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 Nueske's Wild Cherry or Zingermam's Long John Pepper? Inquiring minds?
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bmaz Let the record reflect serious bacon worship and consumption on the premises: http://t.co/bqTGWRwf6O
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bmaz @SunsetGunShot (Need good stereo separation to get how good it really is)
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bmaz @SunsetGunShot Hey, if you haven't seen this yet, its a great early version of Dead Flowers with road video: http://t.co/9IyeWXxhZO
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bmaz RT @jsc1835: @bmaz @ColMorrisDavis @CNN All of MSM has become obsessed with covering Trump. Where's that 'left wing' media again?
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bmaz @Nick_Hentoff Alternatively, I am a fucking moron. Which is getting ever closer to the real answer.
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bmaz @Nick_Hentoff Already gave up on MSNBC for most part (and they are supposedly closer to my ethos, but CNN always been better news).
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bmaz @Nick_Hentoff I am a sucker for news, and, as said before, like it on in background while working. Getting hard to take though.
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bmaz @WALLACHLEGAL Man, I dunno. Doesn't sound like the Johnnie I knew.
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emptywheel @JPughMI I'm so old I remember when Abdullah was Barry Sanders.
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emptywheel @digby56 She thinks she's a libertarian.
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emptywheel @digby56 Look. The RNC gave her that loot fairly. No reason she should be taxed on loot!
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