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Konformist: Illegal LAPD wiretaps -- for shame!

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  • Robalini@aol.com
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com If you are interested in a free subscription
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 8, 1999
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      Please send as far and wide as possible.


      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist

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      Illegal LAPD wiretaps -- for shame!
      Sunday, October 03, 1999

      [Moderator: forwarded from the POLITECH list]

      The LAPD's actions are reprehensible. The cops and prosecutors including
      Gil Garcetti who are involved should be -- if the facts are as they appear
      below -- tarred and feathered, or at least put in prison for the rest of
      their lives, far away from any position of public responsibility. It is
      wrong when any citizen violates the rights of another, but terribly,
      exponentially wrong when an official in a position of authority does it.

      For shame!



      Thanks to David Wagner:

      Lawyers Seek to Reopen Cases Over Wiretapping

      Hundreds of criminal convictions dating back a decade should be
      reviewed and possibly retried because defendants were never
      told that the evidence against them came from illegal wiretaps, a
      group of criminal defense attorneys said this week in a strongly worded
      court affidavit.

      The Los Angeles County public defender and about 50 other lawyers
      accused the district attorney's office of covering up illegal wiretapping
      operations in violation of the law and a Los Angeles Superior Court



      Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1999 17:46:17 -0700
      From: John Gilmore <gnu@...>
      Subject: Re: LA wiretaps -- full details available

      The LA County Public Defender's Office has full information about their
      case against the LAPD and LA Sheriff's Office up on the web at:


      It's particularly gruesome how the LAPD reported these wiretaps to the
      Federal wiretap report, which cypherpunks and policy-makers examine
      closely every year (e.g. http://jya.com/wiretap98.htm). What the LAPD
      reported as a single wiretap order turns out to have tapped 250 telephones
      over a period of years. Few or none of the thousands of people tapped
      were ever notified of the wiretap. This calls the validity of all the
      wiretap statistics into question.

      Even now, after a direct order by the judge to the District Attorney in
      open court, two-thirds of the logs from this single wiretap have been
      withheld. (The one-third that have been disclosed required a forklift to
      move the tapes, and produced 65,000 pages of logs.) See
      http://pd.co.la.ca.us/contempt.htm. The logs show that the LAPD made no
      attempt to "minimize", recording only the portions of conversations
      related to the investigation for which they obtained a warrant; they
      recorded everything, and then used the miscellaneous information to
      instigate new wiretaps, investigations, and prosecutions.

      One overheard conversation that helped to blow the lid off was that of a
      Mexican man who used his cellophone to discuss receiving a wire transfer
      from the sale of some inherited land in Mexico. (He intended to use it to
      buy a house in the US.) When the cops overheard this, they rushed to a
      judge and to the bank, lied to the judge, and obtained a warrant to seize
      the $265,000 as "drug money" under the civil forefiture laws. It only
      came out a year and a half later, when Mr. Rodriguez's lawyers questioned
      the officers involved, that the "reliable confidential informant" they had
      used to establish probable cause to seize the money was in fact an illegal
      wiretap, and that there was no cause at all to believe the money was
      related to drugs. See the federal judge's final order giving Mr. Rodriguez
      back his money, at:


      When sworn officers of the law and the courts violate the law with
      impunity, concealing their activities by making fraudulent statements
      under oath, and filing all incriminating information under seal, the
      law-abiding public cannot trust the justice system. None of us would
      enjoy a society without credible means to redress injustices. We already
      see the beginnings of the results in drive-by shootings and other
      manifestations of a subculture (drug users) in which people have no
      recourse but to take justice into their own hands. If the public cannot
      rely on the courts for justice against illegal wiretaps, particularly when
      our adversaries are large, secretive, and publicly funded organizations
      such as the LAPD and the NSA, we will end up with "frontier justice"
      before this whole controversy is settled. Note well the NSA's recent
      refusal to provide documents about their monitoring of US citizens'
      communications to their oversight committee in the House of
      Representatives (http://jya.com/nsa-clash.txt). I implore the misguided
      individuals who have been violating the law behind the screen of official
      secrecy to reveal their crimes and take their punishments, before they
      destroy a vital part of the fabric of society that they are supposedly
      paid to defend.

      John Gilmore
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