In February of 2010, based on the flimsiest of physical evidence and rampant anti-Muslim bias, a Pakistani woman, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, was convicted in US Federal Court in Manhattan for ATTEMPTED “murder of an American” and sentenced to 86 years plus life in prison. The terms “kangaroo court” and “railroaded” spring easily to mind when I think about the case of Dr. Siddiqui. I wrote extensively about the case in an article called: Injustice in the Age of Obama.
Regular readers will know that I have long been concerned by the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani neuroscientist whose story is one of the murkiest in the whole of the “War on Terror.” Dr. Siddiqui disappeared with her three children in Karachi in March 2003, and for five years neither the US nor the Pakistani authorities acknowledged holding her, even though she was reportedly seen in the US prison at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan. In July 2008, she mysteriously reappeared in Ghazni, Afghanistan, where she was arrested for behaving strangely, and then reportedly tried to shoot at a number of US soldiers, but only ended up being shot herself. She was then rendered to the US, where she was put on trial in New York for the alleged incident in Ghazni, and not for any of the al-Qaeda allegations that had been put forward during her lost years, and where, last September, she received an 86-year sentence.
English: Composite picture of Aafia Siddiqui from her wanted poster at the FBI Website (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In sifting through the avalanche of US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks, only the Guardian, in the Western media, has picked up on cables from Islamabad relating to the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani neuroscientist who disappeared with her three young children in Karachi on March 30, 2003, and did not reappear until July 17, 2008, in Ghazni, Afghanistan, where she was reportedly arrested by Afghan forces for acting strangely, allegedly carrying a bag that contained a list of US targets for terrorist attacks as well as bomb-making instructions and assorted chemicals. When US soldiers turned up, Dr. Siddiqui then reportedly seized a gun and shot at them. Although she failed to hit her targets, at point-blank range, she was herself shot twice in the abdomen, and was then rendered to the United States, where she was put on trial for attempted murder, and was convicted and given an 86-year prison sentence in September this year.
Barack Obama, a former law professor, should have a healthy respect for civil liberties, but his actions suggest not.
Since being the defendant in about six trials after I was arrested for protesting the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations, it’s my experience that the police lie. Period.
However the lies don’t stop at street law enforcement level. From lies about WMD and connections to “al Qaeda,” almost every institution of so-called authority – the Pentagon, State Department, CIA, FBI, all the way up to the Oval Office and back down – lie. Not white lies, but big, Mother of all BS (MOAB) lies that lead to the destruction of innocent lives. I.F Stone was most definitely on the ball when he proclaimed, “Governments lie”.
Americans have been losing the protection of law for years. In the 21st century the loss of legal protections accelerated with the Bush administration’s “war on terror,” which continues under the Obama administration and is essentially a war on the Constitution and U.S. civil liberties.
The Bush regime was determined to vitiate habeas corpus in order to hold people indefinitely without bringing charges. The regime had acquired hundreds of prisoners by paying a bounty for “terrorists.” Afghan warlords and thugs responded to the financial incentive by grabbing unprotected people and selling them to the Americans.
The conviction of the Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui in New York last week of trying to kill American military officers and FBI agents illustrates that the greatest danger to our security does not come from al-Qaida but the thousands of shadowy mercenaries, kidnappers, killers and torturers our government employs around the globe. Continue reading →