Judge Tosses Muslim Spying Suit Against NYPD, Says Any Damage Was Caused by Reporters Who Exposed It

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Featured photo - Judge Tosses Muslim Spying Suit Against NYPD, Says Any Damage Was Caused by Reporters Who Exposed It Sheikh Reda Shata, in the men’s prayer room at The Islamic Center of Monmouth County, N.J., where the NYPD’s intelligence squad secretly assigned an undercover officer. (AP File Photo/Mel Evans)

A federal judge in Newark has thrown out a lawsuit against the New York Police Department for spying on New Jersey Muslims, saying if anyone was at fault, it was the Associated Press for telling people about it.

In his ruling Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martini simultaneously demonstrated the willingness of the judiciary to give law enforcement alarming latitude in the name of fighting terror, greenlighted the targeting of Muslims based solely on their religious beliefs, and blamed the media for upsetting people by telling them what their government was doing.

The NYPD’s clandestine spying on daily life in Muslim communities in the region — with no probable cause, and nothing to show for it — was exposed in a Pulitzer-Prize winning series of stories by the AP. The stories described infiltration and surveillance of at least 20 mosques, 14 restaurants, 11 retail stores, two grade schools, and two Muslim student associations in New Jersey alone.

In a cursory, 10-page ruling issued before even hearing oral arguments, Martini essentially said that what the targets didn’t know didn’t hurt them:

None of the Plaintiffs’ injuries arose until after the Associated Press released unredacted, confidential NYPD documents and articles expressing its own interpretation of those documents. Nowhere in the Complaint do Plaintiffs allege that they suffered harm prior to the unauthorized release of the documents by the Associated Press. This confirms that Plaintiffs’ alleged injuries flow from the Associated Press’s unauthorized disclosure of the documents. The harms are not “fairly traceable” to any act of surveillance.

The NYPD didn’t publicize the program, the judge wrote. “The Associated Press covertly obtained confidential NYPD documents and published unredacted versions of these documents, as well as articles interpreting the documents.”

The AP declined to comment.

Martini, a one-term Republican congressman from New Jersey, was appointed to the federal bench by George W. Bush in 2002. Previous critiques of his judicial conduct have been unusually blunt and public, including repeated rebukes at the appellate level and the local U.S. attorney’s describing him in court filings as “misguided” and “irrational.”

Nevertheless, Martini is still on the bench (it’s very hard to unseat a federal judge). And his ruling was perhaps the most extreme example yet of what is becoming the nearly standard reaction by the modern American political and law-enforcement elite’s reaction to exposure of secret conduct that merits public scrutiny: trying to shoot the messenger.

“In a suit like this, the complaint is that the government did the surveillance, not that it became public knowledge,” Gregg Leslie, legal defense director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, told The Intercept.

“The fact that the surveillance occurred is what causes a constitutional violation, so it’s very disingenuous to say that any harm was done by any reporting on it. The harm was done when they violated the Constitution by spying on them.”

Tom Rosensteil, executive director of the American Press Institute, told The Intercept that there are indeed cases where journalists should not publish everything they know. “These issues are not always so clear cut,” he said.

But the key question, he said, is “Is the publication of the story in the public interest?” Does the benefit outweigh the harm?

“The notion that the press shouldn’t be watching, and shouldn’t be providing some healthy skepticism and check on government overreaching? We want the press to do that. Any inference that we don’t want the press to be writing about these things would be a mistake,” Rosensteil said.

Martini’s ruling was also notable for its embrace of guilt by association:

Plaintiffs must plead sufficient factual matter to show that the City adopted and implemented the surveillance program not for a neutral, investigative reason but for the purpose of discriminating on account of religion. … [T]he Plaintiffs in this case have not alleged facts from which it can be plausibly inferred that they were targeted solely because of their religion. The more likely explanation for the surveillance was a desire to locate budding terrorist conspiracies. The most obvious reason for so concluding is that surveillance of the Muslim community began just after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The police could not have monitored New Jersey for Muslim terrorist activities without monitoring the Muslim community itself.

But as Samuel Bagenstos, a law professor at the University of Michigan and former official in the civil rights division of the Justice Department, told MSNBC’s Adam Serwer, that’s not the way it works. For instance, he said, “A police department cannot specifically target African-Americans for surveillance on the ground that the department is seeking to identify crime within the black community.”

The case, Hassan v. City of New York, was filed by Muslim Advocates and the Center for Constitutional Rights, on behalf of a broad group of American Muslims, including a decorated Iraq war veteran and the former principal of a grade school for Muslim girls.

“In addition to willfully ignoring the harm that our innocent clients suffered from the NYPD’s illegal spying program, by upholding the NYPD’s blunderbuss Muslim surveillance practices, the court’s decision gives legal sanction to the targeted discrimination of Muslims anywhere and everywhere in this country, without limitation, for no other reason than their religion,” Center for Constitutional Rights legal director Baher Azmy said in a statement. “It is a troubling and dangerous decision.”

“The fight is not over by any means. The surveillance program violates the Constitution, and we are confident that this decision will not hold up to review upon appeal,” Glenn Katon, legal director of Muslim Advocates, said in a statement.

I really hope this decision doesn’t stand,” the lead plaintiff in the suit, Syed Farhaj Hassan, an Iraq war veteran, told the New Jersey Record. “I have dedicated my career to serving my country, and this just feels like a slap in the face — all because of the way I pray.”

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  1. Another body blow to the fourth estate. Too many more and it’s going down in bloody pieces.

    I just finished showing “Apocalypse Now” to my classes, so I’m envisioning that slow death as the grizzly hacking of Kurtz with a dull blade; as one student said, “For god’s sake, couldn’t he just have shot him and put him out of his misery?”

  2. “misguided” and “irrational”…no wonder he is a Bush appointee. He fits all the criteria.

  3. Could a “peeping tom” use this as precedent for his defence…serious question….I am not a peeping tom

  4. “The fact that the surveillance occurred is what causes a constitutional violation, so it’s very disingenuous to say that any harm was done by any reporting on it. The harm was done when they violated the Constitution by spying on them.” (Gregg Leslie, quoted from Dan Froomkin’s article above). Reading this paragraph leads one to arrive at only one conclusion: that in the “War on Terror”, the ‘terrorist’ is obviously the declared enemy, but certainly not the only enemy. And until the recent British ruling on the Miranda case, we also now know that the Press is also regarded as an enemy that is being equated with terrorism itself, if not as an “accomplice”. Indeed, EVERYONE on the planet is likely the freaking enemy now. Try SIGINT-ing everyone in the world under any of the dizzying array of clandestine programs that we now know exist and are being used to spy on innocent persons in free democracies of all places. But why?
    Because the “Public Interest” itself – what true journalism serves – is now likely the ultimate undeclared enemy by virtue of its position as the primary beneficiary of true journalism’s mandate to inform it of events and activities, especially of those activities that border on criminality and gross constitutional violations by parties or entities that clearly consider themselves exempt from observing the laws that derive from those constitutions. And you guessed it: the end-result is that democracy and freedom are now treated as if they are THE PARAMOUNT ENEMY as they are being systematically, and knowingly, shredded, one fibre at at time, in one courtroom at a time, one victim at a time in order that what may be saved again? With no intention to trivialize the violations of the American Muslim community in this case, it becomes a mere picnic in the park in comparison with the indescribable levels of 24/7 pain that some American Muslims and thousands of other Americans endure in clandestine and classified mind control torture activities with advanced photonic electromagnetic weapons systems. Some die. Some are maimed. Others lose their minds. Any of these fates await me as well as my scalp has been reduced to a horrific mangle by the chronic violent simulations of high pressure crawling and gnawing insects and worms implemented with programmable nanoparticles, and chronic remote electroshocks and microwave heat, after a year of subjection to 24/7 broiling DEW heat…And I am just one among thousands. In my 30+ years in the beautiful United States, I have never known worse horrors…

  5. Just change a few of the judge’s words around to show just how inane is his logic:

    “The Patient’s cancer did not arise until after his physician disclosed X-rays, biopsies, and lab test results and expressed his own interpretation of them. At no time does the Patient allege that he suffered from an illness prior to the diagnosis of cancer as disclosed by his physician. This confirms that the Patient’s alleged illness flows solely from the physician’s disclosure of the diagnosis. The illness otherwise would not have existed.”

    • I agree it’s inane “logic”. But it’s become the standard rationalization used by the political and corporate establishment to justify blanket surveillance. It’s amazing how many people firmly believe this “logic”. Most people in the English-speaking world currently swallow this “logic” hook, line and sinker.

      But there’s hope that attitudes will change and people will wake up:
      Massachusetts residents oppose NSA’s dragnet spying, true to our history

  6. If it was the intent of the various “terrorist organisations” to destroy our democracy they appear to have been very successful. Of course, there is a school of thought that believes our democracy has been a sham for decades.

  7. The US government did nineleven to the American people, they are the terrorists!

  8. I think after the WW2 all the Nazi-Thinktanks left Deutschland and working now for the U.S.
    Nazi-SA, Nazi-YPD …

  9. This is the CENTRAL SCRUTINIZER . . . it is my responsibility to enforce all the laws that haven’t been passed yet. It is also my responsibility to alert each and every one of you to the potential consequences of various ordinary everyday activities you might be performing which could eventually lead to The Death Penalty (or affect your parent’s credit rating). Our criminal institutions are full of little creeps like you who do wrong things . . . and many of them were driven to these crimes by a horrible force called MUSIC!

