profrv at nex.net.au
Thu May 13 05:44:59 PDT 1999
2 australians continue to suffer cruel and unusual punishment at X-ray.No
charges,No lawyers,No visitors apart from au goons.No letters.Kidnapped
TERENCE SMITH: That's "Boston Globe" columnist Tom Oliphant and syndicated
columnist Michelle Malkin. Both Mark Shields and David Brooks are on
vacation. Welcome to you both.
FISA court ruling
Tom Oliphant, the, we just heard a discussion about what amounts to a
standoff now between this secret intelligence court and the Justice
Department. What's the significance of that?
TOM OLIPHANT: Well, the significance is not going to be any at all in a
larger political sense. There's no question that public opinion today
continues to be overwhelmingly on the side of security as opposed to civil
liberties, as is often the case at this stages of war, including this
unique one. Civil liberties tends to be a minority concern that has to claw
its way to attention.
On the other hand, I do think this has some impact on the effectiveness of
the administration's administration of the criminal and intelligence
bureaucracies, and it's this. Credibility in secret proceedings is
everything. And I think the court went out of its way to indicate its
displeasure on those grounds, including making this decision public, which
itself was a form of rebuke. I think --.
TERENCE SMITH: By saying that on 75 occasions -
TOM OLIPHANT: Absolutely.
TERENCE SMITH: -- the FBI had misled them.
TOM OLIPHANT: There are other cases not just before this special court, and
I think other judges are going to be more inclined now to look behind the
government's claims to check further. And most importantly of all is on the
street. The biggest aid in prosecution of this war is the citizen who helps
the government. And you want to have the confidence that you're going to be
treated squarely, and this undermines it.
TERENCE SMITH: Michelle Malkin, what's your take?
MICHELLE MALKIN: I do think it would be a mistake to characterize the
ruling, though, as a stark repudiation or rebuke of the way that Ashcroft
and the Bush administration specifically are conducting the war on terror
because these 75 errors and misrepresentations that the court was clearly
piqued about happened under the prior administration. And, in fact, the
Justice Department had started self reporting a lot of those errors in the
first place. So I think the end result of the decision right now is that
it's a big yield sign.
It's a warning to the FBI and the agent there's to make sure that the
affidavits that they file for search warrants as they conduct this war on
terror have all their "t's" crossed and their "i's" dotted. There will be
an appeal of the case and that's unprecedented as well. But I think, you
know, the clear message is, we cannot have a completely opaque wall between
intelligence gathering and criminal prosecutions. But if you're going to
poke holes in those walls, you have to make sure that the whole facade
doesn't come crumbling down.
TOM OLIPHANT: Michelle makes a very important point, particularly because
the head of the FBI until last year was Louis Freeh, whose administration
is already very controversial, and this is another criticism of that.
TERENCE SMITH: And these cases of course crossed over.
TOM OLIPHANT: Very much so. In fairness, it should also be said that this
administration, in a sense has sought to enjoy the fruits of the policy
that was being pursued, as witness with the appeal.
More information about the cypherpunks-legacy