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Courtroom Staff, Freaked Out By FBI Agents, Failed To Record Important Terrorism Court Hearing

from the spooked dept

We just wrote about the hearing in the 7th Circuit appeals court concerning accused terrorist Adel Daoud, highlighting how Judge Richard Posner had turned it into a secret hearing, kicking everyone but DOJ officials out of the courtroom at one point. One of the reporters in the room (prior to being kicked out), Michael Tarm, had tweeted that everyone should look for the recording of the oral arguments on Thursday "if only to hear Posner" yell: "Look! You answer my questions, not your questions!"

Except, if you looked, you would never find that recording. Because it doesn't exist. The court clerk, who's been doing this for 25 years, says his staffers "goofed" and failed to record the hearing at all, in large part because they were so spooked by FBI agents crawling all over the court room for hidden microphones.
Though hearings before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals are routinely recorded and published on the court's website, Court Clerk Gino Agnello admitted Thursday his staff "sort of freaked out" before Wednesday's hearing in the case of alleged wannabe South Loop bar bomber Adel Daoud.

Court staff who operate the audio recorder saw FBI agents sweep the courtroom for bugs and "misinterpreted" that to mean they shouldn't record the hearing, Agnello said.
And, of course, because these hearings are normally recorded, there was no one there to do standard stenography. Instead, the transcript is often written up after the fact... based on the recording. Ooops. Except, you know, not "oops." This is a pretty big screw-up, considering the importance of our supposedly "open" judicial system. Daoud's lawyer, Thomas Durkin, properly points out that "this is what happens when people get scared," and shows how difficult it is to have a fair trial when so much is "driven by fear-mongering."

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2014 @ 2:32pm

    This is a pretty big screw-up, considering the importance of our supposedly "open" judicial system.

    Is it grounds for a mistrial, as evidence of what happened in court is not available for an appeal?

     

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  2.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 6th, 2014 @ 2:38pm

    Yeah, no

    At this point, the government does not deserve the benefit of the doubt. Everyone but the judge and the DOJ gets kicked out of the court-room and the one bit of evidence as to what went on in the room during that period is completely gone because of an 'oops' moment?

    As for the 'misinterpretation' that caused the staff to turn off the recording devices, somehow I doubt that was a 'misinterpretation' at all. The DOJ agents may or may not have said anything directly(with no recording, it's impossible to tell), but it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if there were more than a few 'suggestive' looks aimed at the people running the recording gear.

    When it comes down to it, it could very well have been an honest mistake, but with the government's almost religious view on secrecy('secrecy is it's own reward, it's to be applied as much as possible, and never, ever questioned'), and the lengths they've gone to maintain it, even in cases where it makes no sense, they've long lost any benefit of the doubt in cases like this.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    alternatives(), Jun 6th, 2014 @ 2:48pm

    non recordings happen all the time

    like how no one recorded what Lee Harvey Oswald said during his 12 hour chat in Texas a few years ago.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Votre, Jun 6th, 2014 @ 2:49pm

    Sounds like bullshit to me,

    Right up there with all those "I was triggered!" defense arguments.

    Could they please start hiring some adults to work in the clerks office?

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2014 @ 2:50pm

    But this is what they want...

    the Fear Mongers that laud DHS and use it to further their goals just sat back in their high-back leather chairs and grinned in sinister delight!

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Jun 6th, 2014 @ 3:02pm

    You had...

    You had ONE job!

     

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  7.  
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    Keith (profile), Jun 6th, 2014 @ 3:24pm

    Re:

    Certainly grounds to demand a "do over".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2014 @ 3:27pm

    FBI agents

    "... FBI agents crawling all over the court room for hidden microphones."


    So, basically, the plaintiffs in the case seized control of the courtroom? Stand up and witness President Obama's three branches of government: the executive, the executive, and the executive!

     

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  9.  
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    Anon E. Mous (profile), Jun 6th, 2014 @ 3:43pm

    Or could it be the court reporters were instructed to not record the hearing by their boss from marching orders of the U.S. Government.

