Marching Off Into Tyranny By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
08/05/08 “ICH”

In last weekend’s edition of CounterPunch, Alexander Cockburn updates the ongoing persecution of Sami Al-Arian by federal prosecutors. Al-Arian was a Florida university professor of computer science who was ensnared by the Bush Regime’s need to produce “terrorists” in order to keep Americans fearful and, thereby, amenable to the Bush Regime’s assault on US civil liberties.

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The government’s war against Sami Al-Arian + video

Dandelion Salad

by Nancy Welch
July 30, 2008

Dr. Sami Al-Arian, one of the earliest victims of the “war on terror” within the U.S. itself, continues to languish in jail, where he has been since his February 2003 arrest for the “crime” of speaking out on behalf of the Palestinian struggle against Israel’s apartheid.

Al-Arian’s daughter, Laila Al-Arian, is the author, with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, of Collateral Damage: America’s War Against Iraqi Civilians. A graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism, she recently joined Al-Jazeera English as a producer. Continue reading

Sami Al-Arian: From Exoneration to Criminal Indictment

Dandelion Salad

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research
July 14, 2008

A personal note. I’ve twice before written about Al-Arian and discussed his case on my radio program with his wife and daughter. Since February 20, 2003, he’s been unjustly imprisoned. The FBI hounded him for 11 years. It falsely accused him of backing organizations fronting for Palestinian Islamic Jihad – a 1997 State Department-designated “Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).” It’s one of 30 organizations so-designated that year. In 1999, three were removed. Another was added in 2001 for a total of 28. Sixteen of them are Arabic/Muslim and include Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda. Their ideologies differ from western standards. Washington thus calls them FTOs that “engage in terrorist activity (and) threaten the security of US nationals or the national security of the US.”

In August 2001, Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s (PIJ) General Secretary, Dr. Fathi Shikaki, agreed to be interviewed. He called the organization “an independent, Islamic, and popular movement with Islam (advocating) grassroots popular action and armed struggle (for the) liberation of (Occupied) Palestine.” In this respect, it’s no different from the Vichy French resistance. They were renown freedom fighters. So were the Mujahideen (when they were on our side) against the Soviets in Afghanistan and Serbia in the Balkans.

As Michel Chossudovsky noted in a September 2001 Global article titled “Who is Osama Bin Laden?:” ….while the Islamic Jihad – featured by the Bush administration as “a threat to America” – is blamed for the (9/11 attacks), these same Islamic organizations constitute a key instrument of US military intelligence in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union.” In other words, they’re (unwittingly) used to further US interests and at the same time justify Washington’s war on Islam (aka the “war on terrorism”).

Shikaki denied that PIJ or the Islamic Jihad Movement (IJM) practice “terrorism.” On the contrary, “terrorism is practiced by a state (Israel) that is fully supported by the West. (It and especially America back) dictatorial regimes that are tyrannical, oppressive and practice human rights abuses on massive scales….Tens of thousands of Islamists have been arrested and….held under severe conditions.” However, “only a small segment used violence against the state-sponsored and state-supported violence.”

How can Palestinians be called terrorists. We “scream from pain and suffering and (are) defending (our) land against Jewish soldiers….We are calling for peace based on justice, rights and dignity. We must be dealt with as equals and as carriers of a great civilization. Only then will peace prevail in our region and the whole world….Our state is Palestine….As for the Jews, they have lived peacefully with us for centuries….They could (always) live among us freely, but not as a political entity….We don’t espouse throwing the Jews into the sea (but) there will be no peace unless Palestine is returned to the Palestinians.”

Al-Arian: Falsely Targeted For Supporting “Terrorism”

Because of his faith, ethnicity, political activism and prominence, Al-Arian became a prime target. He was falsely vilified for supporting terrorism. Then at the behest of Governor Jeb Bush and despite his tenured status, the University of South Florida fired him following his February 20, 2003 arrest. Ever since, he’s been imprisoned and held in brutalizing and dehumanizing confinement in over a dozen maximum and other federal prison facilities. Only his spirit sustains him.

His June 2005 trial was a travesty. It lasted six months, cost about $50 million, and in the end Al-Arian was exonerated on eight false terrorism charges. On nine lesser ones, jurors were deadlocked 10 – 2 for acquittal.

Al-Arian is a Palestinian refugee, a distinguished professor and scholar, community leader and civil activist. His crime – being an activist Muslim at the wrong time in America. After his exoneration, prosecutors planned to retry him but instead struck a secret plea bargain with his lawyers. It stipulated:

— he neither engaged in or had any knowledge of violent acts;

— that he would not be required to cooperate further with prosecutors;

— and that he would be released on time served and deported voluntarily to his country of choice.

He remained in custody pending sentencing and deportation on May 1, 2006. Yet he’s still imprisoned and his ordeal continues. In October 2006, assistant prosecutor Gordon Kromberg violated plea bargain terms by subpoenaing Al-Arian before a grand jury. It was to entrap him on perjury and obstruction of justice charges through clever and manipulative questioning.

