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11.18 Air pollution levels ‘forcing families to move out of cities’ [like from desertification, lack of drinkable water and rising oceans, there will also be pollution-caused immigration until humans fix things]
11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.19 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 11/18/2018 (HBO) [29:26 video]
11.19 Trump Says He Was 'Fully Briefed' and Also 'Not Briefed Yet' But Either Way Saudi Crown Prince 'Absolutely' Not Involved Because Trump Knows 'Everything That Went On' Without Listening to Tape of Khashoggi Murder
11.19 'We Need New Leaders, Period': Progressive Newcomers Urge Democrats to Embrace Bold Agenda or Face Primary Challenges [Current Democrat leaders are highly compromised by corporate donations]
11.18 Trump says Pelosi deserves speakership, offers Republican votes [An affirmation of Pelosi's unsuitability]
11.18 Khanna to Pelosi: Don't Just Create Green New Deal Select Committee, Make Ocasio-Cortez Its Chair [Will Pelosi earnestly change, or end her career in disgrace?]
11.18 Chuck Schumer, Feckless Hack [Neoliberal Democrats must go!]
11.18 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare [Privatizing often results in outright fraud and higher costs by private prisons, privatized health insurance and health care, privatized public schools and online "colleges" like Trump University]
11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.19 Bankrupt Sears wants to give executives $19 million in bonuses [blatantly immoral and sick to richly reward those who led the company into the bankruptcy]
11.18 Big Pharma Bankrolled Pro-Trump Group As Trump Pushed Pharma Tax Cut [Corruption Central!]
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
International & Futurism
11.18 France demands UK climate pledge in return for Brexit trade deal [Excellent!]
11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]
Three Ohio Men Convicted of Being Muslims at the Wrong Time in America
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:
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:
FBI Director Robert Mueller added:
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:
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:
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:
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:"
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.
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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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on October 30, 2009.
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