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Dangerous Secrets

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I ran across a lead to the following in Natalie Davis’ "All
Facts and Opinion
" blog:

Secret 9/11 case before high court

Miami – It’s the case that doesn’t
exist. Even though two different federal courts have conducted hearings
and issued rulings, there has been
no public record of any action. No documents are available. No files. No
lawyer is allowed to speak about it. Period.

"The entire dockets for this case and appeal, every entry on them, are
maintained privately, under seal, unavailable to the public," says a
partially censored 27-page petition asking the high court to hear the case. "In
the court of appeals, not just the filed documents and docket sheet are
sealed from public view, but also hidden is the essential fact that a legal

Despite the heavy secrecy, a brief docketing error led to a newspaper report
identifying MKB by name in March. The report said MKB is an Algerian
waiter in south Florida who was detained by immigration authorities and
by the FBI.

MKB’s legal status remains unclear, but it appears unlikely
from court documents that he is connected in any way to terrorism
. He
has been free
since March
2002 on a $10,000 bond
. [Christian
Science Monitor, 10/30/03

Does that make sense? Prosecute under the terrorist laws but let the defendant
wander around free? Is John Edwards right?

The last thing we should be doing is turning over our privacy, our liberties,
our freedom, our constitutional rights to John Ashcroft. [John
Edwards On Civil Rights

What do you think?

PS: The Rehnquist book is interesting (frightening) in showing
the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court arguing why it’s a good thing to
give up constitutional
rights. The founding fathers must be spinning in their graves:

‘They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety’
— Benjamin Franklin.

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About Hal

  • Sometimes the best advice is the old advice. Thanks for posting Ben’s.

  • Thanks for finding the story – I thought it deserved a bigger play, and have it up on my site, too.

    The other quote I find singularly applicable in recent years is:

    “…the consciousness of being at war, and therefore in danger, makes the handing-over of all power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of survival …”