Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

09.25 Labour wants green energy to power most UK homes by 2030

09.25 US to be hit worse than almost any other country by climate change, report says [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]

09.25 Climate gentrification: the rich can afford to move – what about the poor?

09.25 Monsanto's global weedkiller harms honeybees, research finds

09.24 Everything you've been told about plastic is wrong – the answer isn't recycling

09.24 Unlocking secrets of sea level rise in Greenland [15 minute video]

09.24 Air pollution rots our brains. Is that why we don’t do anything about it?

09.24 What are public lands?

09.24 The Netherlands Unveils the World's First Recycled Plastic Bike Lane

09.24 Americans: the next climate migrants 'We're moving to higher ground': America's era of climate mass migration is here [estimates do not include migrants from other nations even more affected]

09.24 Opec predicts massive rise in oil production over next five years [wonderful for fossil fuel investors; terrible for all plants and animals]

09.23 Nasa launches satellite to precisely track how Earth's ice is melting

09.23 Climate study ‘pulls punches’ to keep polluters on board

News Media Matters

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

09.25 Dozens Arrested as Survivors Flood Capitol Hill to Share Trauma of Sexual Assault, Demand Senate Reject Kavanaugh

09.25 Why I find the Kavanaugh/Ford case so unsettling

09.25 The Republican party is about to face the wrath of women

09.25 Trump has given women yet another reason not to report rape

09.24 Sexual assault is fun if we can all 'lighten up' about it

09.24 Brett Kavanaugh faces second allegation of sexual misconduct09.23 MARYLAND GOVERNOR REBUFFS CALL FOR CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION INTO BRETT KAVANAUGH ATTEMPTED RAPE ALLEGATIONS [Republicans above the law...]

09.23 Trump Is Strangling the U.S. Refugee Program to Death

09.23 Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 11/9" Aims Not at Trump But at Those Who Created the Conditions That Led to His Rise

09.23 The Trump Administration's Latest Tax Scam for the Rich [video]

09.23 One Tiny Tax Reform, Billions for America

Justice Matters

09.22 Making Tariffs Corrupt Again

09.22 Why isn't Mark Judge testifying about Kavanaugh? He is an alleged witness

High Crimes?

09.20 Trump Should Be More Worried About the Brennan Dossier

09.19 'Killing a generation': one million more children at risk from famine in Yemen [Does America's government have empathy? Does it understand the concept of morality? The Saudi Air Force would be ineffective without U.S. military assistance...]

09.19 ‘Tied to trees and raped’: UN report details Rohingya horrors

Economics, Crony Capitalism

09.23 The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire [1:18:01 documentary video; the Book]

09.23 Why We Have To Break Up Amazon

International & Futurism

09.25 US Isolated: Europe’s Big 3, plus China & Russia Outmaneuver Trump to keep Iran Deal at UN

09.25 Spain to Recognize Palestinian State, work for European Union Acceptance

09.25 The male cultural elite is staggeringly blind to #MeToo. Now it's paying for it

09.25 'A smell of death:' Mexico's truck of corpses highlights drug war crisis

09.24 'Stop this disaster': Brazilian women mobilise against 'misogynist' far-right Bolsonaro

09.23 For This Year’s International Day of Peace, Korea Takes the Lead

09.22 Which nation is 'most generous' to refugees? Certainly not the US

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Print view: New Hearing Set for Sami Al-Arian
A PATTERN OF INJUSTICE IN THE U.S.:

New Hearing Set for Sami Al-Arian

by Stephen Lendman
Saturday, 16 October 2010
Al-Arian was targeted for his ethnicity, prominence, activism, and for being Muslim at the wrong time in America. Washington's police state harshness makes everyone just as vulnerable.

Earlier articles explained his ordeal, a man Bush administration prosecutors hounded, persecuted, and imprisoned on bogus charges. Articles on him can be accessed through the following links:

Though free on bail, Al-Arian remains politically imprisoned like many hundreds of others behind bars. Because of his faith, ethnicity, prominence and political activism, he was accused of supporting "terrorism" and other outrageous charges.

In fact, he's a Palestinian refugee, a distinguished professor, scholar, community leader, and civil activist, a man deserving honor, not incarceration doing hard time until released after five and half years of brutal treatment, including solitary confinement in rat and roach-infested cells.

He was denied religious services, got no watch or clock, and was kept in windowless cells with artificial lights kept on round the clock. Whenever outside his cell, he was also shackled hands behind back and ankles. In protest, he staged hunger strikes, long enough to endanger is life.

A Brief Timeline of His Case

FBI investigations hounded him for 11 years, spending millions of dollars for half a million phone wiretaps, searches and other forms of harassment.

Events came to a head at 5AM on February 20, 2003 when FBI agents and Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) officers stormed his home guns drawn. They arrested him and three others separately on spurious charges of supporting terrorism, conspiracy to commit murder, racketeering, giving material support to an outlawed group, extortion, perjury, and other offenses proved bogus in court.

