Judge William Martini Endorses Hunting for Terrorists in Muslim Girls Schools

Picture 41The AP correctly captures the jist of Judge William Martini’s rejection of a lawsuit against the NYPD for spying on Muslims.

The core of his logic is that Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo have injured NYC’s Muslim community by providing them proof of the spying targeted at them.

The ruling also singled out The Associated Press, which sparked the suit with a series of stories based on confidential NYPD document showing how the department sought to infiltrate dozens of mosques and Muslim student groups and investigated hundreds in New York and elsewhere.

“Nowhere in the complaint do the plaintiffs allege that they suffered harm prior to the unauthorized release of documents by The Associated Press,” Martini wrote. “This confirms that plaintiffs’ alleged injuries flow from the Associated Press’s unauthorized disclosure of the documents. … The Associated Press covertly obtained the materials and published them without authorization. Thus the injury, if any existed, is not fairly traceable to the city.”

But it doesn’t expose the other part of his shoddy logic clearly enough. Martini said all this spying was cool because it was designed to find Muslim terrorists hiding among Muslims.

The police could not have monitored New Jersey for Muslim terrorist activities without monitoring the Muslim community itself. While this surveillance Program may have had adverse effects upon the Muslim community after the Associated Press published its articles; the motive for the Program was not solely to discriminate against Muslims, but rather to find Muslim terrorists hiding among ordinary, law – abiding Muslims.

As I emphasized here, when it was first reported, NYPD wasn’t hunting for Muslim terrorists in places where the 9/11 terrorists were known to hang out — cheap hotels, gyms, cybercafes, and a bunch of other businesses catering to anonymity rather than Muslims. Rather, the NYPD was hunting terrorists in schools in Newark, including the one above teaching girls in fifth to twelfth grade, and another teaching first through fourth graders.

The NYPD was hunting terrorists in a girls school.

And Judge William Martini thinks that makes a whole bunch of sense.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

15 replies
  1. lefty665 says:

    Hard to be harmed until you find out what’s been done to you. All too often that is after the fact.

    Think the #@$%^&*( judge spent law school stoned and contemplating whether a tree falling in the forest made any noise if no one was there to hear it?

  2. Greg Bean (@GregLBean) says:

    Oh, and as a further question, is there any chance of religious bias here?

    Seems this decision is being broadcast in Jewish news like some kind of victory.

  3. ArizonaBumblebee says:

    Let’s see if I can make sense of this judge’s opinion. Say I live on a farm and notice that a person from a nearby village is poaching from my neighbor’s farm. If I reveal this information to my neighbor and he sues the poacher for damages, the poacher can assert that I’m responsible for the damages since I disclosed the poaching to my neighbor that resulted in the lawsuit. Really!

  4. der says:

    Martini along with Amul Thapar (https://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/02/20-3) a post 9-11 (the day that changed everything) Bush appointee. Cheney & Addington happily applaud. Ted Cruz’s Texas will be a climate changed desert by the time this all gets changed back around. Thankfully Obama and the Democrats are appointing and approving liberals to the bench, right? Nuclear option.

  5. kris says:

    By the same logic, murder cases should also be dismissed in cases where the victim suffered no harm beforehand (and, by definition, after). Voyeurism would also be kosher, since the one being ogled wouldn’t suffer any harm if they didn’t know it was happening. And what about the rape case in which the high school girl was unconscious? Clearly the harm came from publishing the pictures which informed her of the event, rather than the rape itself.

  6. TomVet says:

    I think the most impressive thing that jumped out at me when I first read the opinion was his asserting, not once but twice, that AP had published or released “without authorization”. Am I too naive in thinking a US District Court judge would have heard of the first amendment to the US Constitution, or is that too much to ask?

    I can think of no better authority.

  7. john francis lee says:

    You know I used to assume that judges were honest, workman-like lawyers to whom it fell to uphold the system of justice.

    I had it almost right … just drop the justice as the end of previous assumption.

    Judges as hopeless, spineless political hacks to whom it devolves to uphold the system.

    Our entire system is corrupt. The wheels have fallen off the very vehicle of civilization.

  8. Adam Colligan says:

    I for one say kudos. It’s about damned time that the authorities stop throwing billions of dollars and millions of man-hours hunting a handful of people who want to make a few pitiful little bombs, when we all know what force keeps the masses, from the mightiest retail CEO to the frumpiest housewife to the lowliest geek kid, living in terror: teenage girls.

  9. LeMoyne says:

    On the one hand: By Judge Martini’s reasoning someone stalking a judge would be doing no harm until the judge knew about it. Therefore, any preventive protective services for the judiciary are just boondoggling that are readily accepted by the police as easy duty. We should all just wait until there is proof of harm before worrying about protecting Judge Martini… by the judge’s logic, not mine.

    On the other hand: Let us accept the bigoted frame that all Muslim males are not just potential terrorists, but they are also extreme sexists who thoroughly oppress Muslim women (e.g. US drone targeting protocol across the ME plus the other US reason to invade+occupy Afghanistan). Then, why a Muslim girl’s school? Already have tabs on ALL the islamic males? A girl’s school?!? Really?!!!? The largest police force in the world’s only superpower has reason to be afraid of a bunch of girls?!?!?!

    On the gripping hand: Judge Martini hit a magic double trifecta: in one decision the 1st, 4th and 14th Amndmnts are overturned and the 1st is violated three times (religion, association and press) ~!!!x5~ding!x3, ding! ding!
    snarky conclusion: Judge Martini should be commenderated for his bold and brave stand against the US Constitution. What a dissident! /s

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