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07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

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07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

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07.21 A court ruled it was legal for guards to strip search female inmates and force them to remove their tampons in front of male officers for a 'training exercise' [The frequency and degree of immorality and degradation being reported in the media is very disturbing, as if society has been reprogrammed overnight to be more like the worst behavior of Nazi Germany]

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07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

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07.21 BALTIMORE'S FILTHIEST HOODS [7:38 video. Ask your governments, why are our cities so much worse than Europe's? Why is our healthcare worse and so much more expensive? And why are our Billionaires so much richer? Ask if those results of bad government are all related, and why? Are they all caused by a power-elite with greed-obsessed immorality?]

07.21 Nancy Pelosi's Dem Socialist Challenger Shahid Buttar: "We're Gonna Win" | Full Interview [5:43 video]

07.21 Jon Stewart goes viral excoriating Rand Paul after blocking vote [9:02 video]

07.21 Nicolle Wallace Refuses to Broadcast Trump Live [5:43 video]

07.21 Sassy Bernie Sanders Sh*ts on Jeff Bezos on His Home Turf... Numerous Times [17:22 video]

07.20 Puerto Rico: top US politicians join chorus calling for governor's resignation

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07.20 "Trump Says Go Home, Ilhan's Community Says Welcome Home": Rep. Omar Greeted With Cheers of Love and Support in Return to Minnesota

07.20 WATCH: Amid Extreme Anti-Refugee Push, Trump Displays Neither Interest Nor Knowledge of Asylum Seekers' Plight in Oval Office Meeting

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07.19 The Real Meaning of ‘Send Her Back!’

07.18 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Breaking up Homeland Security

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07.19 DOJ Releases Strong Evidence of Trump’s Campaign Finance Violations But No Explanation of No Charges [The statement]

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07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]

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07.21 Millions face hardship as Zimbabwe comes close to ‘meltdown’

07.21 Spain set for socialist-led government after Iglesias deal [Some loaded drama going on here...]

07.20 US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia in face of 'credible' regional threats [Working with Osama bin Laden's godfathers, Trump wants to profit like Erik Prince (for-profit education secretary Betsy DeVos' brother) of Blackwater infamy (hurriedly renamed ‘Academi’), the U.S. taxpayer to pay inflated costs while Trump siphons off long-term emolument largesse]

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07.20 'Dark satanic mills': Tony Abbott continues his crusade against wind turbines [Too much CO2 air pollution makes you stupid, and turns your country into an “Idiocracy” (1:36 video clip)]

07.20 Bolsonaro declares 'the Amazon is ours' and calls deforestation data 'lies' [Lazy and willfully stupid whenever it serves his purpose, just like Trump. “And the rest of you can all go to hell.” Again, just like Trump. Has your country turned into an “Idiocracy”? (1:36 video clip)]

07.19 U.N.'s Bachelet says Congresswomen opposing Trump are 'fantastic'

07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]

07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]

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  Three Ohio Men Convicted of Being Muslims at the Wrong Time in America
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TRUTH SUCKS:

Three Ohio Men Convicted of Being Muslims at the Wrong Time in America

by Stephen Lendman
Friday, 30 October 2009

Talk is talk, not a crime, and, in this case and others like it, manipulated to sound incendiary, but that's not proof of intent. No matter, if juries believe it, innocent victims are punished for being Muslims.

In an October 22 press release, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced another victory in its Global War on Terrorism, renamed the Overseas Contingency Operation to continue its jihad on Muslims, abroad and at home.

By now the charges are familiar, always bogus, and announced earlier about three Ohio men in a Justice Department February 2006 press release as follows:

"Three (Toledo, Ohio men) have been charged with conspiring to commit acts of terrorism against persons overseas, including US military personnel serving in Iraq, and with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists...."

On February 16, 2006, a Cleveland federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment against Mohammad Zaki Amawi, Marwan Othman El-Hindi, and Wassim I. Mazloum alleging they conspired, together and with others, "to kill or maim persons outside of the United States, including US military personnel serving in Iraq, and with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. Amawi is also charged, individually, with distributing information regarding explosives and two counts of making verbal threats against the President of the United States."

Amawi holds both US and Jordanian citizenship. El-Hindi is also a US citizen, and Mazloum is a permanent legal resident.

The indictment further alleges that these men "engaged in activities in furtherance of their common goal to wage violent jihad, or 'holy war,' against American soldiers and Coalition allies serving in Iraq. Such activities included training and target shooting, receiving instructions in the construction and use of explosives - including improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and 'suicide bomb vests,' - recruiting others to participate in jihad training, attempting to raise funds to finance the training and to support violent jihad activities, and attempting to acquire and deliver materials - including explosives and computers - to others engaged in violent jihad in the Middle East. The indictment alleges that the conspiracy began sometime prior to November 2004."

Amawi was accused of traveling to Jordan on August 22, 2005 to deliver five laptop computers to the "co-conspirators." They were never delivered. No explanation was given why. Perhaps there were none in the first place, but, no matter. Carrying, transporting, or delivering computers isn't a crime.

Amani also "allegedly downloaded a video from a 'mujahideen website' which depicted the step-by-step construction and use of a bomb vest, and then copied it on a disk and distributed (it) to an individual who was going to be providing jihad training to the defendants. That individual - identified in the indictment as 'the Trainer' - has been cooperating since the beginning of this investigation (as a paid informant) and acting on behalf of the government" to entrap innocent men with no plans to commit terrorism. More on him below.