    Our studies have shown that this horrible force is so dangerous to society at large that laws are being drawn up at this very moment to stop it forever! Cruel and inhuman punishments are being carefully described in tiny paragraphs so they won’t conflict with the Constitution (which, itself, is being modified in order to accommodate THE FUTURE)

  10. I wonder how they would have ruled had this been a major spy operation of Jews in New Jersey.
    Would the good judges cast blame on the media, or rule against the NYPD, for fear they will be labelled
    anti semitic.

  11. “See how cruel the whites look, their lips are thin, their noses sharp, their faces furrowed and distorted by folds. Their eyes have a staring expression; they are always seeking something. What are they seeking? The whites always want something. They are always uneasy and restless. We do not know what they want. We do not understand them. We think that they are all mad.”

  12. Hey Froomkin, surveillance that does not constitute a 4th Amendment search requires no probable cause, Learn some law.

  13. NYPD should not have any jurisdiction to operate in NJ. When investigations cross state lines, the FBI should be handling it.

    Our government, including the judiciary , just twist the G D law to fit whatever the hell they want. We should throw ‘em all out, and start over. And this time make THEM follow the rules!

    • The NYPD is actually tangling with the FBI over terrorism in Kenya. Talk about going outside your jurisdiction!

      The FBI, working with Kenyan authorities, concluded that the four attackers were killed, and praised the actions of Kenyan law enforcement officials.

      But the NYPD report, written by Lt. Kevin Yorke of the Intelligence Division and presented to corporate security officials in New York, suggested the four had escaped, and trashed the Kenyans for not securing the mall’s perimeter.

      Source: NYPD Confidential

  14. What will you do if we let you go home,
    And the plastic’s all melted,
    And so is the chrome?

    What will you do when the label comes off,
    And the plastic’s all melted,
    And the chrome is too soft?

    I think I’m gonna die . . .
    I think I’m gonna die . . .
    I think I’m going to die . . .
    I think I’m going to die . . .
    I think I’m going to die . . .
    I think I’m going to die . . .
    I’m gonna die . . .
    I think I’m going to die . . .
    I think I’m gonna die . . .
    I’m going to die . . .
    I think I’m gonna die . . .
    I think I’m gonna die . . .
    I think I’m gonna die . . .
    Going to die!


    What will you do if the people you knew
    Were the plastic that melted,
    And the chromium too?

  15. I was wondering if the net has the equivalent of a SNCC training site so folks like us who oppose this policy can learn to tread carefully here and elsewhere on the net. I presume one way NSA takes out those who do is to get you linked up to some real sniffy glue and then sticks it on you. So, is there a place where I can go to learn to walk safely in this cyber forest? I fear those British wolves, too.

    Are we simply going through pangs similar to those decades after the printing press was born? It was a super hot mess and we didn’t even have glue sticks back in the day. This may take a lot longer than we imagine, so let’s always take a long view and keep our heads up. it’s very easy to feel defeated in the beginning of a protest movement.

    I got our six, as I always look back for pattern signal. Anyone good at pointing? I want to learn to stay safe in a hostile law enforcement environment while defending the Constitution cyber style. No sabers, please.

    • Our government is selling us only through THEIR superior shepherding can the splendor of the Constitution be revealed to the flock, like we were never taught to read it for ourselves…They are so out of step with humanity, the clumsy old ghouls.

      They have not got a chance in a hell’s mouth of pulling this BS coup off for very much longer without igniting democratic flames across the globe. Turn on your heart lights, liberty lubbers!! Let them see us shine.

      Justice is coming like Wyatt Earp, you defilers of perfection!! But we’re gonna do this the Wall-E way. By taking out the trash before it cans us!.

      Emailed your reps, yet? Any up for expulsion hearings? An impeachment? Sounds probable. I’m looking for a few good among them. The rest are terrified. I don’t know what they are so afraid of. It’s as plain as the writing on the Wall-E instructions. The rights of the people shall not be be infringed. If they’re trashworthy, they could do us a favor and can themselves.

  16. I learned of Wirth and Hambach from an old marker where the Schwarzbach meets the Blies. Lovely little valley which Prussians and French have made hell pass through so often you can hear the Elwetritsch asking why bother to terrorize them when they do one another in so well themselves?

    The Pennsylvania Dutch brought the Elwetritsch with them from Germany. I wonder what they thought of Gettysburg? Are we seriously more afraid of others than ourselves? I am scared shiteless of NSA’s rapturous grip. Why do we pretend anyone can bring us down. We are bad to the honey badger bone.


    Momma, don’t take that Kodachrome away! Wiki’s sicky right now. It’s gonna be OK, right?

  17. To relieve my distress over this hot mess, I’ve been volksmarching around Germany. They’ve got history for clicks and clicks from Roman ditches to neolitic spires. I used to hang out in a topless Cistercian prayer tower pretending it was a time machine. With this lappie, it has become a great navigation stick.

    Thanks Google Earth. The Germans must have been hip to Google’s wifi scraping, so they don’t permit street views, but I can look across the Blies from France to see some good stuff. I used to live there almost forty years ago, so it’s soothing my anxiety with analgesic nostalgia. Back then we just worried ourselves over tactical nuke drops.

    From a small town on the Blies, once the border of independent Saar and the German Reich, I heard Barbara Jordan call for Nixon’s impeachment on the radio. But I never knew that nearby up the Schwarzbach to Tripstadt I was on my way to a MAJOR vortex point in human rights history.

    Come on, Volks. Let’s all cybermarch to Hambacher Schloss. We’ll call it a cyber fair, but here’s why we’ll go there. To remember the 1832 Hambacher Fest. Should be Wirth it!

    This rich wine land is remembered for the greatest intellectual gathering of Germans in their long history. Bavaria was coming down hard on the presses and co-mingling administrative and judicial duties just as our administration presently seems to be exceeding itself. Having spent some time as French volks following their Revolution, these Palatinate Germans wanted their French freedoms back. But since political meetings were verboten, it was one of the most talkative of “fairs.” So, are we going? From the looks of it, it was a blast.

    Wirth, Germany’s Patrick Henry, spent years in prison for encouraging attendance and escaped to eventually take a Frankfurt Parliament seat in a much improved Germany. The Palatinate turns out to be one of the most liberal and communal minded parts of Germany. As always, I blame the Cistercians, those 12th Century commies.

    Everywhere I turn, I’m smelling schnitzel these days. I think I should get my passport renewed. I’m going to Hambacher Schloss one day for real. Karl at the Hogpit told me Americans think all Germans were Nazis and now think all Muslims are terrorists. I told him he knows better to say that being German. I assume he’s not Muslim, this was a rib joint.

    • ” I used to hang out in a topless Cistercian prayer tower pretending it was a time machine. ”

      Toplesss Cistercians? I hope they were nuns and not monks.

      • Mostly friars, but they allowed nuns to party, too. Cistercians still wear the white habits.

        I think the Thirty Years War tore the top off that tower and a lot of rape victims, too. This place has seen it’s share of human horrors. Maybe I’m a tossed soul trying to get back to my peeps? The fields where I pointed Barabra Jordon’s booming voice were once a Black Lagoon. Just like me to keep dredging up the past.

  18. We cannot ignore the FACTS! 99% of ALL terrorist attacks on the entire planet are carried out by muslims and yes I understand that 99% of muslims are NOT terrorists. The rational of the NYPD is justified. I’ve heard nothing but silence on what the current administration is doing and has done to this entire nation and abroad. Our constitution is VERY CLEAR on these issues and they are high crimes and treasonous. The media is simply doing what it is supposed to do though they are being quite selective these days on what (NSA) and who (bho admin.) they report on. Unfortunately the only way to deal with dark and evil people is to go out into the dark where ever it might be.

    • The terrorist attacks of the US- military in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and their long history of terrorism and support for terrorism just in the greater middle east far exceeds the acts of muslims. Should we ascribe these acts to the dominant religions of the US.

      • This is a bad analogy. American soldiers aren’t suicide bombing. American soldiers aren’t being brainwashed into believing they will enter paradise if they die in battle.

        If a Christian cult starts suicide bombing random buildings I’m sure someone will enter the church and ask questions. I would also bet that a handful of hyper-politically correct progressives will jump to their defense if this occurs.

        • You think only if the terrorist dies in his own attack it’s called terrorism? Please take a look into an ordinary dictionary. Also the exact wording of the lies all of those combattants (including US soldiers) are being brainwashed with is irrelevant because it simply depends on your social and cultural environment you are living in which is the right trigger to make people killing others. In the US its honor, glory, reputation, being blessed and – the most wanted one – simply a living with (kind of a) financial income, in arab countries its all about honor, glory, reputation, being blessed and a bunch of bunnies – if you were successful. No f***ing difference, all over the world there are brainwashed young people killing others for the sake of the mighty ones regardless of the flavour of the local religion or what else you have to tell them feeding their hormonal condition.

          “If a Christian cult starts suicide bombing random buildings I’m sure someone will enter the church and ask questions.”