At the time, he said this about all Muslims that should have automatically disqualified him: “If they can kill each other during Ramadan, they can appear before the grand jury – all they can’t do is eat before sunset. I believe Mr. Al-Arian’s request is part of the attempted Islamization of the American Justice System. I am not going to put off (his) grand jury appearance just to assist in what is becoming the Islamization of America.” Following these comments, Al-Arian’s attorney accused Kromberg of anti-Muslim bias and asked him to recuse himself. He denied the request and called Al-Arian before the grand jury.

He refused to testify and was held in contempt. He refused again before a newly convened grand jury, was again held in contempt, and had his sentence extended without mitigation until April 7, 2008. On March 3, 2008 (three weeks before his scheduled release and deportation), Al-Arian was again ordered to appear before another March 19 grand jury. He again refused, remained imprisoned, and on June 26 was indicted on two counts of criminal contempt.

Al-Arian’s case is crucially important. It shows the peril of being Muslim in America. It also represents a disturbing abuse of the grand jury system before which Al-Arian has no obligation to testify. It’s at a time our constitutional checks and balances have eroded, our civil liberties are weakest, a president has usurped “unitary executive” powers to claim the law is what he says it is, and when we teeter on the edge of tyranny unless these practices are stopped.

Law Professor and Lead Al-Arian Counsel Jonathan Turley

Turley calls Al-Arian’s case “a classic perjury trap used repeatedly by the government to punish those individuals who could not be convicted before an American jury.” All the more so if you’re Muslim, high-profile, and easily exploited for political advantage.

On June 30, Al-Arian was arraigned before Judge Leonie Brinkema of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Columbia. Turley was denied the right to meet with him in advance and wasn’t prepared to enter a plea. The Court did it for him – “not guilty.” His trial is scheduled to begin on August 13, 2008.

Turley requested that Al-Arian be released on bail. He’s not charged with terrorism, has no passport, and isn’t a flight risk. Since charges involve contempt, there’s no reason to hold him. He’s lived in the country since 1975, has lawful alien status, his children are US citizens, and they have deep ties here. In addition, citizens have volunteered to be custodians, and Al-Arian is willing to be continually monitored under home confinement. Turley calls the government’s actions “purely gratuitous and retaliatory under (these) conditions.”

He further requested a bond hearing, and Judge Brinkema agreed. During his Florida trial, friends offered millions in property as security. They were denied. Prosecutors asked for a one-day trial. Turley requested three days and told Judge Brinkema that counsel believes Al-Arian’s indictment is “invalid on its face.” He didn’t refuse to cooperate. He’d already given two detailed affidavits establishing that he had no knowledge of any crimes committed by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (a Herndon, Virginia think tank) or its officers. He also repeatedly asked to take a polygraph exam for verification. He was denied.

Turley also explained that the day before his indictment the government expressed satisfaction with his affidavits. By indicting him, “the government’s long pattern of retaliation against Dr. Al-Arian has now degraded further into raw thuggery.” It has no interest in truth and justice. It intends to act outside the law by whatever means it takes to keep an innocent man imprisoned. Al-Arian is now at Alexandria, VA City Jail awaiting his bond hearing.

On July 10 it was held, and for the first time since his February 2003 arrest there was good news – at least so far. Over strong government objections, Judge Brinkema agreed that Al-Arian is not a flight risk or danger to his community and granted him bail. But it’s not over yet because DOJ is sure to fight it. One possible way according to Turley – having ICE officials hold him for deportation and keep him imprisoned until his trial.

Turley cited Judge Brinkema’s “significant statements in the hearing:

— that she was getting “strange signals” about this case; that “the government should not be found to have harassed efforts for another government to accept Dr. Al-Arian under his plea agreement;

— that the plea agreement still applies and the government is required to deport him “with expedition;”

— should ICE resume custody, the deportation provision would be triggered; and

— Judge Brinkema wants confirmation that Al-Arian already gave the government detailed statements and repeatedly offered to take a polygraph exam to prove his truthfulness.

Prosecutor Kromberg twisted the truth to deny Al-Arian bail. Turley expertly countered him. The week of July 14 he’ll submit pre-trial motions and (formally) request Al-Arian’s release on bail. DOJ will surely fight it. The case is far from resolved, and according to Turley: “Things are likely to become stranger still as the government continues its long campaign to hold Dr. Al-Arian by any means or method. We remain hopeful, however, that (he’ll) be vindicated and (allowed) to leave the country” as his plea bargain stipulates.

Yassin Aref – Another Muslim Political Prisoner

A personal note. I’ve twice before written about Aref, discussed his case with his lawyers on my radio program, and have personal contact with him in prison. Like others of his faith, he was hunted down, rounded up, held in detention, kept in isolation, denied bail, restricted in his right and access to counsel, tried on secret evidence and trumped-up charges, then convicted in a kangaroo court proceeding and given a long prison term.