     

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  10.  
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    John Snape, Jun 6th, 2014 @ 4:12pm

    Ridiculous

    So the recordings are normally posted on the website later? And the point of sweeping for "bugs" is to keep people from recording what's being said? Like the recording that would be posted later on the website?

    Sounds awfully deliberate to me.

     

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  11.  
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    Nick (profile), Jun 6th, 2014 @ 4:23pm

    I say, if they cannot show official ACCURATE representation of what happened in there (either by a stenographer or a recording) then it didn't happen. Nothing found or used in it (and I feel ALL FBI interrogations too) can be used for anything.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Personanongrata, Jun 6th, 2014 @ 4:24pm

    What a disgrace.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2014 @ 4:38pm

    Crooked FBI agents + Crooked Judge = Fail

    More crooked fbi agents. Who would have thought. You know darn well they were told not to record it by this garbage.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2014 @ 4:40pm

    Maybe a home visit would be in order?

    Maybe bumping into the court clerk at the local grocery store a few times might jog his memory of what really happened?

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2014 @ 5:12pm

    Everyone was kicked out, including the defendant's lawyer, because classified information was being discussed. Yet low-level courtroom staff members were allowed to stay in the courtroom and listen to the briefing?

    Things just aren't adding up. Why would low-level courtroom staff members be in the courtroom during a classified briefing? If the briefing wasn't classified, why was the defendant's lawyer told to leave?

    This my friends, is what's called tyrannical justice. Secret courts, with secret laws, being dictated by executive branch secret memos.

     

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  16.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 6th, 2014 @ 6:08pm

    Secret Laws
    Secret Courts
    Secret Recordings

    Yep this is the open society they claim to give us.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    alternatives(), Jun 6th, 2014 @ 7:24pm

    Re:

    Yup, gonna be the most open administration ever.

     

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  18.  
    icon
    Dirk Belligerent (profile), Jun 6th, 2014 @ 8:25pm

    Hanlon's Razor, anyone?

    Hoo boy, the paranoia is deep here. Funny thing is that I'm fairly certain everyone here with their tinfoil flags flying voted for Emperor Obama because they thought they were going to get free stuff and he was so cool and for history, etc.

    Chumps.

    And you re-elected him because you hated the rich guy and no way are Republicans gonna get your vote because mean racism uncool blah-blah-woof-woof.

    Good job, twerps. Perhaps you should go beyond Jon Stewart for information.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2014 @ 9:08pm

    Hey, I voted for the healthiest looking horse in the glue factory.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jun 6th, 2014 @ 9:39pm

    Re: Hanlon's Razor, anyone?

    Nice job addressing the concerns and possibilities raised by those posting here, your well thought out and presented argument certainly convinced me that not trusting the government in this case is a foolish move.

    /s

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    HegemonicDistortion (profile), Jun 6th, 2014 @ 9:44pm

    Re: Hanlon's Razor, anyone?

    You're a fool if you honestly believe that either McCain or Romney would have been even a tiny bit better.

    But then I don't expect much from someone who just stood up for racism.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2014 @ 11:37pm

    Why would the FBI crawl over the floor for hidden microphones if there's a unhidden microphone going the be operating during the trial, making a recording which then will be publicly available a few days later?????

    Does not make sense.

     

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  23.  
    icon
    Kaemaril (profile), Jun 7th, 2014 @ 12:58am

    Re:

    Sure it does.

    The unhidden microphone is the one they can control, so they can switch it off when they're discussing uber-secret stuff, or discussing things off the record.

    Hidden microphones, they can't control.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2014 @ 5:35am

    Jury in Brooklyn in case were Posner pretended to be a victim of blogger found that Posner lied under oath.

    Twice.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Quantum Hemorrhoid, Jun 7th, 2014 @ 6:23am

    Judge Richard Posner wanted no witness and that's what he got.

     

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  26.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 7th, 2014 @ 7:44am

    Re: Hanlon's Razor, anyone?

