Down enough planes and much of the public will abandon air travel, with all of the consequences that will entail, including massive price increases for remaining travel which will cause more people to leave it.

            • by rthille (8526)

              Sure, but we wouldn't have a few downed planes/year, and we've been dealing with hijackings and accidental crashes for decades before 9/11 without people giving up air travel. It was the combination of 9/11 being out-sized and the governmental and media promotion of fear surrounding the event in the name of power and ratings that really screwed us. Seriously, terrorism should be much less on your mind than your diet and exercise.

        • Re:So much for... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @03:01PM (#44053471)

          For the purposes of illustration, suppose the US was able to listen in on a North Korean spy that had just delivered a load of man portable anti-aircraft missiles to an al Qaida cell*. If the al Qaida leader had told the North Korean spy that he had a plan to shoot down a passenger jet at San Francisco airport, and the spy reported that back to headquarters, the US could intercept that message and know about it. There might be enough information in the spy's report (to whom the missiles were delivered, where, when, what they would be used for) to lead to an arrest of the terrorist.

          Sheesh, this isn't a problem. Its just NOT. Regular police deal with it ALL the time.

          Suppose run of the mill police informant witnesses a crime, but if he testifies in court it blows his cover and the powers that be know that the inside information & access he has is worth far more than the arrest of one person, so they don't use it. But they still know who committed the crime and will keep an eye on him and try to find another chain of evidence with which to go after him. Or go after him for something else... for a famous example: tax evasion.

          NSA secret evidence is really no different at all. And it should be treated the same. As far as the civil court system is concerned, if it "too classified" to be presented in court and made available to the defendant, then it is not admissible in court and can't be used to convict. If the NSA's access to North Korean terrorist communications is to valuable to compromise, then so be it, don't use it to arrest the guy. Find some other way. If he goes free, for a while, until they can find something else that's the price of keeping the access to the terrorist communications network. I can live with that.

          You can't have both. And you shouldn't want both. Otherwise, we're a short hop away from witch hunts. The police informant with high level gang access can decide you slighted him at the bar the other day, and reports he saw you arguing and then beating on a now deceased hooker. You get arrested, and at trial, they tell you a secret witness saw you attack her. Good luck.

          Substitute NSA agent for police informant? What's the difference? Secret evidence is bad. If that's all you have, and you want it to remain a secret, you shouldn't be able to use it in court.

    • Re:So much for... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cold fjord (826450) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @07:47AM (#44048505)

      There are plenty cans of worms to open over this.

      Bank Robbery Suspect Wants NSA Surveillance Records for Defense [breitbart.com]

    • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @08:00AM (#44048607)

      In a regular court, all evidence being used against a person has to be in both the prosecutors and defenses possession.

      Well, that shit-cans my defense plans:

      Mom: "You never call me on the phone!"

      Me: "Sure I do! Just ask the NSA!"

    • by Jawnn (445279)

      The right to face your accuser. In a regular court, all evidence being used against a person has to be in both the prosecutors and defenses possession. I watch enough Law and Order to know this :) (Also, my neighbours are lawyers)

      ...and probably terrorists. What kind of pinko, socialist, anti-American nonsense is this? How dare you suggest that some lofty notion like liberty or privacy supersedes our government's need to protect us from "teh evil-dooers'?

      • by SirGarlon (845873)

        protect us from "teh evil-dooers'?

        The phrase is "bad guys." Because that's how high-ranking law enforcement and military officials are supposed to talk nowadays -- like preschoolers. I can't figure out whether that indicates their own intelligence and maturity, or their opinion of the public's.

    • Re:So much for... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SirGarlon (845873) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @08:07AM (#44048683)

      What the "national security" cloak is really about is controlling the evidence. It's easy to claim you're stopping terrorism when you control all the evidence that shows whether there was any terrorist threat in the first place. When the government goes to the bother of having a trial -- and that will be increasingly rarely -- they can bring out their best stuff and prevent the defense from ever seeing anything remotely exculpatory. When we get to the point where the government fabricates a key piece of evidence now and then, how will the court know? Who's to say that is not happening routinely?

