Shades of the Weather Underground

Defense lawyers in some of the country’s biggest terrorism cases say they plan to bring legal challenges to determine whether the National Security Agency used illegal wiretaps against several dozen Muslim men tied to Al Qaeda.

The lawyers said in interviews that they wanted to learn whether the men were monitored by the agency and, if so, whether the government withheld critical information or misled judges and defense lawyers about how and why the men were singled out.

The expected legal challenges, in cases from Florida, Ohio, Oregon and Virginia, add another dimension to the growing controversy over the agency’s domestic surveillance program and could jeopardize some of the Bush administration’s most important courtroom victories in terror cases, legal analysts say.

When Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn of the Weather Underground surfaced from ten years underground and turned themselves into the FBI, the FBI was forced to drop all charges against them because the FBI had broken so many laws trying to find them that none of their ‘evidence’ could be used in court.

History may be about to repeat itself.