          And if a nationalist state will start bombing the rest of the non-western world in the name of god no one will start asking questions because everyone fears its military or at least political answer. It was the same with nazi germany between 1933 and 1945 (except the part with the religious disorientation). And please don’t come up with the common falsification of history – it mainly were the russians who wiped the germans off of the map.

        • “American soldiers aren’t suicide bombing.”
          Why would we resort to suicide bombing when we can use drones and can fire missiles remotely? We have a much easier time blowing up homes, schools, weddings, funerals, rescuers and Americans than [terrorist group of the day].

          “American soldiers aren’t being brainwashed into believing they will enter paradise if they die in battle.”
          American soldiers, just like the rest of us, are brainwashed into being submissive tools of American power and corporate interests. We believe that the world will become paradise when everyone follows Washington’s orders and enriches our investors.

          Rather than question those perpetrating the crimes in our name, we are taught to instinctively protect those in power. Anything less would be un-American or “hyper-politically correct”.

    • Are you freaking serious–the Muslims are the world’s terrorist–BULL, 911 was committed by the USGovernment, dumb-ass–look up nanothermate and Silverstein giving the command to blow ignite the explosive in WTC7–how he know there was explosive in that building on that day when and no way those explosives could be rigged on Nine11, and those three of the WTCenter buildings were the strongest in the world and they all came down under eleven seconds. The United States through the CIA commits MOST of the terrorists’ attacks around the world. You know why the WallStreet crooks didn’t go to jail because all the evidence were in WTC7 which housed the FBI, CIA, HomeLandSecurity, IRS, etc.,–How convenient WTC7 is the smoking gun and all three building came down exactly the same. “Media” being “selective” are you joking–they are essentially one and the same; one’s left feet while the other is the right walking around united with their bull and you bought it.

    • I could not agree more and I am stunned by how naive some of these comments are and I am not talking about the ones that are plain idiotic. The FACTS are there and the 99% Muslims should start a jehad on their radicals as christians need to do with their own brand which are radicalizing themselves slowly but surely here in the US.

  19. Our Judiciary is a joke…..They all should be exposed as the paid and bought for corporate shills that they are. Corporate world controls all on our planet. These traitors should be ashamed and run out of town,

  20. I see what the attorney who called Tom Martini irrational means. He can’t think straight. That’s scary. But it’s not new. I’ve seen bad decisions from judges all over the place for years now. But it figures. The judiciary has no special immunity, in the class war, from attack by the people’s enemy. And it has been captured along with governments, the few ‘independent’ ones among them notwithstanding.

  21. This is a white country founded by white men. If you don’t like it, go to the flea infested shit hole your people founded.

    • By founded do you mean it had no inhabitants or that you butchered, oppressed and repressed the indigenous people who got in your way like you do today?

  22. On Friday I interview CCR attorney Omar Farah about this court ruling. I also spoke with CCR attorney Shayana Kadidal right after Friday’s DC Circuit Appeals Court hearing in a case filed by GTMO detainees who were abused at the prison after CSRTs had determined they were not “enemy combatants”. Both interviews were posted to my podcast at http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/show/leftvoices/id/2694971

  23. It would helpful to readers to understand that it is extremely rare for judgements to be issued AFTER oral arguments at the state and federal level. Judgements are issued by courts based upon the papers submitted by attorneys for both sides. The attorneys for the plaintiff’s (in this case the Muslim community in NJ) failed their clients with a weak complaint and case law. As commentators here have pointed out a much much stronger case could and should have been made.

    The justice system in America didn’t fail anyone. The attorneys for the plaintiffs did and proved one thing conclusively above all else: total ineptitude.

    • Can the plaintiffs’ attorneys right their mistakes during the appeal or are they bound to their same legal arguments; that is, based upon their original ‘papers’ is an appeal without merit?

  24. Rule of Law?
    Gone. President a common murderer. Courts with no idea of the basic rules.
    I suppose the time to start hiding is approaching.

    • In his “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel” Max Blumenthal repeatedly describes Israel’s Knesset as an assembly of screaming, cruel gangsters. We may call it a case of tail wagging the dog but this is where our political establishment seems to be heading. I suppose that’s what you get when impressionable and ALWAYS for sale US congressmen and other official are sent to AIPAC-sponsored all-expenses paid trips to the lands of Holy Apartheid.

  25. The US (and the world) really needs to start holding people ACCOUNTABLE, without that, any bozo can speak in the name of ‘justice’. I’m surprised that people in the US administration can not be severely embarrassed by this, I’m even more surprised that there are not continuous demonstrations in the street demanding accountability. Come on, you yanks!!, you’ve got to start somewhere.

  26. From what Judge Martini says in his ruling, it looks like these targets of ethnic profiling have a pretty strong case against those dirty muckrakers at The AP for inflicting damages here.

    Sometimes judges surprise us with their capacity for independence, rejecting the ideology of Presidents that they are put forth or appointed by. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with this clown. Here’s to the appeals process.

  27. Ol’ Judge Martini, who seems to have imbibed one-to-many shots of his namesake, pontificates:

    “The motive of the program was not solely to discriminate against Muslims, but rather to find Muslim terrorists hiding among ordinary, law-abiding Muslims,” he wrote.

    Therefore, using similar illogical reasoning, I wonder if U.S.D.J. Martini thinks that local, state, and federal governments have a green light to spy carte blanche on us persons of white color. That is, the motive of any (spy) program is not solely to discriminate against white folks, but rather to find white folk terrorists hiding among ordinary, law-abiding Cracker Christians—er—religious white folks…

  28. http://ccrjustice.org/

    ”…said Center for Constitutional Rights Legal Director Baher Azmy. “The ruling is a modern day version of the discredited Korematsu decision allowing the wholesale internment of Japanese Americans based solely on their ancestry. It is a troubling and dangerous decision.”

    • I have some bad news. The Korematsu and Hirabayashi internment decisions were discredited only in the 9th Circuit on a (cough) writ of error coram nobis. Far as I know, they were never overturned by the US Supreme Court as valid case law.

      • Thank you for the follow-up. I remember your previous explanation of a writ of error coram nobis within one of your Guardian posts, regarding your screen name. I wondered how effective it is as a legal instrument and I found this note on the Find Law website: “…a writ of error coram nobis is the legal equivalent of a Hail Mary pass.”

        This brief discussion has prompted me to learn more about the ‘Korematsu and Hirabayashi internment decisions’ and I assumed they were ‘settled case law’.

        • The following is an excellent summary of the Korematsu and Hirabayashi et al. internment decisions and why the outstanding legal issues are still extremely important today. (Especially informative for those non-lawyers like me)

          The question in 2014 is not whether the internment and the Court’s decisions upholding the military orders that placed Japanese Americans behind barbed wire in desolate camps were “wrong,” as Justice Antonin Scalia stated recently in remarks at the University of Hawaii’s law school. Almost everyone agrees with Scalia, including all his current colleagues on the Court.

          Rather, the question is whether the justices should put their money where their mouths are, so to speak, by finally and formally burying the internment decisions, by overruling or repudiating them as still-valid precedent.

          Until now, the problem with taking one of these steps is that the Court has not faced a case that raises the issue of congressional and executive authorization for the indefinite detention of American citizens without trial in civil courts, as were the Japanese Americans. Such a case, however, is currently pending before the Court, through a petition for certiorari on behalf of journalists and political activists who have challenged provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that allow the arrest and detention of persons accused of providing “substantial support” (an imprecise and undefined term) to terrorist groups.


  29. Does anyone have a link to the original pdf (I think) doc, that the NYPD-CIA produced?
    It includes pix and mapping, short descriptions, etc.

  30. Great judge, should be made the Chief Justice for his innovative interpretation of the Law.

    Spies are everywhere, if he starts entertaining lawsuits against them there will be millions of them to deal with. Best is to give innovative replies and make the complainants the culprits in order to discourage people from complaining. Justice Ouseley in UK is also quite adept in such matters.

    • I would agree, except that I know you are joking, and also that it would dishearten so many of the normal and half-way normal people who are left. It is not good to damage the the spirits of so many. even for a joke. Really. Otherwise, I could get behind this innovative plan.

  31. Firstly, kudos to both Intercept and to Froomkin for coming together. This site truly is gathering the cream of the crop, it’s just amazing.

    As for the article, what can be added, either to it or to the commentary. I must be jaundiced, because to me it’s self-evident that this is wrong and what can be said to someone to whom it is not so? Thus, I’ll only say this: This is when you know things have gone to hell, truly, madly, deeply: when the judiciary has gone with it. Remember “Judgement at Nuremberg”?

  32. And where is the Newark police on this invasion of their sovereignty by the NYC police?It’s another state,where is their justification?Terrible ruling,but what else is new?And Mao Z,Mr.Schicklegruber is down the road of perdition.

  33. The more likely explanation for the surveillance was a desire to locate budding terrorist conspiracies.

    At a school teaching 1st through 4th graders. LOL

  34. Cyrus and his Cylinder must be ROLLING!

    FYI, the Bible says he’s Grrrreeeaat! Held together an empire of diverse faiths by demanding tolerance. He told the Babylonians to let some people go.

    Checkout his rolling thunder tour!


    Who says promoting tolerance is a modern idea? It’s over 2600 years OLD! The glue that holds together vast empires!

  35. The judge didn’t address the issues raised in the suit, just squashed it on the basis of standing.

    But it would be interesting have someone actually consider the case on the merits.

