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The Courts United States

NSA Trial Evidence 'Riddled With Boxes and Arrows' 108

Posted by timothy
from the we-didn't-mean-to-imply-anything dept.
decora writes "In the Espionage Act trial of NSA IT Whistleblower Thomas Drake, the main evidence against him are five documents he allegedly 'willfully retained' in his basement. The government, for the first time, is using the Silent Witness Rule to 'substitute' words in this evidence so that the public will not be able to see the allegedly sensitive information. The result of this 'substitution' process has been described by the defense as a tangled mess of boxes, arrows, and code words [PDF] that will impossibly confuse the facts of the case. 'Two weeks before trial, Mr. Drake and his counsel still do not know what evidence the jury will see.'"
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NSA Trial Evidence 'Riddled With Boxes and Arrows'

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  • Rights? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cyrano.mac (916276) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @10:20AM (#36342404)
    The rights of the American people are eroding at an alarming rate. It's not new, it has happened before, so we have to conclude that history doesn't really teach us anything.
    • Re:Rights? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @10:54AM (#36342590) Homepage Journal
      If you missed it,a few weeks ago here we had another story about Drake [newyorker.com]. The story of his case is less of an impenetrable vast state chasing him and more like a handful of people whom he knew from his previous job (critical point: at the NSA) trying to manipulate the law to get him put away for whistleblowing on the NSA's spying program—which he claims he didn't even actually do.

      This guy's problems are way more Orwellian than anything the average citizen has ever experienced in the United States. Read the New Yorker article I linked to, and you'll gain a new appreciation for why the government has become so messed up over the past decade. Men with no oversight are doing what they will in the name of national security because they've convinced themselves that they can't permit 9/11 to reoccur, and that it was their fault. They've driven themselves mad, falling into the mentality of "those who prefer security to freedom." It's not that they're innately cruel tyrants, or sadists, it's that they're paranoid and guilt-wracked—a horribly dangerous combination when you add on the "defend the collective" mentality that causes police officers to protect each other when corruption charges manifest.
      • by jdpars (1480913)
        Your information seems helpful, if a little opinionated in places. I do agree with you, however, that this seems to be misuse of otherwise normal laws for a less than ethical purpose. I don't think the silent witness rule is inherently bad. If, for example, the security issue were a country with an attack plan that an NSA member decoded and helped to stop, instead of, say, Afghanistan, the silent witness rule could replace Afghanistan with Madeupaland. I guess the issue comes when, instead, the information
        • Given that the silent witness rule doesn't interfere with the normal procedure of the court room (i.e. the jury isn't supposed to know about public opinion in a case anyway) I would most definitely agree, and indeed I don't think it's even that big of a deal in this case. My post was about the origins of this case, which the New Yorker went to great lengths to document. The link to it that I gave in the GP weaves a tale that leaves little room for interpretation and opinion.
          • Sorry, correction: I misread the part where it said the jurors would not see the original documents. I guess that makes the execution of this court case just as unfair as the initial prosecution.
      • ...the government has become so messed up over the past decade.

        The past decade?? Try the past 23 decades and change... The government has been 'messed up' since, like, forever. The events of ten years ago only provided the necessary pretext to accelerate the process while keeping the 'hearts and minds' of the zombie public captive.. Read a little more closely the policies of, say, Adams, Lincoln, Wilson, or FDR, if you wish to see just how messed up it can get.. The only noticeable difference now is that th

        • Your point may be valid, but it shows an astounding lack of reading comprehension. I was giving an explanation for the current cycle of problems only, not making a general statement about the history of the United States. I even italicized "why". You should probably start a blog to vent your anger instead of derailing pre-existing conversations.
          • Your point may be valid, but it shows an astounding lack of reading comprehension. I was giving an explanation for the current cycle of problems only, not making a general statement about the history of the United States. I even italicized "why". You should probably start a blog to vent your anger instead of derailing pre-existing conversations.

            Whoa! Who's showing anger here, really? I read his post as indicating disgust more than anger.

            FWIW I see no italicization of "why" in your post.

            In any case, di

            • Re:Rights? (Score:4, Informative)

              by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @01:36PM (#36343610) Homepage Journal

              Whoa! Who's showing anger here, really? I read his post as indicating disgust more than anger.

