Ashcroft, Comey, Goldsmith, and Baker: “All” Is the “Best” Reading of “Relevant”

Four MusketeersTowards the end of the Memorandum of Law in support of the Internet dragnet — which was signed by those guys ———-> — DOJ makes a claim that its reading of “relevant” to mean “almost all” was the best possible reading.

Here, by contrast, reading the term “relevant” to permit the collection of this critical information during wartime is a construction rooted in the text that requires no stretching of the ordinary meaning of the terms of the statute at all. In fact, for all the reasons outlined above, interpreting section 402 to authorize the collection the Government has requested in the best reading of the plain terms of the Act.

This is why you should not have secret courts.

I get making an aggressive push to authorize dragnet surveillance.

I get mining old and foreign dictionaries to come up with a definition that suits your needs.

But after you’ve made your best ditch effort to stretch the meaning of words, secretly, beyond all recognition, don’t then, secretly, pat yourself on the back pretending that wasn’t the game you just pulled.

But hey. Who’s the chump? After all, we now know that Misters Ashcroft, Comey, Goldsmith, and Baker pulled this off.

Yet no one is making any effort to put the English language back on some kind of sane footing. Nothing in any of the “reform” efforts before Congress attempts to put sanity back into the word “relevant.”

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5 Responses to Ashcroft, Comey, Goldsmith, and Baker: “All” Is the “Best” Reading of “Relevant”

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @AZCardinals @ERIC_WATSON @RealPeterson21 @EAMaddenNFL Uhhh, why would you want that?? It is a curse!
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bmaz @walterwkatz Will be lot easier for defense if they can shift venue to a nice white suburb, which they are already trying to lay ground for
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bmaz @walterwkatz I think prosecution will be fine, tho may lose a few counts along the way. We'll see; too early now.
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bmaz @walterwkatz Quite true. I checked into background of the two prosecution team leaders, Janice Bledsoe+Michael Schatzow, and they are superb
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bmaz @walterwkatz @AP Had forcefully taken him down, subdued him on ground for while, handcuffed him, then sat him up and then checked his pocket
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bmaz @walterwkatz @AP The facts as stated by Mosby and, by my understanding witnesses and the cops.
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bmaz @walterwkatz @AP Not a new phenomenon, but yes, trust me I know..
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bmaz @walterwkatz @AP Oh i'm sure they are going to try, but it appears they have a problem with the facts in trying.
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bmaz @walterwkatz @AP Not sure how get around the apparent fact Gray had already been arrested before they were even aware of knife.
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bmaz @imraansiddiqi That's the comment of the week so far Imraan.
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bmaz RT @imraansiddiqi: Kids, if an instructor ever tells you "Oh, there are no stupid questions." Reply back: "Clearly you have never seen Don …
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bmaz @JoeRoganEXP @SusieMadrak Hahaha, you have to be kidding. The "Tesla Battery" is not even particularly new technology. Just packaging+spin.
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