Like Al-Arian and other Muslims, Aref was targeted for his faith and ethnicity. He’s an innocent man and another victim of police state justice. He’s now serving a 15 year sentence at the secret Terre Haute, Indiana federal penitentiary’s Communication Management Unit (CMU). Opened in December 2006, it’s for “high-security risk” Muslim and Middle Eastern prisoners to limit or cut them off entirely from outside contact. Doing so violates the Supreme Court’s 2004 Johnson v. California decision and Prison Bureau regulations. However, the courts and Congress haven’t intervened.

Aref appealed on March 24, 2008 before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. After the proceeding, one of his pro bono trial lawyers, Stephen Downs, was hopeful but cautious. He explained that predicting the outcome was uncertain at best and foolhardy at worst.

On July 2 in United States v. Aref, the (three-judge panel) Appeals Court rendered a unanimous decision. Aref was denied, and unless a motion for rehearing or the Supreme Court decides otherwise, he’ll remain imprisoned for 15 years. The Court issued an 11 page summary order rejecting evidentiary challenges and other defendant claims. Appeals Court lawyers Terrence Kindlon and Kathy Manley expressed profound disappointment with Kindlon saying: “I feel like somebody hit me in the face with a pie….We were feeling some optimism here. We thought there were some significant issues that dealt not just with the law but with some of the events that occurred throughout the course of the trial….I can honestly say I strongly and respectfully disagree with the decision.”

A Schenectady, NY columnist, Carl Strock, was also dismayed and commented: “I thought the arguments (for reversal) were compelling, but I could hardly imagine an appeals court overturning a jury verdict in something so sensitive as Muslim terrorism, even if the terrorism was” bogus. The ruling “means it’s OK for the FBI to lure law-abiding citizens (or legal residents) into doing something illegal” or that government prosecutors can claim (with secret evidence unavailable to counsel) is illegal and then arrest, charge and convict them for it. “That’s the long and short of this case.”

It’s also OK for federal judges to assure jurors that the government has “good and valid (prosecutorial) reasons” even when there are none. The same government claimed “valid reasons” to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. We now know there were none.

Kindlon said he’s preparing an en banc motion for rehearing before the full Appeals Court and a writ of certiorari petition to the Supreme Court asking it to review the lower court ruling. Winning a reversal in either court will be daunting given the preponderance of hard right federal judges on the bench. It shows what all Muslims (and the rest of us) are up against despite the important Boumedienne v. Bush Supreme Court decision. It ruled Guantanamo detainees have habeas rights even if they’re not US citizens and are held outside the country. Despite having them, however, getting justice in US federal courts may prove a bridge too far. Especially for those targeted as enemies of the state with or without evidence.

Like Al-Arian, Aref is an innocent man. His crime is being Muslim at the wrong time in America. He committed no crime and was victimized by an FBI frame. I have direct contact with him in prison. We exchange letters and occasional emails when he’s allowed to send and receive them. He’s a friend and a supremely gracious and decent man. Injustice to him, Al-Arian and others denies it to everyone. Today we’re all Yassin Arefs and Sami Al-Arians, Boumedienne v. Bush notwithstanding.

“I Am Not Surprised”

On the web site maintained for him (, Aref responded to the Appeals Court decision in prose and poetry. Below are extended excerpts.

“I am not surprised. When they arrested me….I was shocked the next morning when they took me to court. I was surprised to see all those police, marshals and media, and I was really confused: what was all that about? Who am I (to be so important)? What did I do? What was going on? All of it was unbelievable. I (told) the marshals that there is a law in this country and I did nothing wrong, so the judge will free me and let me go back to my family.”

He didn’t and refused me bail, “claiming I was a flight risk and danger to the community, even” though I have no “travel documents and there was 50 cents in my wallet, plus I am stateless and have no country to go to. Above all, I did nothing wrong (and) have (nothing) to hide.

Then while….in jail….I understood what was going on….it’s not me, it’s politics and discrimination….if I was not a Muslim and Imam….never would I have been targeted (or) indicted” or tried without evidence. Even if they” tried me, no “jury (would) find me guilty,” and if they did no judge would accept it. Even if the judge did, no “appeal court” would go along. “But all of this happened….because I was a foreigner, a Muslim who had a little beard.

All the government did was misrepresent their evidence to confuse the court and prevent justice from taking place.” Everyone in the drama played a role. “But still I am happy because I did nothing wrong and harmed no one….what they did to me is wrong and not fair, and I believe the truth will never die and people will find it sooner or later.”

The government “dishonored justice and humiliated the Constitution, not me. Anyone who knows me….knows I am innocent.” Knows I’m not “a dangerous wild animal who must be locked down in an isolated unit. I am just a scapegoat for the (government’s wrong policies and a victim (of) their nonsensical ongoing war.” Millions of others are suffering like me.

“The government….know(s) very well I had nothing to do with terrorists or (have any) anti-American (beliefs) or (approve of) violence, and that never in my life did I participate in any fighting or….support any terrorists….I am just a Muslim and a stateless Kurd….Let the government celebrate their victory for destroying my family and for putting an innocent man in prison. Let the media” and appeals court support what they did. It changes nothing. “I am innocent and did nothing wrong.