Other charges alleged "that in October 2004 and again in March 2005, Amawi made verbal threats to kill or inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States. The maximum sentence....of conspiring to kill or maim persons in a foreign country is 35 years in prison, or life in prison if the conspiracy is to kill."

The maximum sentence for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists is 15 years; for distributing information on explosives, 20 years, and for making verbal threats against the President, five years.

In a prepared statement, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said:

"This case stands as a reminder of the need for continued vigilance. We are committed to protecting Americans - here and overseas, particularly the brave men and women of the US Armed Forces who are serving our country by striving valiantly to preserve democracy and the rule of law in Iraq."

FBI Director Robert Mueller added:

"These arrests in indictments are examples of how, through close cooperation with our partners and enhanced intelligence capabilities, we are able to detect terrorist planning and prevent acts of terrorism before they occur."

Members of Toledo's Muslim community were shocked, saddened, and angered over the arrests. They also feared growing anti-Muslim sentiment against its 6,000 members that once included former mayor Michael Damas (1912 - 2003), perhaps the first Arab-American elected (in 1959) to high office in a large US city.

After their arrest, Amawi's (unnamed) brother told CNN he had nothing against the president, just the war. Mazloum's brother, Bilal, said his brother didn't own a gun or know how to use one. "He liked to help people. He never tried to hurt (anyone). I mean, he never (did) anything bad."

El-Hindi's lawyer at the time, Stephen Hartman, said:

"Let's face it. The atmosphere in America now, if there is an allegation of terrorism, and you are Middle Eastern, (or) Muslim, people are going to assume you're guilty" because prosecution charges and media reports imply the worst.

On February 23, 2006, the Toledo Blade reported that a year before his arrest, El-Hindi "offered spiritual nourishment to Muslim prisoners at the Toledo Correctional Institution as an 'imam,' or religious leader." Yet according to FBI Director Mueller:

"Prisons continue to be fertile ground for extremists who exploit both a prisoner's conversion to Islam while still in prison, as well as their socioeconomic status and placement in the community upon their release."

That said, warden Khelleh Konteh, explained that federal agents never asked him about El-Hindi's work, and expressed surprise about his arrest. Before his appointment was approved, a routine background check showed no prior arrests and a clean record.

On June 13, 2008, a jury convicted the defendants on all counts:

  • Amawi and El-Hindi on conspiring to kill or maim persons outside the United States, conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, and two counts of distributing information on explosives; and
  • Mazloum on conspiring to kill or maim persons outside the United States and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.

At the time, the DOJ claimed these "convictions represented the nation's first successful trial of a 'homegrown terror cell' for terrorism related crimes."

On October 22, a DOJ press released announced: the "Three (men were) Sentenced for Conspiring to Commit Terrorist Acts Against Americans Overseas:"

  • for Amawi, 20 years in prison, followed by life on supervised release;
  • for El-Hindi, 13 years, including 12 years for "terror violation(s)" and 18 months on fraud; and
  • for Mazloum, 100 months or 8.3 years, followed by life on supervised release.

At trial, Amawi's lawyer, Edward Bryan, said his client hated the Iraq war, cheered US soldier deaths, admired suicide bombers' courage, but isn't a terrorist and talk of going to Iraq was just talk.

"He doesn't have the courage to be like them," said Bryan. "It's fantasy. It's stuff going on in (his and other) people's minds, but not what they're really going to do. (He had no) plan to go out and murder American soldiers." He wanted to learn how to defend himself because he feared he and his family were threatened like other Muslims. "This is defensive Islam. Do they not have the right to defend themselves" without being charged with terrorism or conspiracy to commit it?

El-Hindi's lawyer, Charles Boss, said despite the "quantity" of evidence, its "quality....wasn't there." In other words, for his client and the others, it was the usual circumstantial claptrap, most gotten from the paid informant who egged on the three men, gave them money and gifts, including a cell phone and laptop, and got them to vent the way millions of Americans do about an illegal war and the millions of lives it cost.

Lawyers for all three said, over a two year period, the undercover informant manipulated their clients by suggesting jihadi tactics and entrapped them in recorded conversations.

According to Amawi, he took them to a shooting range and encouraged them to act violently. He's "the one (who) put a real gun in my hand," he said in his first public comment since his 2006 arrest. The informant lied, he said, about his wanting to travel to Iraq to become a martyr. "I'm against suicide bombing. I made this very clear."

Former Army Special Forces soldier Darren Griffin was the paid informant (referred to above as "Trainer") and key prosecution witness. He testified that by posing as a disgruntled Islam convert, he won their trust, then manipulated them through holy war training talk, secretly recorded on conversations to entrap them. However, he admitted that the men were only together once during his involvement, and he never saw emails from them about wanting to kill soldiers.

Defense attorneys said the men never bought weapons or terrorist supplies, never planned an attack, and never carried one out. They merely expressed anger, not terror plans or conspiracy to commit them. But clever prosecutors can intimidate juries to believe it, so innocent Muslims, like the defendants, are easily entrapped, convicted, and sentenced to long prison terms, even though there's no plot, no weapons, no crime, nor intention to commit one.

Talk is talk, not a crime, and, in this case and others like it, manipulated to sound incendiary, but that's not proof of intent. No matter, if juries believe it, innocent victims are punished for being Muslims at the wrong time in America.


Steve Lendman

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays from 11AM to 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national topics. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on October 30, 2009.
 



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