The liberal media is once again showing us its prejudices and priorities. An exceedingly selective interest in preventing secret evidence from being used in trials is on view with two current cases. Guess whose rights are important, and whose are not, in the media's eyes.
Khalid Shekh Mohammed a foreign terrorist who has admitted to planning the WTC attacks and dozens of other attacks in the U.S. will be tried in a hearing closed to the public. The Washington Post writes
Legal experts have criticized the U.S. decision to bar independent observers from the hearings from the high-value targets. The Associated Press filed a letter of protest, arguing that it would be "an unconstitutional mistake to close the proceedings in their entirety."
In a separate case, the federal government is currently also seeking to try two Americans (entitled by the Constitution to a public trial) for having received and passed on information asserted to be classified in a case of dubious criminality under circumstances where the evidence against them is to be kept secret and there is no apparent objection from "legal experts" or civil rights advocates. The New York Sun notes
A constitutional clash is looming in a Virginia courtroom after federal prosecutors proposed barring the public from hearing some evidence at the upcoming trial of two former lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Defense lawyers for the two men, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, have objected vigorously to the unusual proposal to present secret evidence. Late yesterday afternoon, a consortium of news organizations filed a motion to intervene in the case to restrain any attempt by the government to give the jury access to evidence that the public will not be permitted to examine. "If evidence is presented in this case, the public and the press should have the right to see it," an attorney for Mr. Weissman, John Nassikas III, told The New York Sun. "The government has made some proposals about how to handle government evidence that we believe would deny the public the right to see it and, in turn, deny the defendants right to a public trial." Mr. Nassikas said he could not elaborate because details of the government's proposal and of the defense's response are under seal, as are many other briefs filed in the case. The only public sign of the dispute in the court's docket is the title of a defense motion filed last week, which made mention of an effort to "strike the government's request to close the trial." A source familiar with the case said the government proposed giving jurors headphones to listen to audio recordings of intercepted and wiretapped phone conversations key to the case. While the defendants and the judge would be able to hear the audio, the press and public would not, the source said. "It's a big deal," the executive director of the Reporters Committee, Lucy Dalglish, said. She said her group's initial research has found no case where the government was permitted to present extensive evidence that the public never saw.