Lew will be interviewed by Peter Hart of FAIR on CounterSpin tomorrow at 2PM – find stations here. The MP3 and podcast will be available at the same link on Friday – and don’t forget to check out all the other great CounterSpin programs while you’re at it. – Siun
If you’re wondering how the “al-Marri-can’t-be- detained-as an-enemy-combatant– without-a- charge-being-filed” decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affects the case of Jose Padilla, the short answer is – it doesn’t. The decision comes too late. The Justice Department managed to weasel around a previous Supreme Court which was on the verge of freeing Padilla of those “enemy combatant” charges, and instead, the DoJ — voila — discovered new charges – conspiracy – dug up from aging wiretaps. So on it goes.
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We return to non-Arabic speaking, non-Arabic reading FBI agent John T. Kavanaugh, Jr. He was explaining to the Miami jury in the conspiracy case against Jose Padilla, that he, and others at the Justice Department, had parsed out the coded meaning of certain words and phrases overhead in the wiretapped taped phone conversations.
“Mr. Kavanaugh also said a reference to ‘eating cheese’ was code for waging jihad. But he said he had no idea what a reference to a “reservation on the female donkey” meant.
The jurors didn’t need a translation when Padilla addressed the others he was talking as “Bro.”
While this is not exactly the stuff of Captain Midnight’s Decoder Ring, it’s a slam dunk that Padilla and his co-conspirators were not planning a secretive, destructive foreign operation.
There is no example here of the cryptanalyst’s finest hour in a minute-by-minute breaking of the Japanese coded messages from Tokyo to Washington, D.C. on December 7, 1941, no blazing success story as the Americans baffled the Japanese by using the exclusively oral language of the Navahoes, and nothing bearing the imprint of the all seeing-all knowing National Security Agency, no network of global surveillance. Just audio tapes of guys talking shit. They do that – guys talk shit.
What is being presented to the jury is the prosecution’s interpretation of the code gleaned from the 300,000 taped phone conversations :
“go to the picnic” = travel to an area of jihad
“the first area” = Afghanistan
“the trade” and “commerce” = jihad
“married” = killed or martyred
“the dogs” = the United States government
“playing football” and “to eat cheese” = engaging in jihad
“the students” = the Taliban