I am grateful for everyone who has supported me, wished and prayed for the best for me and felt sorry for my family….They cannot put hate in my heart and revenge in my thoughts. I know it’s not over, and I hope you believe the same and stay firm until justice takes place and the truth comes out. Please do not forget my family.”

We never will Yassin or stop supporting your struggle for justice. Or other innocent victims like yourself.

For Muslims in America, Their Ordeal Continues

Rumors are circulating about new police state tactics later this summer – so the DOJ may open new investigations without evidence of wrongdoing. Merely on the basis of an undisclosed “terrorist profile” or “pattern of behavior” suggesting suspects should be watched and interrogated about their Muslim or Arab-connected activities. Other grounds as well – where they travel as well as their occupation, race or ethnicity. It means millions of Americans will be targeted at a time no one’s civil liberties are protected. Bogus charges will be brought against innocent people, and if they’re Muslims and called “terrorists” imagine what little justice they’ll get.

Congress won’t help either. It gutted the Fourth Amendment further after both Houses passed and George Bush signed (on July 10) the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. It’s FISA on steroids and more by granting telecom companies retroactive immunity to conduct warrantless spying post-9/11. Obama and McCain supported it. So did most others in Congress. Everyone has reason to fear it. Muslims most of all. They’ve suffered hugely since 9/11. No letup is in sight. This is how a police state works. Congress, the courts, and executive are on board. So is his successor. Expect little change in 2009 and no open public debate. The law of the land is now lawlessness. No one is safe, and there’s no place to hide.

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

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

© Copyright Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2008

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Dr. Al-Arian Indicted! Please Act!

Sami Al-Arian

Political Prisoners/Sami al-Arian/Suzi Hazahza

Yassin Aref’s Struggle for Justice in Police State America by Stephen Lendman

Police State America: Yassin Aref’s Struggle for Justice Part II

Dr. Al-Arian Indicted! Please Act!

Dandelion Salad
June 30, 2008

Dr. Al-Arian Unjustly Indicted!

Government abuses grand jury system to punish prominent civil rights activist

Alexandria, Virginia, June 30, 2008

Last Thursday, three months after refusing to testify before a third grand jury, Dr. Sami Al-Arian – whose trial has been the single most important test case of the PATRIOT Act – was charged on two counts of contempt of court. Dr. Al-Arian refused to testify not only because the plea agreement he concluded with the government in 2006 clearly exempts him from having to do so, but also because it was a clear perjury trap.


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Sami Al-Arian

Political Prisoners/Sami al-Arian/Suzi Hazahza

Legislating Tyranny By Paul Craig Roberts & Lawrence M. Stratton

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence M. Stratton
07/06/08 “Lew Rockwell

The George W. Bush administration responded to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon with an assault on U.S. civil liberty that Bush justified in the name of the “war on terror.” The government assured us that the draconian measures apply only to “terrorists.” The word terrorist, however, was not defined. The government claimed the discretionary power to decide who is a terrorist without having to present evidence or charges in a court of law.

Frankly, the Bush administration’s policy evades any notion of procedural due process of law. Administration assurances that harsh treatment is reserved only for terrorists is meaningless when the threshold process for determining who is and who is not a terrorist depends on executive discretion that is not subject to review. Substantive rights are useless without the procedural rights to enforce them.

Terrorist legislation and executive assertions created a basis upon which federal authorities claimed they were free to suspend suspects’ civil liberties in order to defend Americans from terrorism. Only after civil liberties groups and federal courts challenged some of the unconstitutional laws and procedures did realization spread that the Bush administration’s assault on the Bill of Rights is a greater threat to Americans than are terrorists.

The alacrity with which Congress accepted the initial assault from the administration is frightening. In 2001, the USA PATRIOT Act passed by a vote of 98 to 1 in the Senate and by 357 to 66 in the House. The act was already written and waiting on the shelf before the 9/11 attack. Indeed, the FBI and Department of Justice have tried for years to introduce PATRIOT Act provisions into the law. That act was introduced immediately after the attacks, and few members of Congress read its contents prior to passing it.

Federal courts declared some provisions of the legislation to be unconstitutional. Vague language criminalizing “expert advice or assistance” as material support for terrorism was thrown out, as were gag orders and “National Security Letters” used to obtain private information without judicial oversight. Despite challenges from the American Civil Liberties Union and resolutions passed in 8 states and 396 cities and counties condemning the act for its attack on civil liberties, Congress reauthorized the act in March 2006, making most of it permanent and sending a clear signal that the “war on terror” takes precedence over civil liberty.

The PATRIOT Act’s infringements of civil liberty are serious, but they pale by comparison to the Bush administration’s assertion of executive power to set aside habeas corpus protection for both citizens and noncitizens declared by the executive branch to be “enemy combatants.” The Bush administration claimed and exercised the power to hold indefinitely anyone so designated without access to legal representation. In other words, the Bush administration claimed the discretionary and unaccountable power to imprison whomever it wished.