              His decision to move the focus from this specific incident, and its relevance to the origin of the problems of the Bush era, to a more generalized complaint about the administration of the United States throughout its entire history struck me as hasty and rant-like. That usually implies an underlying sense of frustration (and therefore anger). However, assessing whether the tone of a passage of written text is disgusted or angry is very a subjective process, and I don't think it makes sense to try and interpret it. It can, after all, be both.

              FWIW I see no italicization of "why" in your post.

              The italicised "why" is the sixteenth word in the second sentence of the second paragraph, immediately before the portion that countertrolling quoted. It's not very difficult to find, given that it's the only usage of the word "why" in that post.

              In any case, discussing a history of malfeasance is always more enlightening than discussing a single incident in isolation. I view his post as relevant to the discussion.

              In general it's a pertinent and relevant subject to discuss, but in the context of my assumption that his post was an angry rant, it seemed more like he was going off-topic. The decision to pivot around topics so rapidly and the lack of connective prose tying his statements back into the previous conversation did not present a natural part of the conversation as much as an attempt to ramble about a pet peeve.

              The part that really got me was that he said nothing worth saying: no new combination of facts or feelings was presented; it's just the same bitching that arises every time there's a news article on Slashdot that mentions oppressive misconduct by the government. His post could be cut-and-paste in a solid 20% of all Slashdot articles and be just as relevant. That doesn't mean it should be repeated over and over again.

              No respondent can read your mind and know the exact intentions of your post. If you wish to limit the discussion please explicitly state the scope of your argument.

              While telepathy is indeed not generally an ability found amongst Slashdot posters, I believe I have presented a coherent and consistent position that can be understood without too much trouble. Please read the above carefully and let me know if you have any further concerns.

          • You seem to have difficulty discerning a disagreement, or in this case, a correction, from anger. There is no anger on my part whatsoever, only resignation to the facts. This current cycle is no different from any other cycle. It is merely another cycle. And in fact, it's not even a cycle, because throughout the entire written history of mankind nothing has has changed in any significant manner. It only looks different because things move faster, but it's all still in the same circle.

            Another thing is that i

            • I completely agree with your position, and apologise for the accusation. Unfortunately, however, having a solution to the problem isn't actually enough: there are so many psychotics and special interest groups and lobbyists that nothing short of a massive popular uprising like in the recent Arab revolutions (in the US's case, easily on the order of tens of millions of people) could have any coherent sway.
      • Men with no oversight are doing what they will in the name of national security because they've convinced themselves that they can't permit 9/11 to reoccur, and that it was their fault. They've driven themselves mad, falling into the mentality of "those who prefer security to freedom." It's not that they're innately cruel tyrants, or sadists, it's that they're paranoid and guilt-wracked

        "Battle not with monsters lest ye become a monster; and if you gaze into the abyss the abyss gazes into you."
        --Friedrich Nietzsche

      • Re:Rights? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by jet_silver (27654) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @12:49PM (#36343242)

        In the second link there is a line: This problem is exacerbated by the fact that the jury will see that the unclassified lan- guage has been changed and left to wonder why they cannot see information the government’s expert deems unclassified. The jurors will be completely and hopelessly confused.1. So, if the jurors are completely and hopelessly confused, is the real problem that they won't know it? In the face of hopelessly confusing evidence, it seems as though the responsibility of the jury is to acquit. IANAL, but if I were the defense would it not be entirely reasonable to say just that in the wind-up of arguments?

        • Oh dang. I missed that part. I thought the silent witness rule was supposed to only be applied to the general public, and that the jurors were going to see the full documents, similar to a closed case. That's definitely another layer of foul play at work.
      • by lorenlal (164133)

        To be fair, the NSA was culpable for allowing 9/11 to happen. They had information that indicated that the perps were doing something. They also refused to share that info with the FBI and the CIA... It wasn't the first time either. [historycommons.org]

        BUT, rather than own it, Hayden pretty much sells the idea that the only way to prevent this from happening again is to increase spying and to increase the scope of what the NSA can sweep. I don't think it's tyrannical... But I also don't believe for a second that they're gu

        • Re:Rights? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @02:01PM (#36343760)

          To be fair, the NSA was culpable for allowing 9/11 to happen. They had information that indicated that the perps were doing something. They also refused to share that info with the FBI and the CIA... It wasn't the first time either.

