Ore. Lawyer Case: Policy Flaw Or Simple Error?

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Two Oregon cases illustrate the pros and cons of the Bush administration’s legal campaign against terrorism. A Portland lawyer spent two weeks in custody over a mistaken fingerprint, but the 2002 cracking of Portland Seven jihad cell is hailed by federal authorities as one in which intelligence and criminal investigators could not have shared crucial information without the USA Patriot Act, reports the Oregonian.

If the lawyer could “get tripped up on faulty fingerprint evidence, I could get picked up off the street as well,” said Michael Greenberger, a former Justice Department official who heads the University of Maryland’s Center for Health and Homeland Security. “It beautifully exemplified…how wrong the government can be in the use of its preventive detention program outside the traditional constitutional processes.” Karin Immergut, Oregon’s U.S. attorney, said, “When I’m told I have a 100 percent (fingerprint) match on a guy in Portland,” she said, “I have to do some investigation…To say that there was a mistake made in the evidence in one case and that it should dictate or affect our opinion about a much broader issue is misguided.” Paul Rosenzweig of the conservative Heritage Foundation, said criticizing the law because of errors is shortsighted.

Link: http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/front_page/1086004651123410.xml

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