    You're right! Those nonexistent cartoon characters you made up are real chumps.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    GEMont, Jun 7th, 2014 @ 8:30am

    "this is what happens when people get scared," and shows how difficult it is to have a fair trial when so much is "driven by fear-mongering."

    It should also be pointed out that this is a great example of how well inducing fear can work in favor of the bad guys - in this case the FBI.

    Sadly, I can no longer see these tri-letter agencies as anything but The Bad Guys. Good guys simply don't operate this way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2014 @ 9:31am

    Re: Yeah, no

    At this point, the government does not deserve the benefit of the doubt.


    In an innocent-until-proven-guilty system, the prosecution should never have the benefit of the doubt because that belongs solely to the accused. When the prosecution has the benefit of the doubt we have a guilty-until-proven-innocent system.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    rapnel, Jun 7th, 2014 @ 11:38am

    Re: Hanlon's Razor, anyone?

    Good one. A perfect illustration of infighting designed to hamstring the public and influence votes. More votes for idiots by idiots whose continued presence and ineffectiveness is paid for with corporate money and rich guy speech.

    Tinfoil? You need to wake the fuck up. If you're not angry you are an idiot. Emperor Obama, indeed. When your choice is a list of chumps imposed on us by other chumps with yet more chumps lined up on two sides of an imaginary line that serves to separate us all with bullshit rhetoric about surmountable issues and slicing up the pittance in public funds that goes towards everything but secrets, arms and more secrets. Secrets that are sucking up our treasure because you fear for your safety more than our prosperity and our rights. All of our treasure used directly against our best interests as a people. You're just as fucked as the rest of us only you *think* your fucked because .. because Obama. Good one, smart guy.

    The throne of the executive is too powerful and too far reaching. The judicial branch is now fully embroiled and the integrity of SCOTUS was compromised years ago. Between the capacity of the armed forces and the department of justice we're a kept people... fucking side show carnival government.. freedom and justice for all. Whatever, prick. Have fun riding your blood red republican dream all the way to insanity, meat bag.

    There's civil unrest brewing. When rebels rebel unrest will inevitably result in conflict. Erase the state of the secret state or erase the constitution. I see we're headed arrogantly down the easy road.

    Thanks for nothing and may your children's grandchildren reap the rewards we have yet to sow.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 8th, 2014 @ 6:00pm

    Re:

    Fear makes people stupid.
    Fear makes people suggestible.
    Fear makes people compliant.
    Fear makes people do evil.
    Fear is the single most dangerous of human emotions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    GEMont, Jun 9th, 2014 @ 8:07pm

    Re:

    "Yep this is the open society they claim to give us."

    Typo

    Not Open society. That died with Nixon.
    Its an Ownership Society. Installed fully by the Bush dynasty.

    In case you're not aware of the meaning of an Ownership Society, it simply means the Golden Rule.

    Those who own the Gold, make, but need not obey, the Rules.
    Only those who own no gold, must obey the rules.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    GEMont, Jun 9th, 2014 @ 8:23pm

    Re: Re:

    Absolutely.

    Fear is the greatest weapon in the arsenal of the Bully, the Mobster, the Dictator, and the Fascist - or Corporate Government.

    Fear has a history all its own.

    It is why most Americans are willing to give up their freedoms and rights in return for the promise of security and safety, and why they now have neither safety, nor freedom.

    There is no reason to fear an honest democratic government.

    There is obviously no honest democratic government in the USA today.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    GEMont, Jun 9th, 2014 @ 8:27pm

    Re: Re:

    I suspect that in a few years, we will learn that the Fed placed a Gag-Order on the court personel.

    They were ordered to not record and also ordered to not tell anyone that they were ordered to not record.

    This appears to be standard procedure by the Fed today - use the law against the public. The public truly is the "adversary" of the Fed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Jun 10th, 2014 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

    http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/2-i-must-not-fear-fear-is-the-mind-killer-fear-is

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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