In keeping with its self-declared powers, the Bush administration quickly rounded up hundreds of detainees whom it claimed – without evidence – to be “enemy combatants.” Four detainees, Rasul, Hamdi, Padilla, and Hamdan, consisting of a British citizen, two American citizens, and an Afghan, respectively, challenged the administration in federal court cases that reached the Supreme Court.

In Rasul v. Bush the Supreme Court ruled in June 2004 that, contrary to Bush administration assertions, the courts have jurisdiction over Guantánamo and that detainees must be allowed to challenge their detention.

Also in June 2004, the Supreme Court ruled in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld that Hamdi, an American citizen, was deprived of due process and had the right to challenge his detention. However, the ruling was far from a clean sweep for civil liberty. Both noted civil libertarian Harvey Silverglate (Reason, January 2005) and John Yoo, a Department of Justice apologist for the new tyranny, agree that the Supreme Court decision left flexibility and room for the government to maneuver and prevail in the end.

In December 2003, an appellate court ruled that U.S. citizen José Padilla could not be denied habeas corpus protection. To forestall another Supreme Court ruling against the Bush administration, the administration withdrew Padilla’s status as “enemy combatant” and filed criminal charges that bore no relationship to the administration’s original assertions that Padilla was plotting to explode a “dirty bomb” in an American city. As Harvey Silverglate has documented (Boston Phoenix, September 16, 2005), the Padilla case is also an extraordinary story of “forum shopping” (picking a court where judges are friendly to its case) by the Department of Justice.

Forced by the federal judiciary to release José Padilla from years of illegal detention or to put him on trial, the Bush administration had to scramble to put together some kind of charges. The best that the Bush administration could do was to charge Padilla not with any terrorist acts, but with wanting to be a terrorist – a “terrorist-wannabe” to use the words of Andrew Cohen (, August 16, 2007).

By the time Padilla went to trial, he had been demonized for years in the media as an “enemy combatant” who intended to set off a radioactive bomb. Peter Whoriskey (Washington Post, August 17, 2007) described the Padilla Jury as a patriotic jury that appeared in court with one row of jurors dressed in red, one in white, and one in blue. It was a jury primed to be psychologically and emotionally manipulated by federal prosecutors. No member of this jury was going to return home to accusations of letting off the “dirty bomber.”

Evidence, of which there was little, if any, played no role in the case. The chief FBI agent, James T. Kavanaugh, testified in court that the intercepted telephone conversations were innocuous and contained no references to terrorism or Islamic extremism, but the jury wasn’t listening. The judge allowed prosecutors to show the jury a ten-year-old video of Osama bin Laden that had no relevance to the case, but which served to arouse in jurors fear, anger, and disturbing memories of September 11, 2001. The jury convicted Padilla on all counts, despite the total absence of any evidence that he had ever committed a terrorist act or had agreed to commit such an act.

By convicting Padilla, the jury opened Pandora’s box and created a Benthamite precedent for imprisoning U.S. citizens on the suspicion that they might commit a terrorist act.

In July 2006, in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the Supreme Court ruled that Bush’s military tribunals violate U.S. military law and the Geneva Conventions.

Republicans, who tend to regard civil liberties as devices that coddle criminals and terrorists, turned to legislation in attempts to subvert the Supreme Court’s defense of the U.S. Constitution. In November 2005, the Senate Republicans passed an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act offered by Lindsay Graham of South Carolina authorizing the president to deny habeas corpus protection to Guantánamo detainees. The fact that it was known by this time that the vast majority of the detainees were hapless individuals who were captured by Afghan warlords and sold to the Americans, who were paying a bounty for “terrorists,” carried no weight with the Republican senators.

The Republicans replied to Hamdan v. Rumsfeld with the Military Commissions Act passed in September 2006 and signed by Bush in October. The act strips detainees of protections provided by the Geneva Conventions: “No alien unlawful enemy combatant subject to trial by military commission under this chapter may invoke the Geneva Conventions as a source of rights.” Other provisions of the act strip detainees of speedy trials and of protection against torture and self-incrimination. This heinous law has a breathtaking provision that retroactively protects torturers against prosecution for war crimes.

The act explicitly denies habeas corpus protection and access to federal courts to any alien detained by the U.S. government as an “enemy combatant” and any alien awaiting determination of his status. The act reads: “No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the US who has been determined by the US to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.”

This act is as atrocious a piece of legislation as the world has ever seen. It permits people to be sentenced to death on the basis of hearsay, secret evidence, and on a confession extracted by torture. Indeed, detainees could be shot in the back of the head without undergoing the kangaroo tribunal and no one would ever know or be held legally responsible.

