Angry lawmakers are considering setting limits on the Patriot Act after the inspector general of the Justice Department had found the FBI abusing an administrative subpoena called “national security letters.” The FBI used this subpoena to gather phone, bank and credit information on thousands of citizens without court oversight. They also made quote unusual contracts with 3 major phone companies to provide records without any legal process.
Guest – Lisa Graves, Deputy Director of the Center for National Security Studies.
“The Chief Judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) informed Congress that the court has no objection to sharing with the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) theorders authorizing wiretapping of people in the US who have been subject to warrantless wiretapping by the administration. Attorney General Gonzales initially refused to share that information with the Committee, stating during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he needed to consult with his “principal,” President Bush. On January 31, 2007, the Attorney General announced that certain documents held by the FISC, such ? including investigators’ applications for permission to spy and court orders ? would be given to “some” lawmakers, such as Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Arlen Specter, but not all Senators of the SJC or other concerned Members.” — Center for National Security Studies.
Australian Guantanamo Bay Detainee David Hicks Update
David Hicks was the Center for Constitutional Rights’ first client and in the first group of detainees taken to Guantanamo. He is Australian and is now the first person charged before the reconstituted Military Commissions Act. He was charged earlier but those commissions were held illegal by the Supreme Court in the Hamdan case. He has been charged with one count of material aid to terrorism, which is not usually viewed as a war crime. To the extent any crimes are triable by military commissions they must be war crimes. Unlike the UK, the Australia government has willingly gone along with this trial and has not insisted on Hicks’ return.
Guest – Josh Dratel, civilian attorney for David Hicks.
ACLU Sues Department of Homeland Security For Detaining Children in Prison-Like Conditions
The Department of Homeland Security and the T. Don Hutto Immigration Detention Facility is facing a federal lawsuit filed by the The American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of children confined at the facility in Tyler, Texas. The ACLU claims adults and children at the center, which used to be a prison, live in jail-like conditions and that the children are not given adequate schooling or medical care.
Guest – Lisa Graybill, legal director for the ACLU of Texas.
Guantanamo Bay Lawyers Attacked and Misquoted
Newspapers run op-eds that heavily criticized lawyers representing Guantanamo detainees. Criticism such as they’re quote “keeping the US military from doing its job” and “repatriating detainees back into action fighting the United States.”
Guest – Scott Horton, Chair of International Law Committee at the New York City Bar Association and adjunct Professor of Law at Columbia University