The Sleeper Cell That Wasn't

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From the Washington Times:

Terrorism convictions in Detroit cited last year by Attorney General John Ashcroft as proof that the government's war on terrorism was working should be dismissed, according to the Justice Department, which now says prosecutors erred in bringing the nation's first post-September 11 case….

In a 60-page memo, the Justice Department said this week that the prosecution was filled with a "pattern of mistakes and oversights" that warranted dismissal of the convictions. An internal Justice probe found evidence prosecutors failed to turn over before trial.

"In its best light, the record would show the prosecution committed a pattern of mistakes and oversights that deprived the defendants of discoverable evidence … and created a record filled with misleading inferences that such material did not exist," the Justice memo said.

The case involved an alleged "sleeper cell" of Moroccan terrorists living in the United States. Whole thing here.

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  1. Amen to what Joe said!

    from Rick Barton linking to “antiwar.com” articles, we now have entire articles from antiwar.com posted in comments section! This has got to be progress!

  2. Uh, that ain’t antiwar.com, “Zorel” (Zorro’s momma?). That’s the Washington Post.

  3. Read the by-line, zorel; it’s from the Washington Post.

  4. But don’t worry about those expanded government powers, no no: only the guilty need fear.
    –G

  5. Good, important story, Justin.

    But pasting the whole thing in the comments section is bad form, old bean.

  6. This should get interesting. The lead prosecutor in the case Richard Convertino has filed whistleblower suit against the Ashcroft and the Justice department. It appears that he believes the JOD is insufficently aggressive in pursuing terrorism.

    I wonder what narrative the media will settle on:

    (1) Convertino at the behest of the evil John Ashcroft (crash of thunder) railroads innocent people into prison with a corrupt prosecution which is only exposed by the diligence of the apolitical professionals of the JOD. The fact that the whistleblower suit is aimed at John Ashcroft(crash of thunder) is never mentioned.

    (2) Convertino heroically pushes through a valid prosecution in the teeth of the wimpy (but evil) John Ashcroft (crash of thunder) and is punished by a retaliatory investigation launched by John (miscued crash of thunder) Ashcroft.

    what I’m certain you won’t see:

    (3) The ambitious glory hound Convertino runs a corrupt investigation to advance his own career only to be stopped and innocent people freed due to an internal investigation launched by John Ashcroft (birds tweeting).

    Let us watch this story, and I do mean story, unfold.

  7. Prosecutors who sit on exculpatory evidence should get a lot worse than an overturned case.

  8. As Clayton Cramer has pointed out, the behavior of the Ashcroft Justice Department in this case compares quite favorably to that of the Reno Justice Department in the case of the Waco raid and massacre: http://claytoncramer.com/weblog/2004_08_29_archive.html#109406777517565881

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