Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tom Langston?

That's the name used by the CIA agent who testified in disguise during yesterday's proceedings in Jose Padilla's trial. Jay Weaver reports:

The man who appeared in Miami federal court on Tuesday hid his identity as a CIA officer by using the alias ''Tom Langston'' and wearing a discreet disguise -- black-rimmed glasses along with a closely cropped beard.
Testifying as a witness in Jose Padilla's terror trial, he told jurors that only three months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, an unnamed man in Afghanistan gave him a blue binder with dozens of documents.
Among them: a five-page form written in Arabic that would eventually lead federal investigators to conclude that Padilla had applied to join the al Qaeda terror network.

Here's the AP and the Sun-Sentinel report on the bizarre beginning to the trial.

They let this guy testify in disguise and I can't even bring my phone into the courtroom (it has a camera and is allowed in the building and in every other courtroom) or my briefcase (because it had a newspaper in it). I understand we need security but the lawyers are officers of the court.

My prior coverage of the disguise ruling can be read here. Judge Cooke has had another run-in with a witness wanting to wear an odd item to court. I loved how she handled that one!

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