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Chilling...when the State goes rogue

When invoking "terrorism" to do whatever it thinks appropriate, the State's actions can be both chilling and more than troubling.     Read this searing piece "When Your Father Is Accused of Terrorism" on The Nation with grave concern....

"My father, Sami Al-Arian, a professor at the University of South Florida, was indicted on fifty-three counts of supporting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which had been designated by the government as a terrorist group. The conspiracy case, which involved three other Palestinian men, was based largely on my father’s charitable contributions, associations, speeches and other First Amendment–protected activities. Prosecutors would introduce as evidence books my father owned, magazines he edited, conferences he organized and, particularly bizarre, a dream one of his co-defendants had about him. My father faced multiple life sentences plus 225 years if convicted. The charges against him included conspiracy to kill and maim persons abroad, yet prosecutors freely admitted that my father had no connection to any violence."


"My father’s trial lasted six months. Prosecutors presented seventy-five witnesses, including nearly two dozen from Israel. Their testimony centered on attacks that even the US government acknowledged my father had nothing to do with. The prosecutors also introduced 400 phone calls out of nearly half a million that the FBI had recorded over a decade of relentless, indiscriminate surveillance of my family. My father’s attorneys did not call a single witness: their defense was the First Amendment."


"Since then, attorneys have appealed the case based on a number of questionable occurrences during the trial, including the judge’s decision to allow testimony from an anonymous Israeli intelligence agent, introduced to jurors simply as Avi, who claimed that he could “smell” Hamas. It marked the first time in US legal history that an expert witness was allowed to testify under a concealed identity. In another highly unusual move, prosecutors unveiled a list of more than 300 unindicted co-conspirators involved in the case. Such identities are normally kept secret under the Justice Department’s guidelines. Many Muslim community leaders and the majority of American Muslim institutions were on the list, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a civil liberties advocacy group. Soon after, the FBI cut off its outreach dialogue with the group, hampering its own investigations."


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