Will the Terrorists Walk?

Now that everyone has gotten all uppity over the news that the Bush administrations used unique surveillance tactics to weed out post-9/11 terror suspects, lawyers for the convicts now want to go back and look at aspects of cases where convictions occurred. If the eavesdropping was illegal, and the lawyers can prove that key evidence was withheld to gain a favorable decision, the terrorists could get off scot free.

Terrorists out in the open, ready and willing to plan the next attack. That would be a BAD thing, right? If you asked the New York Times, you might get a different answer.

Defense lawyers in some of the country’s biggest terrorism cases say they plan to bring legal challenges to determine whether the National Security Agency used illegal wiretaps against several dozen Muslim men tied to Al Qaeda.

The lawyers said in interviews that they wanted to learn whether the men were monitored by the agency and, if so, whether the government withheld critical information or misled judges and defense lawyers about how and why the men were singled out.

The expected legal challenges, in cases from Florida, Ohio, Oregon and Virginia, add another dimension to the growing controversy over the agency’s domestic surveillance program and could jeopardize some of the Bush administration’s most important courtroom victories in terror cases, legal analysts say.

The question of whether the N.S.A. program was used in criminal prosecutions and whether it improperly influenced them raises “fascinating and difficult questions,” said Carl W. Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond who has studied terrorism prosecutions.

“It seems to me that it would be relevant to a person’s case,” Professor Tobias said. “I would expect the government to say that it is highly sensitive material, but we have legal mechanisms to balance the national security needs with the rights of defendants. I think judges are very conscientious about trying to sort out these issues and balance civil liberties and national security.”

You’d think the New York Times and the Libs believe we’ll never be hit again. They’re certainly acting like that’s the case. I hope they’re right, but I want to be ready, in case they’re not.

I used to be really big on government keeping to themselves and staying out of my business, but everything changed after September 11th. Now, I want the government to stay busy finding these bad guys and either killing them or putting them in jail, on a far away island, until they rot and die. Now listen, I don’t want government officials standing outside my house for days on end, or sneaking around my property. But, I do want them to have the tools necessary to find the terrorists and thwart the next attack.

If we become obsessed with gazing at our own navels, we won’t look up in time to stop the next terrorist attack.

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