On February 27, University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft fired him, acting as a Bush administration stooge.

At his four day March bail hearing, prosecutors provided no evidence, witnesses, or any reason to hold him. Nonetheless, he and co-defendant Sameeh Hammoudeh were denied bail.

On March 27, he was incarcerated at maximum security federal penitentiary, Coleman, FL after initially held in jail. Later he was transferred repeatedly to other federal prisons.

In June 2005, his trial began. It was a witch-hunt travesty with phony evidence, the kind prosecutors use when they have none. Despite spending around $50 million for years of investigations and six months of trial, jurors exonerated him on eight serious charges, remaining deadlocked 10 - 2 for acquittal on nine lesser ones.

On March 2, 2006, fearing retrial, he agreed to plead guilty to one minor charge, be freed, then reunited with his family and deported. But it didn't end there.

Assistant prosecutor Gordon Kromberg ordered him before a grand jury, violating terms of his plea bargain. Fearing entrapment, he refused, was held in contempt, again imprisoned, and sentenced to 18 months without mitigation - a clear effort to keep hounding and imprison him.

At the time, his attorney, Professor Jonathan Turley, called the Justice Department's ploy "a classic perjury trap used repeatedly by the government to punish those individuals who could not be convicted before an American jury."

Al-Arian appealed and remained imprisoned until released on bail on September 2, 2008 under house arrest, pending trial for criminal contempt. For the first time in over five years, he was reunited with his family, but his ordeal continues.

On October 29, 2010, a new hearing will be held before federal Judge Leonie Brinkema of the Eastern District of Virginia to decide whether criminal contempt charges will be pursued or dropped.

Under Obama, prosecutors are as ruthlessly corrupted as their predecessors, using every trick in the book to convict, whether guilty or innocent, and when trials are politically motivated, intensifying pressure even more. The Justice Department thus filed a motion to deny a defense one, filed 18 months earlier to dismiss criminal contempt charges. Three previous DOJ motions were rejected. This time, Holder prosecutors not only requested denying the defense's dismissal request, but asked Judge Brinkema to reverse her earlier decision letting Al-Arian's attorneys present evidence in case of trial.

In March 2009, she backed the defense's request to file a motion to dismiss Al-Arian's charges, saying she'd rule later at further hearings, and expressing concern over government "bait and switch" tactics:

"where Dr. Al-Arian and his counsel were assured that, if he agreed to plead guilty (to one minor charge), he would not be subject to any further involvement with the Justice Department beyond his deportation following the completion of his sentence." Bush prosecutors reneged on the agreement, Obama ones as contemptuous.

Like earlier departments under Ashcroft, Gonzales, and Mukasey, Holder shows equal contempt for the law and judicial fairness, presenting a challenge for the most competent defense lawyers. Al-Arian, however, is well represented, his team led by Professor Jonathan Turley, a recognized legal scholar who's written extensively on constitutional and tort law as well as legal theory and other topics. With him are attorneys William E. Olsen and Philip J. Meitl.

On October 29, at 8:30AM, Al-Arian's hearing will be held at the

Albert V. Bryan US Courthouse
401 Courthouse Square
Alexandria, VA 22314

The freesamialarian site calls it his "most important" one so far, more than others up to now. His freedom and future depend on the outcome.

Some Final Comments

In July 2003, Amnesty International (AI) wrote US prosecutors, "calling for a review of the pre-trial detention conditions of Dr. Sami Al-Arian, aspects of which it said appeared to be 'gratuitously punitive,' " and a breach of international standards.

In December 2005, AI sought fair procedures to resolve his case after jurors acquitted him of terrorist and other serious charges. AI noted his harsh solitary confinement, calling it "unnecessarily punitive."

In August 2008, Howard Zinn said:

"I thought that (Al-Arian's case) was an outrageous violation of human rights, both from a constitutional point of view and as a simple test of justice."

His former appeals attorney, Professor Peter Erlinder and former National Lawyers Guild president said:

"The prosecution of Dr. Sami Al-Arian was a blatant attempt to silence political speech and dissent in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy. The nature of the political persecution of this case has been demonstrated throughout all its aspects, not only during the trial and the never-ending right-wing media onslaught, but also after the stunning defeat of the government in 2005, and its ill-advised abuse of the grand jury system thereafter."

Throughout his ordeal, many other individuals and organizations expressed support, demanding justice and an end to prosecutorial ruthlessness, false imprisonment, and contempt for the rule of law.

In 2007, Norwegian filmmakers produced a documentary titled, USA v. Al-Arian. An updated 2009 version is now available, click here to order.

Al-Arian was targeted for his ethnicity, prominence, activism, and for being Muslim at the wrong time in America. Washington's police state harshness makes everyone just as vulnerable.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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



Copyright © 2010 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

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 16, 2010.
 



Public Service Ads:
Verifiable Voting in Maryland