Michael Mosman’s Interesting 10 Days

On November 24, 20114, Oregon District Court Judge Michael Mosman issued a somewhat curious order explaining his decision, issued 3 days earlier, not to grant Raez Qadir Khan notice of all the surveillance authorities used to investigate him.

While Mosman loves efficiency, he explained, the time was not yet ripe for the issues raised in Khan’s effort to learn how he had been linked to an associate who had conducted a suicide bombing in Pakistan in 2009. But — Mosman promised —

The day will come when the standing, collection, and other issues foreshadowed in this motion will be litigated in this case. Due to the constraints of CIPA, properly applied in this case, that day will come in the next round of motions, without the narrowing of issues that detailed disclosure would allow.

Ten days after signing that order, Mosman signed another one: the latest authorization for the dragnet. In doing so, not only did he authorize the collection of Khan and Khan lawyer Amy Baggio’s call records (as well as those of ACLU lawyers Jameel Jaffer and Pat Toomey; they joined this case in mid-December) — remember that Khan’s conversations with several lawyers were spied on by FBI over the course of their investigation with him.

But by signing the order, Mosman also signed something that has long been in the dragnet orders but — as far as I can tell — utterly ignored: that it envisions the use of the dragnet for exculpatory information.

Early in this case, Khan challenged Mosman’s ability to serve both as trial judge and as FISC judge, a challenge Mosman dismissed.

It will be interesting to see how he handles both roles going forward.

2 replies
  1. Anon says:

    Hmm, am I alone in finding the language of his promise a tad tortured? If I am reading it right, he is in effect promising that a discussion will be had about issues that seem to be relevant to the current round of motions only after he makes his decisions on it. And then promising that the issues under discussion will somehow be more open because of it.
    The open question I guess is who will suffer from the absence of narrowing, the defendant who may well want to drop some unrelated issues, or the prosecution who may want to avoid discussing some pieces of evidence entirely.

  2. dead last says:

    Very few pick up on the strong Mormon thread in all of these security cases:

    Jeppson and Mitchell are both Mormons – Jeppson was even called to be a bishop after the torture scandal broke. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/12/us-usa-cia-torture-psychologists-idUSKBN0JQ00H20141212

    Jay Bybee, author of the torture memo, is a Mormon and a BYU grad. http://www.sltrib.com/news/1927608-155/senate-torture-report-says-cia-mislead

    And Michael Mosmon (who I attended church with as a kid) is also a Mormon. http://www.ldschurchnewsarchive.com/articles/46430/LDS-federal-judges-raising-the-bar.html

    Daily KOS did a piece in December. I wonder if the Republicans will throw Romney and the church under the bus to was their hands of torture or if they will embrace it as a family value.

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