    1. Due process – was the government depriving the targeted group of ‘life, liberty or property’. Liberty is the only one that applies – but the government would argue it didn’t deprive anyone of their physical liberty.

    2. Equal protection – but this generally only applies to discriminatory laws, whereas the NYPD will argue that it was simply exercising its discretionary policing powers.

    3. Freedom of religion – re: passage of laws concerning religion, but can also be interpreted in terms of government promoting or suppressing a particular religion.

    4. Unreasonable search – depends what form the surveillance took, but doesn’t adequately protect against new surveillance technologies that don’t require physical access.

    So the constitutional arguments are complex. Perhaps the absence of an explicit protection of privacy is a failure of the constitution. Perhaps the developments in surveillance technology have created a paradigm shift. Or perhaps it is expecting too much of the constitution to see it as a bulwark against stupid government behavior. The bottom line is the NYPD is practicing poor policy – squandering resources without producing any results and creating ill will within the community. Let stupidity have its moment of triumph – it will eventually fail under the weight of its own success.

    • The judge did consider the merits. He ruled that the allegations of the complaint were not “sufficient to state a claim for discrimination in violation of the First or Fourteenth Amendments,” meaning that if everything alleged by the plaintiffs were true, no constitutional violation occurred.

      • In the motion for dismissal, he barely touched on the constitutional issues. Most of the ruling is concerned with the issue of standing based on (a) demonstration of injury in fact and (b) demonstrating that defendant caused this injury. This is where he introduces the Martini Principle – that journalists who reveal the surveillance are the cause of the injury. This is similar to someone robbing a bank then blaming the witnesses.

        The Judge did claim that the surveillance did not constitute religious discrimination because the police were not targeting law abiding Muslims, but rather a small group of Muslim terrorists hiding within the general Muslim population. But this reasoning doesn’t pass the laugh test. Firstly, the existence of the supposed Muslim terrorists is speculative and secondly, this reasoning could equally well be used to justify general search and seizure, on the theory that a criminal could be hiding anywhere.

        • I wasn’t defending Judge Martini’s ludicrous opinion. Just noting that he did indeed consider the merits of the plaintiffs’ claims, as demonstrated by his ruling that the complaint failed to state a cause of action for unconstitutional discrimination. His reasoning as to the merits was risible, but he did consider them.

        • Agree that the judge’s reasoning was risible. But that comes back to my point that the constitutional arguments are complex and the outcome of a properly reasoned case is not clear. One role of the police is a neighbourhood watch, a general form of surveillance of public spaces. This can extend onto private spaces, if done in ways which are not intrusive such as witnessing suspicious activity in someone’s yard while driving along the street. So at what point does surveillance become unconstitutional? It depends on what is reasonable, which in turn depends on precedent and the amount of latitude required by the police to do their job.

          In other words, while Americans reflexively look to the constitution for guidance, it might not resolve this issue. It is much clearer on a practical level – targeting one particular group only increases their isolation and distrust of authority, which makes them less likely to cooperate with the police. The police need this cooperation, since much of their investigative work depends on information provided to them by people in the community. So their actions are counterproductive.

        • after consideration, I do think that the issue of inappropriate religious discrimination can be raised. The cops would need to demonstrate that the place they were investigating had/has (some?) higher possibility than average of containing a criminal. If it has only an average possibility, then the selection appears to be improperly motivated. (to me)

  36. Is anyone getting a bit jumpy at the repetition of the meme that if we don’t know they are plotting against the Constitution, they aren’t? I’ve had a belly full of this BS.

  37. Well, many Germans were unaware of horrors being perpetrated by their government and they still had to live with it. This judge sounds like a Nazi sympathizer to me. What’s HIS background? Scalia’s?

  38. More on this craziness, yesterday i saw a story where, some Government rep was having a town hall meeting. I dont recall who and that doesnt matter. Someone in the crowd got up to speak and said some really crazy things about Obama.The Rep had nothing to do with these statements whatsoever. Other people in the Government are now demanding this Rep apoligize to Obama for what someone else said. It kinda fits in with this insane thinking we see in this case.

    • Unfamiliar with this case, but did the Rep make clear their POV? John McCain made me sick when after a woman in a town hall said O was Muslim, only offered that he was a good man. I’m not one to declare other’s faith for them, but that was a stinking dirty trick. I was NOT fooled by that promotional and the delusional woman went home more confident in her ignorance.

      • This might suggest I find saying someone is a Muslim when they are not is a crime. I look forward to the day a Mormon or Muslim lead the way. Mo Udall was my rep for much of my life. His legacy kept him straight. His family suffered horribly from the GOP’s 1880s RAID when plural families were made a crime just to keep Dems down in the Territory. Never would have happened had they been Republicans, but by raiding the wards Mormon leaders lost the right to vote, sit juries and run for office. Still couldn’t keep one man, one vote down. AZ’s first governor was a Dem.

        I imagine that poor ignorant woman is no longer with us, good rest her misguided by John McCain soul.

        • Of course, that was NOT an endorsement for Mitt. His family split AZ while the Udalls STOOD THEIR GROUND. David Udall’s conviction for making false affidavit about a Miles Romney’s property holding was overturned and his rights restored. It’s character and proven records that count.

  39. “I have my own army in the NYPD,” Bloomberg said in a speech at MIT on Tuesday. And he’s exactly right. Armies aren’t concerned with preserving the civil liberties of the peoples they are responsible for violently conquering. Armies don’t give a shit about First Amendment rights or the precious freedoms of the American people. When given their orders, armies unleash unholy hell upon the enemy, and in this case, the enemy happens to be the citizenry of the United States.

  40. We need to do what the Dutch did in WWII when they all put on the star of david in support of the jewish community. Here we need to say: I am a Muslim…..We are all Muslims…..and I have a right to be a Muslim or any other religion……this is what our country was founded on. Does NYPD have the right to change this.

    • “I am Spartacus!” Do I have to give up pork?

      I am sorry if my light making is making me sound like a Roman bigot. Martini made me do it.

  41. If you want privacy, pass notes to each other in a parked car. Thanks to Mr. Snowden, we now know there are dozens of government agencies in every government of the world who are busy violating your right to privacy. Mankind’s only hope for freedom and human rights is a massive coronal ejection to permanently alter the amount of charge in the ionosphere, deleting all electronic data and frying all electronic devices.

    • Calls to mind all the tricks we kids used to use to confuse teachers. Sign language with a pig latin twist.

  42. “the evil that men do lives after them..” Here’s another example of the damage a feckless George W. Bush did with a judicial appointment; he’s as much to blame for the judge’s inept decision as the AP is for exposing the surveillance. To mix a metaphor, it’s like Alice in Wonderland meets the NYPD as seen by the judge.

  43. All this is originates most glaringly from the the false flag 911 attack – google building seven – nothing will change until there is a full independant investigation of the REAL criminals of that day be they foreign or domestic!A

  44. Great article and commentary, the overall gist of which I wholeheartedly endorse, BUT I think it’s useful to point out flaws in logic, even with those we agree with. In the section that discusses the problems with blanketly surveilling the Muslim community, this quote/analogy is given:

    This equates being Muslim (religion) to race (African-American) – an assumption that in other contexts is typically understood as stereotyping and prejudice (for example, it’s easy to imagine the reverse – assuming all Arabs are Muslim – coming from someone in the far right-wing). This particular one is, unfortunately, an error that is bizarrely but frequently made by those on the Left with the good intentions of defending Muslims, whose rights are violated in the US more so than probably any other religious group.

    Beyond the obvious logical error, progressives should avoid making this false comparison because i) it’s entirely unnecessary to support their positions and ii) it undermines the strength of their arguments and exposes them to needless criticism that will distract from the larger, usually valid, point. In this case, there are good, constitutional reasons why anyone practicing Islam should not be suspected of terrorism and targeted for surveillance – regardless of their race. There’s no reason whatsoever for race to be a factor, and invoking it renders your arguments just as specious as those – that I’d assume you disagree with – who WANT to discriminate based on race (arguing racial profiling is an effective law enforcement tactic, for example).

    • You’re referring to Samuel Bagenstos’s analogy, I assume. I didn’t take it as equating a race (blacks) with a religion (Muslims). It’s basically about targeting minority groups — that’s the general point, which I think is pretty clear. What if they were spying on Hispanic neighborhoods, without warrants, on the off-chance that they might find illegal immigrants? Are Hispanics a “race” in the biological sense?

      Those types of analogies are helpful, because most people don’t seem to think in terms of principle (e.g. targeting of “others” is wrong), but emotionally and tribally.

      That said, what if Jews were targeted for spying? Wouldn’t that be seen pretty much exactly as racism? It would certainly be called anti-semitism, which is a form of racism (semite is an ethnicity.)

      • “The police could not have monitored New Jersey for Muslim terrorist activities without monitoring the Muslim community itself.”

        I would like to ask Judge Martini to substitute “Jewish” for “Muslim” in the foregoing sentence from his opinion, and then ask him how it sounds.

      • Yes, that’s the quote I had included, but I guess the formatting (used ) deleted it for some reason. The quote is: …he said, “A police department cannot specifically target African-Americans for surveillance on the ground that the department is seeking to identify crime within the black community.”