A number of legal experts have concluded that there is no assurance that the act cannot be applied to U.S. citizens. Although language in the act refers to “alien unlawful enemy combatant,” other language in the document does not limit the act’s applicability only to aliens. Legal scholars have warned that the legislation defines enemy combatant in such broad language that the act applies to any person whom the executive branch declares has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States. No evidence for the charge is necessary. By seizing the power to decide who is and who is not an “enemy combatant,” the executive branch has seized the power to decide who shall and who shall not be permitted the protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The Bush administration has resurrected the dungeons and torture chambers that Blackstone’s Rights of Englishmen banished from the English-speaking world.

It is too early to know how the act will be interpreted and applied to American citizens or whether it can be challenged and overturned on constitutional grounds, but forebodings are severe. What we can say is that the act is draconian and dangerous legislation that is completely unnecessary. If the U.S. government has enough correct information to designate a person truthfully to be an enemy combatant, the U.S. government has enough information to put the person on trial in open court with all the rights guaranteed by the Constitution to defendants. The U.S. government only needs indefinite detention, torture, and secret evidence when it has no evidence. Every American should be concerned that John Yoo, one of the Justice Department authors of this totalitarian legislation, is now a law professor at the University of California. Liberty has no future in America if law schools provide legitimacy to those who would subvert the U.S. Constitution.

The Assault on the Constitution

We concluded the first edition of this book with a call for “an intellectual rebirth, a revival of constitutionalism.” Alas, far from a rebirth of constitutionalism, we are witnessing a rending that we would not have imagined. On January 17, 2007, the attorney general of the United States, Alberto Gonzales, declared in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that “the Constitution doesn’t say every individual in the United States or every citizen is hereby granted or assured the right of habeas.” The chairman of the committee, Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania) was incredulous when Gonzales insisted that “there is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution.”

In June 2007, Dick Cheney astonished Americans with his claim that the Office of Vice President is independent of both the executive branch and Congress and is accountable to neither.

Americans should pay attention to the power that the Bush administration is claiming over them. If Americans are not protected by habeas corpus, the government can pick us up at its will and cast us into dungeons for the rest of our lives without ever giving any accountability of its action. If the Constitution does not grant habeas corpus protection, the administration is under no compulsion to provide indictments, evidence, and trial. The government can simply imprison at will.

The Bush administration is using every strategy to push aside the remains of the legal principles that shield the people from arbitrary government power. It is a short step from denying Americans’ constitutional right to a public trial by an impartial jury to denying every other constitutional right. Clearly, on the basis of an indefinite “war” against an indefinite “terrorist enemy,” the Bush regime is attempting to claim powers that are not limited by the Constitution, Congress, or the courts. It is a life-and-death matter for Americans to understand that the Bush administration is seeking to undermine all rights by shutting off the procedural avenues for enforcing rights.

Few Americans seem alarmed. Conservative attorneys, such as members of the Federalist Society who present themselves as defenders of “original intent,” are pushing for more power to be concentrated in the executive. One of the tools used to obtain this goal is Bush’s misuse of “signing statements.” Scholars, such as Phillip J. Cooper of Portland State University writing in the September 2005 issue of Presidential Studies Quarterly, warn that Bush uses signing statements not only as illegal line-item vetoes that evade congressional override but also as “wide-ranging assertions of exclusive authority and court-like pronouncements that redefine legislative powers under the Constitution. They reveal a systematic effort to define presidential authority in terms of the broad conception of the prerogative both internationally and domestically under the unitary executive theory.”

Signing statements deserve a closer look than they are receiving. There is no provision in the Constitution for signing statements. Courts often look to congressional debates and proceedings to ascertain legislative intent when a statute’s meaning is not obvious. The Bush administration is endeavoring to establish the judicial practice of also looking to the president’s signing statements in the same way, an absurd idea as the president does not enact legislation. President Bush’s use of signing statements signals the refusal of the executive branch to abide by the rule of law, a frightening prospect.

A growing number of thoughtful Americans believe, rightly or wrongly, that the “war on terror” is a hoax that is providing cover for what former President Nixon’s White House counsel, John W. Dean, says is an assault on American liberty by “authoritarian conservatives.” Time will tell whether Americans will continue to tolerate the neoconservatives’ wars and attacks on civil liberty.

The Case of Sami Al-Arian

The demise of the Rights of Englishmen, the unaccountability of police and prosecutors, the witch-hunt atmosphere created by the “war on terror,” the government’s need to find terrorist suspects in order to maintain the public’s alarm, and the sadistic and bigoted attitudes of many prison guards and even federal prosecutors and judges toward Muslims have resulted in the use of law for persecution. The case of Sami Al-Arian, who was a professor of computer science at the University of South Florida, is a pure example of the use of law as a weapon for persecution.

Most Americans know only the Israeli side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinian side is rarely heard. Even prominent Americans, such as former president Jimmy Carter, who point out that there are two sides to the story, are subjected to demonization and name-calling. Sami Al-Arian was gaining success as a voice for a more even-handed Middle East policy. He spoke to intelligence personnel and military commanders at MacDill Air Force Central Command. He gave interviews. He even invited the FBI to attend meetings where he spoke.

