Matthew X 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 
months ago.
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.

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