        That directly likens discrimination based on race to that based on religion, though I understand your point that it’s probably intended to highlight discrimination generally. It’s an evocative and powerful analogy given the violence against and oppression of blacks in US history, but there is a much more apt – and probably equally powerful – analogy to make that doesn’t involve the error in reasoning: can one imagine Christians being targeted in the same way if an act of terrorism happened to be committed by a Christian? I think the answer to that is pretty clear.

        The reason it’s important to be precise about these things – apart from the fact it makes an argument more persuasive and easier to defend – is that having clarity on the causes and factors behind discrimination of a particular type points to proper and effective solutions. If those issues are all mixed up and clouded, it can easily prevent us from understanding why it happened in the first place and how to stop it in the future.

        • He is stating a general principle that police should have particularized suspicion rather than targeting an entire group. This principle applies regardless of the police motivation or the identity of the group in question. Citing a particular example is intended to illustrate this general principle, not cloud the issue.

          • Common ‘Tater – I understand what you mean, and I think you’re probably right that that was his intention. I felt compelled to point it out because this is a silent ‘shift’ from religion-to-race (or vice versa) that is frequently made, typically by progressives, in situations where it does become problematic. (One example – for which, it should be noted, I am not taking sides in either direction by pointing this out – is when prominent figures criticize Islam as a religion/institution and the counter-arguments from many on the Left consist in accusations of racism. See: http://saiu.org/blog/greenwald-and-hussain-on-sam-harris-and-racism and http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/04/20134210413618256.html ) . Using clumsy analogies in cases such as the present issue may make it more difficult to identify the error/switch in cases that it is not applicable.

      • Jose – I also wanted to address your points on Hispanic/Jewish targeting, but didn’t have time the other day. Here goes…

        I think both points raise interesting questions about what constitutes race/ethnicity and how we talk about them, but all that is orthogonal to what I was highlighting. Both of them also seem to arise from imprecision/ambiguity in the labels we use to talk about race and ethnicity and not practical effects in the world.

        For ‘Hispanic’ targeting, talking about it in the way you did would seem how someone might talk about that kind of discrimination /after the fact/. That is, people could be targeted for one or more of the cluster of traits that are typical of those called ‘Hispanic’ – like, skin color, Spanish-speaking, etc – and then if someone wanted to describe that discrimination, they might use the term ‘Hispanic’. The discrimination would have happened based on whatever specific, real trait(s) were used to target people (which would of course arise from the target-ors’ prejudices/biases, which probably do arise from elements of race, class, Catholicism, and so on), but the problem of the term/concept ‘Hispanic’ only crops up when one tries to /label/ it as such.

        Similarly, for the issue ‘Jews’, this term is used pretty much interchangeably for people who /practice/ Judaism and those who are ethnically/racially Semitic. And again, it depends on exactly what criteria were targeted for discrimination. If people were targeted for their biological appearance/ancestry, that would be based on race. If people were targeted for their Jewish /faith/, that would be based on religion.

        Obviously these things often coincide, but, crucially, religion is entirely separable and independent. It is for the cases when the two diverge that conflating the two needs to be avoided. For an example of a time when they do and the problem of blending them arises, see my comment below.

    • I presumed race and religion are both protected from discrimination, so any Venns of same are in vain.

      I’m looking at NJ’s because it came up first. Race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, marital status, domestic partnership or civil union, sex, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability. And surely any combo platters! I may not have oriented my perceptions correctly, but discrimination means EVERYBODY!

    • “Beyond the obvious logical error, progressives should avoid making this false comparison because i) it’s entirely unnecessary to support their positions and ii) it undermines the strength of their arguments and exposes them to needless criticism that will distract from the larger, usually valid, point.”

      Excellent point. This is a common error in the history of progressive argument in the US. I suspect it has nothing to do with left leaning politics and more to do with the self consciousness and insecurity of being a dissenter, regardless of the political bent. Since the US is a right wing country, then naturally this would happen to progressives.

      This also happened quite recently in regard to that billionaire (sorry, forgot his name), who used the term Kristallnacht as a kind of metaphor to make his point. Immediately, this prompted a furore and accusations of anti-Semitic terminology, as if that word was an epithet rather than the reference normally used for a specific historical event. But my point was that there was a very important myth behind that guy’s argument that was just ignored completely in the fog of emotionalism and being sidetracked. It’s a myth that is but one foundation stone of all that is wrong in our system, but I never personally caught a sense that it was even noticed. Plus, having won by default (lack of opposition), this guy’s attraction value slid very rapidly away from public focus, which is a shame because the myth he employed is one that is worth extensive public examination and debate.

      • Very glad you appreciate my point, Terry. And I think what you say about insecurity of being a dissenter is very true.

        I’m not familiar with the example you gave, but I will definitely look into it – sounds very useful.

        • I stumbled across it first at RSN, but the hullabaloo apparently transpired prior to that.


          “His January 24 letter to the editor published in the Wall Street Journal provoked a wave of media ridicule, rebuttal, and hostility that prompted him to write an apology to the Anti-Defamation League for his choice of words. On January 27, Perkins was doing a Bloomberg TV exclusive, apologizing for using the word “Kristallnacht” and pitying himself as a messenger who’d been shot (“as the messenger I have been thoroughly killed by everybody”), but mostly he expressed strong reaffirmation of his message:”

          etc, etc

        • Jeb and Terry, perhaps you could say more. The billionaire is Thomas Perkins and his “kristallnacht” reference was prompted (I believe) on demonstrations in San Francisco against current gentrification of SF via Silicon Valley wealth. I’m not sure what you mean by “myth” which you seem to apply to Kristallnacht when this was a specific historical event of a Nazi pogrom against Jews and is (speaking of flawed analogies) ludicrous applied to ordinary people’s outrage over wealth inequality in this country. It seemed to me THAT absurd analogy was the cause of the furor. I’m unclear on what Terry’s point is (sorry, I don’t mean to be aggressive here).

          • I just briefly checked it, and that doesn’t seem to be the same situation. I wonder if what Terry means to highlight is a knee-jerk reaction to racially-charged terms/issues? As in, (if I understand correctly), Perkins was accused of anti-semitism for using the word, when he was trying to reference demonization and violence against a minority? It was obviously an absurd comparison, but focusing on the use of a racially charged word is not the most relevant or useful grounds on which to challenge his ideas.

            Again, this is a very different dynamic as I was trying to bring up, but I suppose I can see the relation in that it involves clumsy reasoning and conflation of associated ideas. As for a ‘myth’, not exactly sure what that was intended to mean…

          • Thanks, Jeb. My reply here is out of order because there is no reply function under your 5:29 p.m. post. It would be misleading to accuse Perkins of anti-Semitic behavior (instead of his using a crass, self-pitying, and self-serving analogy), you’re right. So I’m thinking the point is (in line with your point) don’t mislead and obfuscate the issue by dragging in anti-Semitism when the issue is not at all anti-Semitism but a paranoid and ludicrous misapplication of real victimization. If Perkins et al believe they are being demonized and victimized as innocent victims their delusion and self-righteousness are profoundly misinformed on the real causes of the anger, which stem from systemic corruption involving government, the judiciary, and Wall Street. There may be some “innocent” rich guys of Perkins’ type (who they are I wouldn’t know and would like to hear about, and their defense) but the bulk of them seem highly cooperative of the corruption we are familiar with right now in terms of not paying taxes, disloyalty to the middle class, criminal contrivances in the banking industry, etc. etc. In an overall sense the anger is against the hubris we’re seeing throughout the rottenness of The System generally. For a Perkins to weep into his suds because he’s such a good guy indicates he ought to pay more attention or stick to his underwater airplane.

    • Internment camps? What’s ‘Next’? Won’t ICE detention facilities serve? Or FEMA camps, which of course don’t exist, ask anyone – start with Oliver North, he must still be around. Hell, how about simple basic private prison systems where slave labour can be used for a manufacturing base in the US? Internment camps? Perish the thought. Can’t we use football stadiums? Didn’t they come in handy in El Salvador?

    • I’ll try this a third time before giving up. Maybe it’s shortened URLs that cause the problem.

      What next, internment camps? “Next”? How about ICE detention centres?

      Or maybe FEMA camps:

      …which of course don’t exist at all, ask anyone. Start with Oliver North if he’s around.

      But never mind, the good old privatized prison system will do, with all that slave labour to form one of the pillars of US manufacturing. So, who needs camps, just put them in jails, especially minorities. Oh wait…

    • “None of the Plaintiffs’ injuries arose until after the Associated Press released unredacted, confidential FEMA documents and articles expressing its own interpretation of those documents. Nowhere in the Complaint do Plaintiffs allege that they suffered harm prior to the unauthorized release of the documents by the Associated Press. This confirms that Plaintiffs’ alleged injuries flow from the Associated Press’s unauthorized disclosure of the documents, and not to their internment in the Pleasant Valley detention facility. The harms are not “fairly traceable” to any act of detention.”

  45. “On January 23, 2002, Martini was nominated for a judgeship in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey by President George W. Bush, and was confirmed several months later. Martini was one of nine judges appointed by President Bush to the District Court of New Jersey and was the first to be seated.”

    • Old Joe. We should have guessed he was a bum when he left the Brits to get out of Baku on their own in 1918. Was he working for US? ‘Cause WE got the dig from Baku to Petrograd, NOT BP!