This was too much for the Israeli Lobby, which has enjoyed a total monopoly on the explanation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the United States. The hysteria following 9/11 created the opportunity to destroy Sami Al-Arian. Alexander Cockburn (CounterPunch, March 3, 2007) reports that “at the direct instigation of Attorney General Ashcroft” trumped-up terrorism and conspiracy charges were leveled at Al-Arian.

The neoconservative media and right-wing talk radio went to work on Al-Arian. Pushed by Gov. Jeb Bush, the university fired him. He was arrested and deemed too dangerous for bail. He was held in solitary confinement for two and a half years while the federal government tried to manufacture some evidence against him. Wikipedia reports that “Amnesty International said Al-Arian’s pre-trial conditions ‘appeared to be gratuitously punitive’ and stated ‘the restrictions imposed on Dr. Al-Arian appeared to go beyond what were necessary on security grounds and were inconsistent with international standards for humane treatment.’”

The government failed to produce any evidence. The jury acquitted Al-Arian on all serious charges and voted 10–2 for acquittal on all other charges. The jury acquitted him despite U.S. District Court judge James Moody’s many biased rulings against Al-Arian.

Knowing that Al-Arian and his family could not stand the strain of solitary confinement for another two and a half years while a new case was prepared, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it would retry him. His attorney urged him to make a plea in order to end the ordeal.

Al-Arian’s plea is innocuous and bears no relationship to the serious charges on which he was tried. According to Wikipedia, as part of the plea agreement “the government acknowledged that Al-Arian’s activities were non-violent and that there were no victims to the charge in the plea agreement.”

Under the plea agreement, Al-Arian’s sentence amounted essentially to time served, but he was double-crossed by Judge Moody, who according to Alexander Cockburn used “inflamed language about Al-Arian having blood on his hands” (a charge rejected by the jury) and handed down the maximum sentence.

The “terrorist” prosecutors had yet more in store for Al-Arian. In October 2006, federal prosecutor Gordon Kromberg, reportedly “notorious as an Islamophobe,” demanded, in violation of the plea agreement, that Al-Arian testify before a grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, investigating an Islamic research center. According to Wikipedia, “in a verbal agreement that appears in court transcripts, federal prosecutors agreed [as part of the plea agreement] that Al-Arian would not have to testify in Virginia.”

Al-Arian’s lawyers saw Kromberg’s subpoena of their client as a setup, and Al-Arian refused to testify. On January 22, 2007, Al-Arian was brought before a federal judge on contempt charges. He described to the judge the extraordinary abuse he had suffered at the hands of federal prison officials. The guards and officers all felt free to abuse Al-Arian, because they had heard the lie on right-wing talk radio and from neoconservative media that he was a terrorist who hated Americans. The hostile judge sentenced Al-Arian to eighteen months more on a civil contempt charge for refusing to testify about a case that he knew nothing about.

Kromberg contrived to put Al-Arian in a situation in which truthful answers in court under oath could be turned into a perjury charge by offering the defendants reduced charges in exchange for their testimony that Al-Arian was involved with them in some alleged activity and lied under oath. Alternatively, Al-Arian would be cited for civil contempt for refusal to testify. The ease with which Kromberg violated the plea agreement and abused the prosecutorial power in full view of federal judges should give pause to every American.

When a university professor, who has done nothing but try to correct the one-sided story Americans are fed about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, can be treated in this way by the U.S. Department of Justice, civil liberty in the United States is in a precarious condition.

The ease with which Al-Arian was transformed into a terrorist should be a lesson to us all. People in charge of Homeland Security are no less inclined than police and prosecutors to make expansive interpretations of their mandate and what constitutes terrorism and suspect behavior. On May 28, 2007, the Associated Press reported that the Alabama Department of Homeland Security had included among terrorist groups listed on its Web site environmentalists, antiwar protesters, abortion opponents, and gay- and animal-rights advocates. It is an ancient practice of government to hype fear in order to gain arbitrary power that can be turned against anyone. Perhaps this expansive definition of terrorist explains the eighty thousand names on the government’s no-fly list.

Another problem with arbitrary and undefined power is that it ends up being exercised by people who tend to receive low marks for good judgment and intelligence. English film director Mike Figgis was held for five hours in an interrogation cell at Los Angeles International Airport because U.S. immigration officers are unfamiliar with the professional language of television show producers and lacked the common sense to avoid a misunderstanding. When asked the reason for his visit, Figgis said: “I’m here to shoot a pilot.” “Shoot,” of course, means to film, and “pilot” is the first episode of a new TV show. The people providing our security concluded that Figgis had voluntarily confessed to a plot to come to America in order to murder an airline pilot. Figgis survived his assumption that people in Los Angeles understood movie talk, but the desire of people empowered to thwart terrorism to use their power is great. Any excuse will do.

Sliding Toward Dictatorship

The assaults of the Bush regime on civil liberty, the Constitution, and the separation of powers are more determined and more successful than its military assaults on the Middle East, which provide the “war time” justification for the attack on civil liberty in the United States. The regime and its supporters are determined to raise the president to dictatorial powers, at least in times of war, the initiation of which is being turned into a presidential prerogative.