      Why the courts admit secret evidence totally escapes me. Quite possibly, that's a worse breach of personal freedom than the surveillance itself, because without secret evidence the surveillance couldn't be (legally) used against citizens.

      • Federal Judges (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @12:17PM (#44051625)

        Why the courts admit secret evidence totally escapes me. Quite possibly, that's a worse breach of personal freedom than the surveillance itself, because without secret evidence the surveillance couldn't be (legally) used against citizens.

        This is the absolute worst, heart-breaking part of this slow imposition of the police state. Sure, you expect the spooks (spies) to want ever more data and unchecked power, and sure, you sadly expect elected officials to either be fascists (R) or cowards (D), but goddamnit Judges! Federal Judges are supposed to be the bulwark against blatant abuses of the Peoples constitutional rights, especially by the government!

        For them to have just rolled over and rubber-stamped every FISA fishing expedition and allowing the DOJ to conduct Kafkaesque Star Chamber inquisitions is sickening and unforgiveable. Either they are as cowardous as the Ds, or they themselves have been blackmailed by data from PRISM, et al.

    • by Virtucon (127420)

      Did you stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night too?

  • The media's logic. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @07:29AM (#44048389)

    I felt I needed a dose of stupidity, so I tuned into one of the news channels to see what they were saying about this case. After they were done with their character assassination of Edward Snowden (as if it has anything to do with the NSA's spying), they decided to apply some brilliant logic to the situation: Since Snowden is so clearly a dirty traitor and can't be trusted, we should all trust the guys from the NSA to do what's right. Evidently, if one person cannot be trusted, you must trust the secretive guy who is in direct opposition to the other guy...

    And this comes from the people who claim to want small government. Yeah, okay. Small government... unless we think something will help stop the terrorists, and in that case, the government should do whatever it wants and violate the constitution as it wants!

    • by rvw (755107)

      I felt I needed a dose of stupidity, so I tuned into one of the news channels to see what they were saying about this case. After they were done with their character assassination of Edward Snowden (as if it has anything to do with the NSA's spying), they decided to apply some brilliant logic to the situation: Since Snowden is so clearly a dirty traitor and can't be trusted, we should all trust the guys from the NSA to do what's right. Evidently, if one person cannot be trusted, you must trust the secretive guy who is in direct opposition to the other guy...

      And this comes from the people who claim to want small government. Yeah, okay. Small government... unless we think something will help stop the terrorists, and in that case, the government should do whatever it wants and violate the constitution as it wants!

      The US (and many other nations like France and the UK) have done this for ages. The enemy of your enemy. Remember the Iran-Iraq war in the 80s? Afghanistan - Russia back then as well? This created the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan that turned evil later on. It's stupid opportunistic policy, it's a problem for later. When news channels broadcast this kind of logic, it's only because many people want to hear this. These are the news channels that don't bring news, but that feed the fear, by request of the

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        It's stupid opportunistic policy, it's a problem for later.

        Yeah, stupid like a fox. Guess what? If you solve all the problems now you'll have no wars to profit from later.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @07:29AM (#44048391) Homepage

    So you lose the right to know your accuser, the basis on which you're accused, and the ability to see the evidence against you.

    But you have to trust us, if he wasn't a bad person we wouldn't be watching him. We're just not allowed to tell you why.

    This is getting pretty scary, and it seems like it undermines some pretty basic rights of the accused. Because apparently you could be tried and convicted without ever being told what for.

    The US (and sadly by extension most every other country) is ceasing to be free, and starting to get to the level of the of Soviets in terms of being able to do anything in terms of state security.

    Sad. This freedom thing has been a nice experiment, but not we're moving towards the global police state -- or at least a globe filled with a bunch of different police states.

    • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @07:48AM (#44048511) Homepage Journal

      Everyone need to read (or reread) Kafka's "The Trial" *now*.

    • by MrNemesis (587188)

      What's lacking here is branding awareness and a lack of a clear plan of execution. Watching this unfold in the media is torture. We need a catchy new name to get the public behind this fast-track form of getting the obviously guilty terrorists brought before the law.