  46. At the root of all this is the pretense of a terrorist attack by extremists. NOTHING will change until MUSLIMS first and foremost (despite the environment we are in) arm themselves with the facts and knowledge such as with the forensics presented by ae911truth (dot) org and to SPEAK UP the truth about 911 as a false flag operation that makes the official story a complete lie — lies have power only when they are not exposed — google wtc7. This country will continue on this abysmal path until citizens demand a full investigation of the events of that day and hold all domestic/foreign agents that are gov/non-gov accountable and be charged with their crimes.

  47. The NYPD itself is doubtless infiltrated at all levels by the CIA and FBI, who can then launch and influence their own investigations at will. Maybe this is what happened here.

    If you’re a genuine NYPD officer reading this, do you have doubts about any of your colleagues – as though they’re running their own show? If so, are you entirely happy about that? Maybe you fear your career would end quickly if you made an internal complaint to someone who may also not be who they appear to be.

    • Please stop unless you want to be called a conspiracy paranoid theorist of the worst order.
      Operation Mockingbird never happened- that’s why today’s news is ‘fair & balanced’, dontcha know.
      I believe what you’ve said could be a distinct possibility.

  48. There are several recent top secret amendments to the Constitution. However, I assume the secrecy is not intended to apply to readers of The Intercept, so here for example is the 28th amendment:

    The provisions of this Constitution apply only to the non-secret activities of the United States Government and the various States. Disclosure of secret activities shall be punished and such punishment is not subject to the limitations of the eighth article of amendment.

    To me, this strikes a judicious balance between known knowns and known unknowns. We know there are things the government does that we don’t know about. And we know these things are likely to be underhanded. But we don’t actually know about them, and so can maintain our self respect as citizens of a publicly virtuous and lawful country.

    So when you combine this with the 29th amendment (“No provisions of this Constitution shall apply to municipal police departments”), it seems clear that Judge Martini made the proper ruling.

    • Where are these “top secret” amendments? Hidden with Obama’s “top secret” birth certificate, with a “top secret” copy in judge Martini’s desk?

    • Where are these “top secret” amendments? Stashed away with Obama’s “top secret” birth certificate, with a copy in Judge Martini’s mind.

  49. There is one great song with words that are highly relevant and which apply to this moment in time, and everybody, no matter what political views you hold, should listen to it – and think about the words carefully before its too late. Its called Read all about it part 3 by Emili Sande.

  50. A sign of the times that are a’changing now with Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems. And a little something for First Look Media Interception …….. Deep Space Dark Web Investigation and Exploitation …. Explosive XSSXXXXperimental Exploration? :-) Well, yes, of course it is, and the explicit implicit ask is …. Be this new media player worthy?

    amanfromMars ….furthering the conversation and Greater IntelAIgent Games Play on http://thedailybell.com/news-analysis/35048/Elite-Free-Trade-Smell-the-Panic/

    Oh, and here be something not at all especial to ponder on whenever/whether rancid and rabid over this weekend and likely into the near future too, in the full expectation of being able to freely share an informed and intelligent view without the desperate threat of incompetence silencing a loud and clear voice ….. What do True and Free Market Thinkers and/or AI Tinkerers think of the latest concerted assault on old failing established establishment parties by old failing established establishment parties conspiring to remain old failing established establishment parties …… http://cryptome.org/2014/02/doj-14-0221.pdf

    Nice one, Mr Holder, …… but you aint no Eric Arthur Blair, that’s for sure. And I would be very surprised to learn that I be alone in those thoughts, which would be a real shame whenever surprises are always so exciting and most invigorating.

    Seems like there’s a virtually real war going on for Hearts and Minds and Superior Intelligence Shares always win those, every time without fail, or is that just a fabulous fabless fiction and too much of AI and high melodrama to be admitted and conceded as true ……. although it be a certain fact that acknowledgment won’t change the outcome that any and all denials might be fearing and seeding.


  51. Yesterday I went to a political event of the Green Party in Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany. One of the top green politicians was invited to come. We were about 20 people and so decided to sit in a circle. His teenage daughter was sitting close to him. He works a lot. So she seemed to be happy to spend some time with him. His wife was quite relaxed about the situation. Even so it was not really easy to check details like the position of the green party towards child porn or social standards we found words and answers. Finally the host asked the youngster: Was it that terrible? She denied. It was ok.

  52. Yet another example of their fear and hatred, and their bitter resentment that journalists have revealed their wrong doing. So what this is saying to the World is that crimes against humanity no longer matter if perpetrated by Governments, or the rich and powerful, and that its only the reporters or whistleblowers that should be held responsible because they made the revelations. What we are witnessing here is the gradual censoring , blaming, bullying, intimidating, punishing, criminalizing of the press. Worse still this is not just a US and UK problem, and this is occurring all over the World. However, just because it is also going on elsewhere it does not justify it, or mean that we should accept it in the USA or UK. I think that there are many simple and quick things that each and every one of us can do about this alarming, dangerous, and wholly unacceptable trend :

    1. We should share links to news stories that have already been published online, across Social Media, and mobile platforms, in blogs and in the comments sections of relevant news stories.
    2. Whenever, and wherever we read biased reporting, or see examples of politically motivated censorship, or attempts to distort or pervert justice, we need to comment and to post other versions which maybe more complete or less biased, less suppressed, less corrupt etc
    3. It would help if all of the press could be encouraged to have a readers comments section underneath every article they publish online, and they should also be encouraged to allow readers to submit links to other relevant stories in the readers comments section and forums.
    4. We need to have more web sites which publish links from Global news sources, so that readers can read multiple versions of events. reporters interpretations, and analysis of an event, and from many different publications. This would hopefully reduce the temptation for corruption, and suppression of the news and would make censorship very difficult. It would also stop information getting stuck in silos.
    5. We should share more news sources from Human Rights websites, and from many different and diverse cultures, political and social perspectives, thereby freeing and opening up our perceptions, and freeing us from mind control.
    6. We can organize local screening of movies to share important stories, information and topics which have for some reason not made it out into the mainstream media. Maybe some local community groups would be interested in organizing or setting up some venues.
    6. We need to campaign, petition Governments and Corporations and protest peacefully to protect’ our right to know’ and to protect reporters and their sources from bullying, intimidation, and from punishment.
    7. As consumers we all have a certain amount of discretional spending, so we can choose which companies, and in which countries we want to spend our hard earned money. So when we see clear examples of social injustice, or examples of corporate led policies or legislation where the social costs, risks to the environment, or to our health and safety outweigh the financial benefits then we vote with our money.

    Everybody needs to understand the importance of protecting journalists, whistleblowers, and peaceful campaigners, and law abiding protestors. This is not just important for us now, but is of vital importance for our sons and daughters – it will determine their quality of life, and the type of World they will live in. We must lead the way in this. The freedom of reporting, and free press is our surveillance system on our Governments, and if we sit back and allow Governments Worldwide to censor this then we will all become blind to wrong doing, and the amount of social injustice will only keep rising.

    It is great to see that many people on here are already sharing links to other news sources.

  53. I heard about the verdict earlier, on my local PBS station’s news (I live here in Jersey). They spent all of 10 seconds on the story. Glad I clicked on the headline when I came on here. When I saw the judge was Martini, it made perfect sense.
    I remember him –probably 2007/2008?– giving former Newark mayor, ass-hat Sharpe James, a shamefully weak sentence after being convicted of, among other things, this huge real-estate swindle with city-owned property. (I’ll spare you the details; you can read about it on NJ.com, if you’re interested. It’s also partly why now-Senator Corey Booker got elected mayor there, by the way.)
    Martini’s rationale for James’ slap-on-the-wrist was: the mayor didn’t deserve to rot in jail due to his many years of ‘dedicated public service’ or some nonsense. Never mind those years spent lining his own pockets with taxpayer money– most of which is shelled out by everyone NOT living in Newark…

    I’m sure there’s a photo of Martini somewhere with the caption: “stupid is, as stupid does”

    This surveillance-judgement is idiotic, but not unprecedented; in a sense, it’s similar to the US Supreme Court’s ruling that Lilly Ledbetter’s wage-discrimination case against Goodyear Tires wasn’t valid because she discovered her job screwing her on pay after the statute-of-limitations ran out on the initial offense. (Different cases, same illogic.) Hopefully, the Appeals Court will overturn Martini’s ruling, not require an act of Congress– don’t expect them to pass any laws restricting surveillance anytime soon.

    Also, nobody seems to question whether the NYPD had jurisdiction to spy on NJ residents for crimes they hadn’t been accused of… crimes that didn’t occur? I’m not a lawyer myself, so I can’t answer that. If any of you can, by all means, please enlighten me & the other readers.

    • Can you, lawyer or not, enlighten me on the difference between ‘spying’ and ‘overhearing’? If you overhear someone plotting to bomb a mosque, do you have to keep quiet about it? If you have to pretend to be part of a community to overhear what’s going on. is this bad? If you belong to a group that will trust your reporting of words overheard, does this disqualify you from overhearing?

  54. First rule: blame the victim
    Second rule: kill the messenger
    Third rule: tell the public god is on our side
    Fourth rule: demonize dissent

  55. I saw briefly elsewhere a headline about this decision and shook my head. Then when I came and read this article I was very, very troubled. I can’t believe the twisted logic that any harm was caused by press disclosures. I am with those who find this logic scurrilous. It is indeed disturbing in its high-handed treatment of Constitutional rights and possible chilling effect on press freedom, an increasing concern these days.

