Defense Lawyers in Terror Cases Plan Challenges Over Spy EffortsYou see, kiddies, when you break the law and subvert the Constitution all kinds of bad things happen.
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."
Government officials with knowledge of the program have not ruled out the possibility that it was used in other criminal cases, and a number of defense lawyers said in interviews that circumstantial evidence had led them to question whether the security agency identified their clients through wiretaps.
The first challenge is likely to come in Florida, where lawyers for two men charged with Jose Padilla, who is jailed as an enemy combatant, plan to file a motion as early as next week to determine if the N.S.A. program was used to gain incriminating information on their clients and their suspected ties to Al Qaeda. Kenneth Swartz, one of the lawyers in the case, said, "I think they absolutely have an obligation to tell us" whether the agency was wiretapping the defendants.
"If I'm a defense attorney," one prosecutor said, "the first thing I'm going to say in court is, 'This was an illegal wiretap.' "
Do I need to remind anyone that Clinton actually caught, tried and convicted those who bombed the WTC in 93?
Meanwhile, The Gang Who Can't Shoot Straight may have hopelessly damaged cases against terrorists by their insistence on doing everything their way, Constitution and laws be damned.
So I ask:
What can't Bush fuck up???