          That culpability is premised on 100% effectiveness. That's an impossible standard for anyone, especially a bureaucracy. I blame the "culture of blame" as the root cause for the over-reaction. Societally we need to have realistic expectations. That isn't to say that government agency's shouldn't be accountable, but that the standards we set for that accountability have be to realistic, not impossible. Being 100% risk averse is to guarantee failure.

          • I agree the "culture of blame" has been the driving force in these security related issues. No one wants to be blamed for the next attack. However, on the other side there are the people who complain loudly about the governments actions but they are also the first ones who pop up to blame the government for not doing a enough. You can reduce risk but you can never eliminate it totally and frankly I think life would be boring as hell with no risks.
            • However, on the other side there are the people who complain loudly about the governments actions but they are also the first ones who pop up to blame the government for not doing a enough.

              Cite. Seriously, that canard is a big pet peeve of mine. I have yet to see an actual case of someone doing that other than "my friend's uncle."

              • Here is one example. If another terrorist incident occurs when the Democrats are running the government go to your favorite republican website and check out the comments being put forward. Do the opposite if the republicans happen to be in charge when the incident occurs.
                • That's not a citation, that's wishful thinking. And even if it did play out exactly as you say, what you are describing is partisanship - criticism based on political party and while it is hypocrisy it isn't hypocrisy about terrorism, you are just as likely to see similar results for any political issue, like carbon credits, healthcare public mandate, etc.

      • Men with no oversight are doing what they will in the name of national security because they've convinced themselves that they can't permit 9/11 to reoccur, and that it was their fault. They've driven themselves mad, falling into the mentality of "those who prefer security to freedom." It's not that they're innately cruel tyrants, or sadists, it's that they're paranoid and guilt-wracked—a horribly dangerous combination when you add on the "defend the collective" mentality that causes police officers to protect each other when corruption charges manifest.

        you don't point out that there is a hell of a lot of money sloshing around in all this, I doubt that these peoples motives are as pure as you present them, they are not just worried about 'national security.' Fraud in defense contracting is extremely common. See Boeing tanker contract fraud, BAE systems Bribery and the primary contractor for trailblazer, SAIC, has had previous fraud prosecutions for the FBI information system they worked on and the New York citytime contract: http://www.crainsnewyork.com [crainsnewyork.com]

        • That's pretty fair—although, to my knowledge, the 'bastardised' version of ThinThread that the NSA didn't appear to be a budget-sucker like Trailblazer as much as just a quick-and-dirty solution. I wouldn't argue that their motives are pure, merely that they've been using the supposedly-pure goal of national security as a partial justification in their own minds.

          In general, we like to treat people in positions of power such as this as purely rational beings, but there's a lot of evidence to conside
      • Men

        (I'll assume you aren't a misandrist and really meant "people" there) and

        It's not that they're innately cruel tyrants, or sadists

        The problem is the last assertion is contradicted by the first statement. People are tyrants and sadists. It takes an effort of will for people not to be like that. Remember all those experiments 40 and 50 years ago - like dividing university students up into "guards" and "prisoners" and just how astonishingly fast the "guards" became tyrannical and brutal?

        • (I'll assume you aren't a misandrist and really meant "people" there)

          I'm sorry; coming from a literary background I was using "men" in its historical meaning, which looks uncomfortably gendered to us today, but once simply meant "humans". I assumed that the floweriness of the rest of my post would fend off any misunderstandings. If you're interested in the mechanics of the history of the word, "wifman" used to mean "male person", which parallels "woman" much better, but is confusing next to "wife". "Were" (as in werewolf) was also a term used for a male human.

          The problem is the last assertion is contradicted by the first statement. People are tyrants and sadists. It takes an effort of will for people not to be like that. Remember all those experiments 40 and 50 years ago - like dividing university students up into "guards" and "prisoners" and just how astonishingly fast the "guards" became tyrannical and brutal?

          You're thinking

          • The Stanford experiment has been repeated elsewhere with pretty much the same results - however I was too lazy to go dig up the references.

            I considered Milgram but, as you did, decided it was not directly pertinent in this case - although that was of course based on my limited knowledge of the case at hand.

