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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JimWhiteGNV Rouhani: US presence in the region exacerbates terrorism crisis   http://t.co/HUgb9oPtq9
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JimWhiteGNV Punjabi Taliban among 22 killed in Kunar clashes - Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan News Agency http://t.co/Q7Depnic1V
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emptywheel Morning Joe is coming to MI so Snyder can have a "photo" op? Once again, not all of MSNBC is liberal.
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bmaz @kirkmurphy I am consistent.
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bmaz Seriously, this UK vote is serious, because Ann Coulter is registered to vote on the cravenly wrong side. Probably. #FairUseParody
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bmaz @kirkmurphy you KNEW I would say that about the Schloz, right??
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bmaz I understand that "voter fraud expert" Bradley J. Schlozman, formerly, obviously, of Alvin and the Chipmunks, is disappointed in Scotland.
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bmaz @bsdtectr VERY MUCH in relevant discussion. As is Deep Purple Live In Japan. Also, way up there is Bless It's Pointed Little Head by JA.
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bmaz If you disagree, use the "Yo App" to try to contact me. Cause, you know, I will be monitoring that. #OrNot
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bmaz May be just me, but there may never have been two better live rock+roll albums than Rolling Stones Get Yer Ya Yas Out and J Geils Full House
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bmaz Kiki, wistfully pining away for her new best friend, @jilliancyork http://t.co/9cXhpQ4ku3
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bmaz @OKnox @emptywheel Quit guessing and man up you wimp!
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