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Artificial Intelligence

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I received an emailed press release from the Constitution Project today regarding the Al-Marri case. The full release can be viewed here.

Immediately upon receipt, my email program warned me, "Thunderbird thinks this message might be an email scam." Wow. That is truly impressive. How do the folks at the Mozilla Project do it? Very few live people, even very few lawyers, would know how misleading this press release is. Yet the Mozilla folks detected it with a computer program, and a free download at that.

The release begins, "Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to vacate (i.e., 'void') its ruling permitting the President to indefinitely detain individuals living legally in the U.S. that the government asserts are terrorists." Without knowing that the order was on the technical ground of mootness, and therefore connotes neither approval nor disapproval, one would think that the high court had disapproved the Fourth Circuit decision.  The remainder of the release is carefully worded not to correct that misimpression.

Nothing in the release is actually false, yet it leaves the reader with an impression that is false. Our friends on the other side of the aisle are really good at that.

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As are their allies in the news media . . . .

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