            I do think the Stanford experiment showed "people are innately horrible"... and will act in that manner unless other forces come into play to promote different behaviour. So I don't see, as you seem to

            • I would say that a substantially less antisocial perspective can permit the internal justification of vengefulness in the context of protecting a social unit, whereas Western culture treats downright predatory behaviour without any such pretext as much less acceptable.
              • As I said YMMV.
                • I must respectfully disagree. We have a psychiatric diagnosis for being unable to act better than your cat-and-mouse example: sociopathy. A great deal of the success of the human species is owed to the ability to suppress that.
                  • ok, apparently you do not understand the meaning of YMMV. Please look it up.
                    • No, I'm well aware what you meant. I'm respectfully disagreeing that mileage may vary in this case. We are discussing a matter of fact, not a personal experience or opinion. The human brain is naturally wired to suppress primitive predatory instincts (when raised properly) as part of the whole social animal gig. Perhaps you've just been around a lot of crappy people?
                    • I could argue about what it is that you lavish with the label "fact" and also about your apparent lack of familiarity with human history as it pertains to the topic at hand, but then I'm not looking for an argument since these sort of arguments are almost invariably a waste of my time. However you do seem to be looking for an argument. So there is nothing for me to do but say that everyone is entitled to their opinion and, once again, that on this topic YMMV. You also seem to have a real need to have the la
          • If you're interested in the mechanics of the history of the word, "wifman" used to mean "male person", which parallels "woman" much better, but is confusing next to "wife". "Were" (as in werewolf) was also a term used for a male human.

            I've quite enjoyed your measured and rational writing style throughout this thread, but found I must respond to the above misunderstanding (possibly typo?).

            The word woman comes from the older wif "woman, female" + man "person", as mentioned on Merriam-Webster's page [merriam-webster.com], among others. This use of wif is mirrored in the modern German word Weib [leo.org], likewise meaning "woman".

            FWIW, another example of the use of were to mean "male person" is wergild [merriam-webster.com], and it may also be useful to note that were is essentially the s

            • Thanks for the clarification. I thought it sounded offish—this is what I get for thinking I've memorized Wikipedia articles correctly. (Oi moi.)

              I expect Slashdot will probably never support anything beyond what appears to be Windows-1252. But it's been well over thirteen years now. I don't think it's realistic to hope. But consider: it's not like Slashcode can't handle other encodings, given the obvious success of Slashdot.jp. I presume someone's just too lazy to weed out the extra copies of the La
      • by lennier (44736)

        to get him put away for whistleblowing on the NSA's spying program—which he claims he didn't even actually do.

        Well of course he didn't compromise the NSA spying program, since that agency doesn't exist in the first place! And even if it did, which it didn't, he certainly didn't work there, doing something we can't talk about, for people we don't know and have never met, and definitely couldn't identify us in a court of law, especially not after what we did with the plutonium and the mangos... ahem. Just forget we said that.

    • by kimvette (919543) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @12:22PM (#36343070) Homepage Journal

      The cause of this is that early in the history of our nation the courts started layering precedent [wikipedia.org] over constitutional law, and use that as a basis for determining future cases, even in cases where the decision is obviously a poor one. In this case, it's the State Secrets Privilege which one would argue is a gross violation of the Constitutional right to freedom of exrpession, and also can be used to eliminate accountability of the government to the People.

      When you layer enough of these precedents on top of the Constitution and use those precedents to filter your view, the Constitution can become meaningless and irrelevant in cases, and that is how we arrive at the existence of situations such as this, the grossly unconstitutional patriot act, "john doe" lawsuits and warrants, "assault weapons" bans, and the like. Accountability of the government which is supposed to be of the people, by the people, for the people gradually over time becomes government of the sheeple, by the elite, for the elite, and eventually over time the system distills into a two-party or even one-party system where a few elite hand-pick candidates which are distinguished only by spin, and not truly by methodology or ideals, and put them out for election. Oh, we may still have grassroots-supported candidates now and then (Ron Paul, H. Ross Perot, and so on) but we have become so entrenched in the two party system with corporate-sponsored candidates that we (almost) never pick anyone outside of the two major parties for anything other than local government, never quite coming to the realization that we have been victims of social engineering by the media to believe there really is a difference between republican and democrat politicians, when in reality although their spin on issues may sound different, the ultimate goal is personal gain, increasing pork in legislation, and putting the screws to consumers.