    O/T #1: I have seen stories of these “domain awareness” programs developed and starting to be put into place in police departments around the country. Maybe the team would consider some updated reporting on those.

    O/T #2: At least as I view this, the avatar problem seems to be fixed. Thanks, folks!

  56. Froomkin! So glad you are here, have bookmarked it. As usual, a great article with clarity and facts. The “liberal bias of the facts” is obvious.

  57. Think about this judge. He was a former Republican Congressman for New Jersey and he was appointed by Bush and he is from the federal court in Trenton. So here is this dude that is lecturing the press for being good investigative reporters.Now ask yourself what happened over in NY with the Stop and Frisk case. Now ask what is happening here. The present governor is being investigated by the DOJ and if those guys end up in a federal case that will also be in Trenton. Now ask yourself who do you think is spying on the federal judges? Who do you think has dirt on all of them? Remember this is ground zero to yet another part of the post 9/11 surveillance state. Look into the drug interdiction computers. That is where under Bush they put a lot of the antiterrorism collection because it went to the administration. So this is another type of surveillance system and the Demographics Unit is just part of the equation. I know when I complained in the NY federal court in the end to try and intimidate me they gave someone a September 11 release date. They were sending a message. What they are afraid of is that we will deconstruct them and how they all know things. They are mapping networks. So think where have we seen that? Did not Kelly take some of these NYPD intel guys with him as his personal guards? See they are goons and they know it could all fall down. That is why they are blaming the press pretending that they are accomplices really it is the prosecutors and the judges.

    • So does the Devil, but we don’t have his address. See U.S. ex rel. Gerald Mayo v. Satan and His Staff, Volume 54, Federal Rules Decisions, p. 282 (W. Dist. Penna. 1971).

  58. The AP is responsible for injuries suffered by the plaintiffs in the case. So Snowden, Greenwald, and Poitras –not the NSA, are responsible for injuries to the rights of American citizens. This is the kind of logic you find in most totalitarian systems. We’re going to be hearing more of this kind of thinking from the government.

  59. So the judge, in essence, is saying privacy doesn’t exist? Perhaps he is reading Dean Prosser’s account of privacy. That is the one that essentially says “privacy” doesn’t exist, just being composed of related concepts, like the interruption of solitude, the public airing of embarrassing or misleading facts, or identity theft.

    From the judge’s argument, privacy as a right doesn’t exist: the problem occurs only when you are caused emotional distress by becoming aware of some intrusion into your privacy (if you are not aware, then it’s totally fine).

    The American judiciary: separation of powers, LOL

  60. Another example of two judicial systems in the land of ‘freedom’, ‘liberty’, ‘equality’, and ‘justice’. One judicial system for American Muslims and another for the non-Muslims.

    • I become sad when i see the ignorance of people. these things do not set standards for how Muslims are treated, they set standards for how AMERICANS are treated. History shows that dictators or people ending free governments ,start off with groups of people, people are least likey to speak up for, and end up on you.
      If we look at the laws that were passed after 911, that were directed first to only people involved in 911. If you get your head out of your ass you now see every single one of those laws can be use on YOU. Everyone of them. YOU being Americans or anyone else the Government choosed any where in the world.
      Cases like this being cemented in the law are scarey, if it stands they can build on it.
      You All need to watch The End of America by Naomi Wolf and add what has happen since. The US Government grabbed up a Canadian Journalist and lock him up and tourchered him, in one of their secret prision for over a year. Someone that had won an award for his work BTW

  61. Disgraceful decision. Keep reporting… the wise are watching!


  62. a person installs a hidden camera in women’s or men’s loo, in such a manner as to capture any private acts. the camera is later taken to repair shop for service. in the course of servicing, the service personnel discover the file of surveillance pictures and report it to, say, police as well as to the press, revealing the matter publicly.

    judge martini would say that the service personnel caused harm to those otherwise unwittingly observed in the loo, not the hidden camera installer, for the subjects in the surveillance file would not have known about being observed if the service personnel had not revealed it.

  63. This judgment is breathtakingly stupid and cruel. *bangs head on desk in despair*

  64. The question should be, why arn’t Politicans, Judges & Bureaucrats being prosecuted !

    Mr. Greewald please address this issue !


    § 241. Conspiracy against rights

    If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any inhabitant of any State, Territory, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured – They shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results, they shall be subject to imprisonment for any term of years or for life.

    § 242. Deprivation of rights under color of law

    Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any inhabitant of any State, Territory, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United
    States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such inhabitant being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results shall be subject to imprisonment for any term of years or for life.


    “For the purpose of Section 242, acts under “color of law” include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official’s lawful authority if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties,. Persons acting under color of law within the meaning of this statute include police officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as well as judges, care providers in public health facilities, and others who are acting as public officials. It is not necessary that the
    crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of the victim.

    Disclaimer: Be advised it is possible, that this communication is being monitored by the National Security Agency or GCHQ. I neither condone or support any such policy, by any Government authority that does not comply, as stipulated by the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

  65. why not post, before every comment, the rules to make a link, a quote, B, italic, and ___?
    Like the do in the Guardian or, American-style, nyt?

    • Better still, an icon box w/ commands. But I think this commenting software is still being tweaked and grown.

      • Things like that add code that can be exploited. The code here will be secure first and easy to use second. The NSA has planted malware on many machines. Code that supports no scripting is better and safer

  66. It’s western corptocracy going down the toilet drain, whenst the judicary does not instantly shut down this type of claptrap. Not that it would make it any more legit, but this wasn’t even the NSA/FBI, it was a CITY police dept……WTFrekinF ?

    Sadly, we in Canada are not fairing any better. Comrade Harper, our beloved sweater wearing, kitten cuddling, pretended owner of a smile and warm heart, has seen fit to allow our police state police (CSIS/CSE) electronic eves-droppers to carry on in a similiar fashion, with no judicial interference in sight

  67. This judge is not an exception to the rule – he is the rule. He is precisely what the government needs and serves his purpose with flying colors.

    The government and generally those in power cannot allow themselves to make decisions that make sense to the people. That would imply that their actions are predictable and – after certain reasonable and predictable steps – reversible. This would mean that the dialogue between taxpayers and tax absorbers is possible.

    This would not be the right kind of a message. Power is a one-way game, like television: your job is to consume what you are served, not to comment on it. You should not be able to even imagine that there is a possibility of commenting. Commenting implies alternatives, and there must be no alternative to the pyramid.

    Their decisions are made to benefit themselves. And so they do, don’t they? In every country there are three nations: those who are in jail, those who run the jail, and those who pay the jail bill. These nations have nothing in common, even though we are taught they are one.

    The government’s goal is the opposite of reasonable. They must keep the taxpayer on her toes, scared, nervous, suffering, dumbed down, uninformed. Remember how long it took Romans to get their laws published explicitly, and only then in a very small font, in the darkest corner of the city?

  68. Martini’s holding is of-a-piece with Judge Pauley’s decision in upholding the NSA’s metadata collection program. Pauley declared the ACLU was positioned to complain about the NSA exceeding the bounds of section 215 of The Patriot Act, only because Edward Snowden had leaked the FISA court Order allowing the dragnet based on 215.

    Pauley thus decreed that allowing the ACLU to prevail would “spawn mischief.” Because Congress never intended for those surveilled per 215 to know about it.


  69. So by this Judge’s logic, we should be allowed to spy in on his life, but when caught the blame would lie with who ever catches us.

    • I know! Can you believe this shit? Not only is this something to fear–”by upholding the NYPD’s blunderbuss Muslim surveillance practices, the court’s decision gives legal sanction to the targeted discrimination of Muslims anywhere and everywhere in this country, without limitation, for no other reason than their religion”–but also I wonder how the language about AP’s “unauthorized disclosure” will be used to further erode press freedoms.

  70. So i guess we can toss out all laws against “peeping Toms”, stalking, etc..
    if a girl doesn’t know some perv is doing indecent things while hiding in the trees outside.. i guess that’s OK.

  71. Astounding. Massive First and Fourth Amendment violations, thrown out by a judge because nobody was directly physically harmed. Shameful.

  72. What is most frightening is what is going unsaid: if the courts decide that targeted spying on and infiltration of Muslims is legal, they will have essentially rule that spying on and infiltrating ANY person or persons is legal. This is not about the Muslims, except insofar as they happen to be the (visible) targets now; this is about all of us, who are promised by the Constitution that our government will not–cannot–violate our personal sovereignty as citizens, cannot search our “persons, houses, papers, and effects” without warrants obtained by probable cause.

    Every American citizen should be terrified and furious.

  73. “The more likely explanation for the surveillance was a desire to locate budding terrorist conspiracies.”

    So the police can spy on citizens in America, just on the off chance that there might be a “budding” conspiracy afoot, …good to know.

    …then there is this part:

    “were likely lawful and justified by [a] nondiscriminatory intent to detain aliens who were illegally present in the United States and who had potential connections to those who committed terrorist acts…”

    …So the police don’t even have to suspect the actual Americans that they are spying on of being part of a “budding” conspiracy…the police merely have to suspect that there, maybe, might be, could be some “illegally present”, yet hypothetical visitors to the mosque, school, retail store, whatever…and whamo! You have permission to send in police infiltrators.