      How about the Stars and Stripes Chamber?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @07:32AM (#44048407)

    Congress should be impeaching the President, and then in an act of real patriotism impeach themselves.
    99% of Congress went along with Bush's illegal anticonstitutional plan, and then went along a second time to Obama's tune.
    Fucking traitors that they are.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @07:39AM (#44048441)

    Why? Because they let it happen.

    You don't give a toss about your own constitution, if you did, you would have done something by now.

    • I blame the american people

      I blame both.

    • by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich@@@aol...com> on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @07:42AM (#44048467) Journal

      As long as they can get their weekly does of the Kardashians, Americans just don't give a shit about their freedoms anymore.

      Fat, dumb, and happy. That's how the emperor of Rome did it, and that's how our government is doing it now.

      • by dywolf (2673597)

        I wish I could get a dose of Kardashian or three.
        At the same time even!

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          I wish I could get a dose of Kardashian or three.

          You might get a dose from Kardashian ... she's like the town bicycle.

      • by Virtucon (127420)

        Actually it's dose and stop snooping on my TV watching habits! NFW would I touch a Kardashian with a 10 foot pole either, too much fat. Also, I happen to take my freedoms seriously and yes, sometimes I do wish that everybody who had a vote actually cared and studied the issues. From Gerrymandering to people who go across state lines and vote twice we have a system that works but has some very serious flaws and any attempts at changing that result in court challenges and calls that somebody is disenfranc

      • by Bob9113 (14996)

        As long as they can get their weekly does of the Kardashians, Americans just don't give a shit about their freedoms anymore.

        Fat, dumb, and happy. That's how the emperor of Rome did it, and that's how our government is doing it now.

        We already know that part. Is there nothing more to say? Add something to the conversation, don't stop with the trite half-witticism. How do we jar them out of their complacence? Or if we believe they are beyond redemption, how should that affect we who can see?

        How do you explain

        • Start making lists of names. Don't just say "they" are doing this. Name names, together with what it is they've done that's blatantly unconstitutional. Who is the FISA court judge? What's his name? Who are the prosecutors using this NSA evidence? What are their names? Hell, include their business addresses and phone numbers, while you're at it.

          See how THEY like being on a list, eh?

          Only if you do it, be sure you host it outside the US, only log into it via a chain of random proxies, and purge your cac

    • by bleh-of-the-huns (17740) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @08:03AM (#44048635)

      No individual let this happen.

      The problem with the US as a whole is that everyone votes along party lines, versus voting for a candidate (regardless of their party affiliation) that best matches their individual ideals.

      At the same time, we have politicians making bold promises, and then failing on actually keeping any of those promises. The President for example promised a more open government, and an end to the surveillance programs that Bush started. Absolutely none of that has come about. He may have started, and possibly intended to keep those lofty goals, but in the end, he just failed.

      It is like that for every single politician out there. I'm not even going to get into the fact that they are all bought and paid for by one special interest group or another.

      What we need is to clean house, we need people who don't want the jobs as politicians, they will be the ones who will perform the best. Pick a teacher, pick a garbage man, pick anyone but those who are actively looking to be a politician. I look at the current crop of Congress critters and Senators, and I am not sure what they stand for, they certainly don't stand for the little guys within their respective states..

      Meh.. I am done,.. This turned into a rant that I was hoping to avoid.

      • Unfortunately, at this point, the system is self-sustaining. Republicans and Democrats redraw voting districts to ensure that their party wins as many as possible. Both parties actively keep third parties off the ballot and out of public debates whenever possible to make those candidates look like fringe offerings that have no chance of winning. They also each demonize the other party to scare people into thinking that not voting for A means that B will win and BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN!!!!! (Part of the b

      • No individual let this happen.

        Every individual let this happen.

    • I blame me. And you. They said, "if you see something, say something."

      Well, I'm seeing things.

      I'm seeing my government spying on me. I'm saying "I object."

      I'm seeing my government grope old ladies, small children and grown men before they can travel. I'm saying "I object."

