Feds Admit 'Sneak And Peek' Against Brandon Mayfield

The One True bIX

Lo and behold, on the eve of what is sure to be a major and heated City Council session about oversight of law enforcement, a <a href="http://www.kgw.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D8952EDG0.html">major news story</a> broke this evening.

Lo and behold, on the eve of what is sure to be a major and heated Portland City Council session about oversight of law enforcement, a major news story broke this evening.

The U.S. Justice Department has admitted that it used the "sneak and peek" provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act against local attorney Brandon Mayfield, who was held for two weeks last year as a result of mishandled fingerprint evidence and an affadavit which read mainly like fear-mongering about Muslims.

As I just wrote over on Portland Communique: "What we have before us now is a confirmed case of law enforcement using broad and nearly-unaccountable police powers, granted on the basis of incorrect evidence and bias against Muslims, to secretly break into the home of an innocent man, seize his property, sample DNA, and who knows what else."


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    This is bad, but it is not surprising at all.

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    How would the proposed change to JTTF change this at all? The FBI, working on what was not acknowledged as flawed evidence, targeted Mayfield. But the targeting did not violate Oregon statute. They believed they had fingerprint matches.

    So. Nothing would have changed. Sneak and peek without a judicial order is the issue here, part of the federal Patriot Act, not JTTF.

  • phriedom (unverified)

    Honest Question: how many Terrorists has the US convicted since 9/11? I think they convicted the Shoe Bomber, but not because of the PATRIOT act. Did they ever convict that Walker-Lindh guy of treason? Again, nothing to do with PATRIOT, he was captured in Afghanistan. Everyone else is just being held in Gitmo, or are there convictions that didn't get covered very well in the news or that I forgot?

    So congress gave law enforecment broad new powers without oversight, which they predictabley abused and for what? How can PATRIOT be portrayed as anything but a failure unless the facts are ignored?

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    I didn't say it directly effects the issue of oversight over local officers assigned to the JTTF.

    But it does connect to the broader issue of the problems with law enforcement authority as used under the umbrella of anti-terrorism.

  • wg (unverified)

    Jack wrote -

    This is bad ...

    Only bad Jack? What did we come to? It was British Magna Carta that denied the king the right to send his agents into your home w/o some nominally at least independent judge agreeing to it many many centuries ago. That was later extended to governments and the whole principle - government forbidden from violating your home - was considered so basic it wasn't privilege any more. For many centuries. Now in the 21 century in this country the government can send its agents with or w/o judicial sanction into your home rat-like without even telling you about it. No even German Gestapo, Stazi and KGB wouldn't have stooped to this. What did we come to?

  • W. Bruce Anderholt II (unverified)

    Whoops...Will ya looky there. Bad fingerprint match: better call those guys in Spain and tell them we screwed up. Hey Mayfield, sorry man, we made a mistake, you're free to go, we'll even apologize publicly. No hard feelings.

    So the FBI screwed up, and the bad fingerprint read is all because of the Patriot Act? Uh-huh.

    They admitted their mistake publicly, but the lefies and the righties are still scanning the tree tops looking for black helicopters. You guys need to call the cable company and ask them to block the sci-fi channel. In a true police state, they would have buried Mayfield, together with his family (simply to avoid looking silly).

    As it is, Brandon Mayfield can leave his pedestrian law practice behind and start giving campus speeches for $10k per event. The Feds made this guy famous, and if he's even a little bit smarter than Tonya Harding, he can milk this 15 minutes of fame for the next 20 years. Write a book, give some speeches, ink a made-for-tv miniseries consulting contract.

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