Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Update On The Al Haramain Case

Here's an update from our friend Zombie on the Al Haramain case , an amazing trial going on in front of the infamous Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that is a watershed in the War on Jihad as it's waged here on the home front. Needless to say, the dinosaur media is far more interested in other things.

If you'll recall, the gist of the case concerns whether the United States Government has the right to conduct secret surveillance of terrorism suspects on American soil.

In my original story on the Al-Haramain surveillance hearing, there are links to sources showing the extensive connections of the Saudi financed Al Haramain `charity' to Islamic terrorism and al-Qaeda, and I invite you to reread it, click on those links and read for yourself exactly whom these people are and whom they're connected with.

Here's what's being litigated and how the courtroom battle went:

Several governments, including the U.S., Britain, and even the UN busted Al Haramain for financing al-Qaeda and specific terrorist attacks and various foreign branches of the `charity' were broken up or shut down as it was designated a terrorist organization.

In 2004, the U.S. branch of Al-Haramain in Ashland, Oregon came under investigation and the US government allegedly tapped their phones and heard evidence that they were helping to finance terrorist activities. It's not known if warrants were obtained, or if the calls were domestic or international. Partly based on intelligence gathered during this surveillance, the U.S. government declared the Oregon branch of Al-Haramain a "specially designated global terrorist organization" and froze their assets.

Al Haramain challenged this in court, unaware of the evidence the Feds had. Unfortunately, during the discovery portion of that litigation, a government employee accidentally gave top secret logs of the tapped phone conversations to Al Haramain's lawyers as part of a stack of documents.

Once they got hold of that juicy little tidbit, Al Haramain hooked up with Leftist lawyers who decided to turn this into a test case to challenge the very legality of the surveillance, and by extension the legality of all secret surveillance. The idea is to set a legal precedent to stop the Federal government from conducting surveillance on anybody, to prevent any similar surveillance in the future, and to make inadmissible any evidence gathered by surveillance in the past.

The implications if they get away with it are staggering.

The government is trying to challenge the case as presented by suppressing the evidence of the leaked surveillance logs on grounds that its exposure in open court would endanger national security. The Feds requested and eventually obtained all U.S. copies of the logs, but not before an unknown number of copies made their way overseas.

The entire case now revolves over whether the plaintiffs even have the legal right to sue the government. In order to prove they have a right to sue, they have to prove they were under surveillance and the only evidence of that is the top secret logs the feds claims are Top Secret, and thus not admissible evidence. Al-Haramain's lawyers want to proceed with the case based on the memories and descriptions of the document, using testimony from the various people that saw it before it was given back to the government. The attorneys for the government are claiming that the document and its contents are classified and secret, and as such cannot even be discussed in court,even as memories. And it also places a major burden on the government's case since testimony based on the witnesses' `memories'(prompted, no doubt by careful study of copies I'm sure Al Haramain's lawyers have retained) could only be challenged by referring to the document itself, which the government says it can't do, because of its classified nature.

That's what's being argued before the Ninth Circuit Court.

Zombie has a pretty good account of what went on in the courtroom, and interested parties should refer to his article for a blow-by-blow on this.

For my purposes, I'll only say that the three judges who heard the case consist of two Clinton appointees and a superannuated Carter hack with a reputation as one of the most Left-leaning appellate judges in America.

Needless to say, throughout the trial the three judges were mocking and sarcastic towards the government's lawyers and polite and sympathetic to Al Haramain's.

The 9th Circuit will likely rule in favor of Al Haramain and this will undoubtedly be referred to the Supreme Court no matter which way it goes.

Not being a lawyer, I can't claim expertise but it seems to me that the government is trying to put toothpaste back in the tube after it's been squeezed. Since the classified logs have already been revealed to our enemies both foreign and domestic and any operational details are already `blown', it might behoove the feds to use that evidence when it comes before the Supreme Court and put the jihadis away for a long time.

One thing that may be effecting that decision is the fact that Al Haramain is, like most of radical Islam's agenda in America financed by President Bush's `eternal friends' the Saudis.

Certain revelations might end up being embarrassing.

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