      I'm seeing my government lock up non-violent drug users. I'm saying "I object."

      I'm seeing my government torture and imprison human beings, foreign and domestic. I'm saying "I object."

      I'm seeing my government enslave a generation to debt to

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @07:46AM (#44048497) Homepage

    An individual cannot "wage war." An organization that can only field a few attackers here and there cannot "wage war." Waging war implicitly means the ability to attack an enemy, occupy their land and drive out their political authority. Most terrorist organizations cannot field an army capable of occupying a one camel town for more than week, and their affiliates that can are not making war on us.

    If the President can use his war powers on them, then he sure as heck can use them on MS13 or any other large scale criminal gang in the US as most of them have more power to inflict severe loss of life and property than 90% of the Islamic terrorist groups.

  • 1. Has evidence from PRISM been used to indict citizens of the US or its NATO allies. 2. Have any of those accused been denied trial and classed as "enemy combatants"? 3. Do any of the above now reside in Guantanamo Bay ? If all the above is true then PRISM has already been used in the worst way imaginable. I think you'll find that there are 2 Canadian citizens were held in Guantanemo, with a further 16 candidates for immigration or refugees. That's just Canada, I am sure there are more from other NATO p
  • It's yet another civil right plopping down into the toilet.

  • by Shavano (2541114) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @07:56AM (#44048565)

    Isn't that a bedrock principle of our justice system? What would you do if you were on a jury where the prosecutor was allowed to talk about evidence and not even the defendant's attorney was allowed to to see the order that showed it was legally obtained?

    Should the jury at that point disregard the evidence because they can presume it was illegally obtained?

    • by Tokolosh (1256448)

      Jury nullification should be taught in high school civics class.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_nullification [wikipedia.org]

      • by Tokolosh (1256448) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @08:40AM (#44048995)

        In 1982, during the Falklands War, the British Royal Navy sank an Argentine Cruiser – the "ARA General Belgrano". Three years later in 1985, civil servant (government employee) named Clive Ponting leaked two government documents concerning the sinking of the cruiser to a Member of Parliament (Tam Dalyell) and was subsequently charged with breaching section 2 of the Official Secrets Act 1911. The prosecution in the case demanded that the jury convict Ponting as he had clearly contravened the Act by leaking official information about the sinking of the Belgrano during the Falklands War. His main defence, that it was in the public interest that this information be made available, was rejected on the grounds that "the public interest is what the government of the day says it is", but the jury nevertheless acquitted him, much to the consternation of the Government. He had argued that he had acted out of "his duty to the interests of the state"; the judge had argued that civil servants owed their duty to the government.

        • by SirGarlon (845873)

          the judge had argued that civil servants owed their duty to the government

          Dude, that is the scariest thing I've heard in years.

          WTF is freedom if not the ability to decide for yourself where your duty lies?

          • by Rick Zeman (15628)

            the judge had argued that civil servants owed their duty to the government

            Dude, that is the scariest thing I've heard in years.

            WTF is freedom if not the ability to decide for yourself where your duty lies?

            Yeah, I guess the Brits had forgotten the Nuremburg trials which invalidated the "just following orders" defense...which is the flip side of the owing your unflagging duty to the governement du jour.

        • the judge had argued that civil servants owed their duty to the government.

          When the government properly recognizes that ITS duty is to the people, then I can see this as being true. However, all too often, governments (even democratically elected ones) seem to think that their duty is to themselves/their party and the people are just an inconvenient speed-bump that you need to deal with every few years to gain re-election.

    • by anagama (611277)

      About 20% of the US population would be totally and rightfully pissed about such a situation. Another 30-40% wouldn't care. And the rest would be drooling to get on that jury so they could convict and throw away the key.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @08:02AM (#44048625)

    "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Hermann Goering

  • withholding evidence from the defense because it's classified? That's akin to a show trial.

  • I always find it funny how legal briefs are typically anything but.
  • It is not the lack of morality in the powerful that should concern us, but rather the fact that lack of morality so often leads to power.

God may be subtle, but he isn't plain mean. -- Albert Einstein

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