      And, these politicians of course, being chosen horses for the courses, never even attempt to correct the judicial system but instead take advantage of the established corrupt system to implement their sponsors' preferred policies.

      And yet, we see a great divide between republican and democrat voters, who are convinced that the two parties really are different. Doesn't it strike anyone as odd that most of the larger corporate entities who hire lobbyists contribute to not just one candidate's campaigns, but usually one candidate from each party? They really don't care which candidate wins; they just care that one of the bought-and-paid-for candidates gets onto the ballot, then either way they win.

      Yes, our rights are eroding at an alarming rate, and it's because we won't open our eyes, realize what has been going on for decades, and simply vote out ALL career politicians and replace them with true leaders; with "leader" being defined as one who is willing to serve. The mark of a truly great leader has been a servant attitude. We as a people have long since forgotten that.

      I'll end this with a few great quotes:

      "A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation." ~James Freeman Clarke, Sermon

      "Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason." (unknown)

      "And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." - John F. Kennedy

      And for the last one, which is the one I adhere to for most elections:

      "Hell, I never vote for anybody, I always vote against." ~W.C. Fields

      • The cause of this is that early in the history of our nation the courts started layering precedentover constitutional law,

        Nope, precedent preceeds your constituition.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The Americans tend to have strong, almost religious, attitudes toward their constitution. But really, the constitution of any country is simply a political pact between the power centers. The chief objective of a constitution is to prevent a civil war. The U.S. constitution has had reasonable success: only one civil war during more than 200 years.

        In particular, the constitution is not there to protect the individual from the government. If anything, the constitution came about to protect the states against

    • Think about this. This is the Obama administration - the most secretive ever - beyond even Bush(s).
    • by gatkinso (15975)

      Not really.

      Go to work for NSA and you voluntarily agree to basically waive a few rights (at least pertaining to your employment).

      Go out and be a spokesman for PETA on your spare time, they really won't care a wit. Mention something even vaguely related to your work - say hello to the men in black sedans.

      NSA. They will stop at nothing to punish whistle blowers... but not out of vindictiveness. They simply don't want info leaving their facilities, for any reason, right or wrong. It makes it far easier to

    • by Phoghat (1288088)
      They're playing a game called: How many Constitutional Amendments Can You Violate.

      Mayer writes that Drake felt the NSA was committing serious crimes against the American people; on a level worse than what president Nixon had done in the 1970s

      from Wiki

      Seriously, worse than Nixon !

  • by Haedrian (1676506) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @10:20AM (#36342408)

    [See Reference 1] "FALCON" [Page 2.3, line 8] REDACTED your mom

  • by decora (1710862) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @10:29AM (#36342448) Journal

    I generally avoid linking to wikipedia articles that I wrote from slashdot articles that I wrote, to avoid perceived conflict of interest, and prevent 'one source' circular errors and hidden bias. In this /. story, I did not originally link to the wikipedia Silent Witness Rule article. The link to wikipedia was made by the slashdot editors and not by me, and they had no reason to suspect that the article author and wikipedia author were the same person.

    • by Maestro4k (707634)
      Frankly, the Wikipedia link isn't a problem, the failure to link to anything but a PDF document besides that is. The entire article is basically the summary, which doesn't contain much information. (Basically just enough to allow someone to go Google to find out what the hell the whole thing is about.) Not criticizing you necessarily, but this really needs links to something explaining what in the hell is going on.
      • there are some SWR articles i could have linked to, i should have done that. thanks for pointing this out, i will try to remember your comment in the future if i can...

  • Tangled mess of .. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PPH (736903) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @11:04AM (#36342626)

    ...boxes, arrows and code words.

    For some reason, this reminds me of:

    We walked in, sat down, Obie came in with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, sat down. Man came in said, "All rise." We all stood up, and Obie stood up with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures, and the judge walked in sat down with a seeing eye dog, and he sat down, we sat down. Obie looked at the seeing eye dog, and then at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing eye dog. And then at twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and began to cry, 'cause Obie came to the realization that it was a typical case of American blind justice, and there wasn't nothing he could do about it, and the judge wasn't going to look at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us. And we was fined $50 and had to pick up the garbage in the snow, but thats not what I came to tell you about.

    From Alice' Restaurant [arlo.net] by Arlo Guthrie.