  74. Shorter Judge Martini: Anything the government does to Muslims is OK, because 9/11.

    Oh, and Glenn: the silhouettes that obscure the name of every commenter (as well as his/her initial words) are super-annoying.

      • Mona – as much as I would like to believe that I possess an “inner spark” that makes me “inherently powerful and good,” I am wholly unpersuaded by the author’s notion of Jewish supremacy. In short, I think he is hoovering crack up his great big Jew-nose.

        • It’s a very peculiar thing to run, in my view. The author is saying: “Yes, we DO run everything, and we’re extra-double good at it!”

          (Comments appear and disappear here, mine also. But I did see this, your first.)

          • “Yes, we DO run everything, and we’re extra-double good at it!”

            The long sad history of oppression of Jews by gentiles is a bitter pill to swallow for some Jews, particularly (I would surmise) some Jewish men. We inherit a legacy of centuries of victimization and powerlessness. One way of coping with this is to concoct a half-baked mythology of Jewish superiority. (Another, related way is to cheer when Israel bombs people.) I believe that some African-Americans have done something similar with black nationalism and its mythologies. I guess I can’t begrudge the Times of Israel blogger the fantasies that get him through the night, but I still think he’s nuts.

      • Hi Mona — this is my second try at replying to you; perhaps the first try will appear at some point. My short answer is, I think the author of that column is hoovering crack up his great big Jew-nose. “Inner spark,” my ass.

    • i switched browsers and the silhouettes behaved correctly… [dear webmaster...]

  75. Why any of us should expect that judges should be any more competent or ethical than any other part of the legal system or any other branch of government is beyond my understanding. Apples rot from the core outward, and our legal system has rotted way past the core. This judge, as much of a blatant idiot as he may be, is actually rather typical.

    • I thought that apples rot from the outside in. The saying “rotten to the core” would suggest that the rot starts elsewhere and works it’s way “to the core”.
      Other than that, I agree whole-heartedly.

    • Why any of us should expect that judges should be any more competent or ethical than any other part of the legal system…

      I would expect judges to have a better understanding of the law of the land than the police who do the investigation.

  76. The judge:
    [blockquote]Plaintiffs must plead sufficient factual matter to show that the City adopted and implemented the surveillance program not for a neutral, investigative reason but for the purpose of discriminating on account of religion. [/blockquote]

    So in order to be guilty of discrimination, the government must try to discriminate. It can never be a side effect of something else it does. So if every Muslim in the country is sent to an internment camp, that is OK, because the intent was to stop terrorism, not discriminate.

          • The judge:

            Plaintiffs must plead sufficient factual matter to show that the City adopted and implemented the surveillance program not for a neutral, investigative reason but for the purpose of discriminating on account of religion.

            So in order to be guilty of discrimination, the government must try to discriminate. It can never be a side effect of something else it does. So if every Muslim in the country is sent to an internment camp, that is OK, because the intent was to stop terrorism, not discriminate.

    • Yeah, it sounds like he’s saying discrimination is okay, as long as you do it for right reasons. Having to be respectful to idiots like Judge Martini is one reason I could never be a lawyer.

  77. The British are coming! The British are coming!

    Oh hell, they’re already here!

    Lord Justice Laws and U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martini – names that will live in infamy.

      • Yes, you speak the truth. The subversive invasion has been ongoing since the Revolutionary War. We are witnessing its most modern ramifications as we enter the foyer of totalitarianism.

        In Britain their constitution is not written and so is/was easy to subvert. It has taken time to do the same to our written document. But cultivated ignorance in the people as to its meaning and effect has accomplished that subversion in only a two or three generations.

        Just yesterday I read of a seven-year-old schoolboy who threw a snowball that hit a cop car. He was arrested and charged with a felony and suspended from school. This incident is one of many like it, and provides a lens onto the near future in the land of the (formerly) free.

    • I don’t think VanWinkle can sleep this wrinkle off. He may need a thousand years to get back to where this all started. Just imagine, our government permitting the British to defile our Constitution for them. Sorry, but that’s not even funny.

  78. The term “judge” just lot a whole lot of meaning.
    Didn’t Bush see that this guy’s credentials were from Clown College?

  79. The judgement is a blatant disregard for human rights, and a stomp on the the very foundation of freedom, which is our Constitution. This judge should be removed from the bench.

    • The constitution is the problem.

      It sets up a “representative democracy” and then provides no effective way for us to directly punish these “representatives” when they commit crimes or go against our will.

      There are 300 million handguns in America and they need to be used to overthrow this farce
      and replace elections with a direct democracy.

      Until super rich people are summarily executed, nothing will change.

      • With respect and no rancor intended, and speaking only for myself, I disavow any and all violence recommended or insinuated in these comment columns. I want no part of it. I find it inappropriate and not helpful.

        • Nor do I, but I’m not scraping to their intimidation. Self-defense is still my right.

          I called for calm after the Crash and warned that would only fuel a futile Peasant’s Revolt. By keeping our heads, we are thinking the plutocrats into their own paranoid spider holes. Word’s out, most are willing to settle, but a few old hard cores still won’t capitulate.

          We didn’t even get our pitchfork out! This time around the ring cycle, we are the Hay. They’ll never fork us all out. Don’t poke me, I won’t stand for it! Haystacks can collapse of their own futility and economic warfare is my specialty!

          Boycott Martinis!

          • I am so glad I never got a stupid smart phone. Now even Macs have been poned. Way to leave the backdoor open, Apple!!

            Now anyone with eased access can read our statements, banking or otherwise, by way of email. Geesh, NSA, way to make the net as leaky as a sivve. You are so going to have to pay to fix that.

  80. This article ought to be required reading for all the media clowns who insist that Edward Snowden should surrender to the U.S. “justice” system.

  81. I forgot to add, that it’s all our money, every American who pays taxes.
    To throw money away—it must have cost billions—on a project this foolish,
    is ludicrous.

    To monitor Muslim students in the NE, must have cost serious money.

    It’s our money, wasted by NYPD-CIA.
    They have no idea of where and how to find people who would do us harm.

  82. Should a reasonable person conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the spooks have a large file on Judge Martini and are willing to use it?

  83. NYPD, helped along by the CIA, photographed, mapped and monitored every Muslim communal space, with 50-mile radius.I have seen those images.
    The NYPD found nothing, zero, zilch.

    I found yesterday’s decision alarming and ridiculous.
    The constitution exist so that the least favorite group, right now,
    that is Muslims, shall have the rights of the most-favorite group.

    I feel like converting.

  84. O/T — There seems to be something technically wrong with the comment section. Comments keep appearing and disappearing.

  85. It is truly frightening that there are any members of the legal community, much less federal judges with lifetime appointment, that think the way Judge Martini does.

    • His Roman thinking was prerequisite to his appointment. Good thing we’re learning who’s with Team Cheney vs Team America. Time to out all the king killers. In this land, LAW is king. These Romans are gonna get sacked.

  86. The paradigm here was to keep your friends close and your enemies closer…I don’t necessarily disagree with this as long as you are not going use the intel to allow a false flag. (Risky business)! Now the Judiciary is telegraphing our current paradigm….Every time anyone’s rights are defended the 1% and their puppets grind their teeth. Never mind the rights of one group….At this point, how about the rights of any individual? Here’s a loosely paraphrased quote from Russell Means; “We’re all on the reservation now”.

  87. “A federal judge in Newark has thrown out a lawsuit against the New York Police Department for spying on New Jersey Muslims, saying if anyone was at fault, it was the Associated Press for telling people about it.”

    Does gaining power always require a regression in morality/ethics to that of a child, seriously? So it’s OK to do whatever illegal activities, as long as no one finds out about them, and if the find out from someone other you, your not to blame for doing anything illegal, but they are for telling people about it? So does this apply to murderers and rapists too? If someone other than they themselves turns them in, are they released, and the person who turned them in charged? I don’t think it works that way but then again im no Federal Judge.

    “The stories described infiltration and surveillance of at least 20 mosques, 14 restaurants, 11 retail stores, two grade schools, and two Muslim student associations in New Jersey alone.”

    Grade Schools, if that doesn’t destroy the legitimacy of the program i don’t know what will. How morally bankrupt does one have to be to surveil school children, on the basis of their religion?

    • “Does gaining power always require a regression in morality/ethics to that of a child, seriously? ”

      No, it just causes said regression. Power corrupts, etc.

        • Sacre Bleu! I tip my hat to your Tabu, you deux.

          Can Mussolini be far behind? Watch out, “Mussolini Hit and Run Driver.” NYTs, 1931. Not to be confused with Esquire’s 1968, “OMG!…We Hit Little Girl!” That’s what Cornie said. Tommy Lamont called that ride along Vanderbilt a liar in the flippest of words, “Pure tosh.” 2.0?

          Beep, beep!

    • Absolutely. They should be able to do this with any minority group or potential subversives. Baby steps.

      • Stalin (You did well to comment first.), McCarthy, Hoover, Wilson, Cheney.
        You are one person with many accounts.

    • Friends, we should keep more to ourselves. Things are going our way these days. Anybody heard from Adolf H. lately?