    • came for the alice ref.

      went away satisfied.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      haha i thought the EXACT same thing and actually started humming a bar of alices resturant while reading TFA!

      • by Chelloveck (14643)

        Imagine fifty people a day walking in singing a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may thinks it's a movement.

        (Not only did I start humming it when I read the story, I went and put it on the stereo and sang along. With four-part harmony and feeling.)

    • Contrary to what the mods might think, you're not really entirely off topic there, but you could've shortened it up a bit.. or use a completely different quote:

      "I had another idea. I think we should have some plays. You know, usually in football you have some organized plays."
      "I took the liberty."
      "Oh, you have... "
      "I drew up about seven or eight plays. I figure that's about all this bunch can handle."
      "Oh, these are good. These are very good. Uh, what are these little arrows here?"

    • by emurphy42 (631808)
      Fourthed.
  • by hakioawa (127597) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @01:44PM (#36343654)

    These sorts of trials/prosecutions, where the USG invokes national security to avoid presenting evidence, are becoming all too common. We currently have 800,000+ citizens with TS clearances (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/). I used to. I'd be happy to serve on a jury in these situations and I assume many other folks would too. With that many people to draw from I would think we could find a good jury pool and give people a fair trial instead of dropping charges or kangaroo courts. It would be slightly more expensive, but I don't understand why this couldn't work.

    • Brilliant idea. After all, military trials have military juries. To stop it from becoming incestuous, it can be defendant's privilege (as with a jury trial, vs bench trial, itself.) That way, the defendant can choose between full disclosure to people familiar with National Security infrastructure, ie, genuine peers, or obfuscated information but a "clean" jury.

      Whereas currently, anyone with any form of clearance would probably be excluded from the jury-pool.

    • You would never, in a million years, be allowed to serve on such a jury. A preemptory challenge would be invoked, and you'd find yourself headed back to work the next day. The only way this wouldn't happen is if the party against having someone like you on the jury ran out of their challenges.
      Jury selection isn't about an unbiased group, it is about finding the people naive enough to see it from your angle first.
      (IANAL)

  • I'm not the only one who things UML is a gruesome collection of boxes and arrows!
  • So, lets see (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @07:19PM (#36345764) Homepage

    OK, the government is allowed to present fabricated evidence to the jury IFF the information is otherwise classified, secret, or the government suggests it's better not published, based on the government's say-so, but only if they pinkie swear that there is real evidence somewhere and it's bad news for the defendant? I'm sure that'll NEVER get abused!

    If the jury actually understands what is happening, they would have no choice but to acquit, since they won't be shown actual evidence of anything. Since the prosecutor wouldn't bother with a sure loss, I'm guessing the strategy is to confuse the jury as much as possible and smile a lot.

    The interesting thing here is that they don't feel they can show these documents to 12 citizens and ask them to keep it quiet for the good of their country. That means either they believe citizens are to be managed like children, or that the information doesn't need to be classified in the first place, or perhaps that it's classified because it would reveal misdeeds on the part of some people in power (that the citizens probably SHOULD know about).

    So, is the defendant allowed to present a blank piece of paper if he swears it represents a full confession to trumping up the charges and baby raping on the part of the prosecution if he also swears there's secret stuff in it?

    • by rust627 (1072296)

      "So, is the defendant allowed to present a blank piece of paper if he swears it represents a full confession to trumping up the charges and FATHER raping on the part of the prosecution if he also swears there's secret stuff in it?"

      Fixed it for you

      Well it has to be father raping in light of the earlier 'Alices Restaraunt' references, doesn't it.

    • by adamchou (993073)

      interesting thing here is that they don't feel they can show these documents to 12 citizens and ask them to keep it quiet for the good of their country

      What if they instead selected a jury from a pool of people that already have a clearance? There are hundreds of thousands of people in the US that have some sort of clearance and at least thousands that have a TS/SCI clearance.

      • by sjames (1099)

        The AC has it right, clearance procedures allow the prosecution to stack the deck, especially since clearance might well involve evaluation of loyalty and willingness to toe the line. On the other side of it, a juror finding "the wrong way" might trigger a "re-evaluation of clearance"

        Beyond that, in most court cases, a juror being an employee of a party to the case would be seen as a conflict of interest and a reason to strike.

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