On May 9, 2007, President Bush signed the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive. If in the president’s opinion a “catastrophic emergency” occurs, the directive places all governmental power in the hands of the president, effectively abolishing the checks and balances in the Constitution. Underlying this directive is the “unitary executive” doctrine, a theory pushed by the Federalist Society, an important source of law clerks, DOJ appointees, and judicial nominees for the Republican Party. The doctrine, supported by Supreme Court justices such as Samuel Alito, claims that the executive power of the president is completely separate and independent of the legislative and judicial powers and not subject to infringement by them. The manner in which this doctrine is being institutionalized is creating the additional claim that executive power is the supreme power. In effect, unitary executive theory is elevating the president to a dictator with the power to ignore or suspend laws.

The unitary executive doctrine is a direct attack on the constitutional separation of powers established by the Founding Fathers. One of the alleged advantages of the unitary executive is that the president can act more quickly and efficiently if he is not subject to interference from Congress and the judiciary. However, as Justice Louis Brandeis explained in 1926, “the doctrine of the separation of powers was adopted by the convention of 1787 not to promote efficiency but to preclude the exercise of arbitrary power. The purpose was not to avoid friction, but, by means of the inevitable friction incident to the distribution of the governmental powers among three departments, to save the people from autocracy.”

News reports that the Bush administration has contracted with Halliburton to build detention centers in the United States at a cost of $385 million revive memories of the World War II detention of Japanese American citizens. It has not been explained who are the intended detainees for the new detention centers. Do the American people want to trust with detention centers an executive branch, which claims the power to set aside habeas corpus, statutory law, due process, and the prohibition against torture?

Polls show that 36 percent of the American public and more than half of New Yorkers lack confidence in the 9/11 Commission Report. Despite a significant percentage of the public’s disbelief in the explanation of the event that took America to war in the Middle East, Congress and the media continue to tolerate the Bush administration’s aggressive rhetoric, which seeks to widen the “war on terror” from Afghanistan and Iraq to Iran, Syria, and Lebanon. The diligence with which Vice President Cheney and the neoconservatives press for an attack on Iran, and the extreme position that the Bush administration has taken on executive power, raise the question whether the Bush administration has an agenda that takes precedence over America’s constitutional democracy.

Never in its history have the American people faced such danger to their constitutional protections as they face today from those in the government who hold the reins of power and from elements of the legal profession and the federal judiciary that support “energy in the executive.” An assertive executive backed by an aggressive U.S. Department of Justice and unobstructed by a supine Congress and an intimidated corporate media has demonstrated an ability to ignore statutory law and public opinion. The precedents that have been set during the opening years of the twenty-first century bode ill for the future of American liberty.

Excerpted from The Tyranny of Good Intentions by Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence M. Stratton. Excerpted by permission of Three Rivers Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Paul Craig Roberts a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, has been reporting shocking cases of prosecutorial abuse for two decades.

Lawrence M. Stratton is a Ph. D. candidate in Christian Ethics at Princeton Theological Seminary and a former adjunct professor of Georgetown University Law Center. He is currently on the adjunct Ethics faculty at Villanova University. A new edition of their book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, a documented account of how Americans lost the protection of law, has just been released by Random House.

Copyright © 2008 Paul Craig Roberts

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America’s “war on terrorism” trophy prisoner: University professor Sami Al-Arian – His Ordeal Continues

America’s “war on terrorism” trophy prisoner: University professor Sami Al-Arian – His Ordeal Continues

Dandelion Salad

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, April 18, 2008

— Al-Arian is a Kuwaiti-born son of Palestinian refugees who fled during the 1947-49 Nakba catastrophe;

— he came to America in 1975 and was denied citizenship because of his faith and ethnicity; ever since, he’s been an award-winning scholar, community leader and civil activist;

— he was a distinguished University of South Florida (USF) computer science professor until being unjustly fired for his human rights efforts for Arabs and Muslims;

— now he’s one of hundreds of political prisoners doing hard time in US prisons and treated no differently than others like him at Guantanamo;

— the system is a gulag (at home and offshore) and shame of the nation
The US Gulag Prison System by Steve Lendman

— Al-Arian’s case is special; the FBI hounded him for 11 years; he was unjustly indicted, arrested, tried, yet exonerated in court – acquitted on eight false terrorism charges with the jury deadlocked on nine others 10 – 2 in his favor; DOJ routinely dismisses these cases; retrying them rarely happens; but it wasn’t the plan for Al-Arian;

— DOJ continued to pursue him, struck a plea bargain, then broke it; in violation of its terms, it subpoenaed him three times before grand juries;

— the scheme is to entrap him under perjury and obstruction charges; on advice of counsel, Al-Arian won’t testify; his plea agreement exempts him;

— the first two times he was held in contempt and his sentence extended; it may be extended a third time; under his agreement, he was to be released for time served and voluntarily deported on May 1, 2006; DOJ had other plans; it likely still does;

— Al-Arian is a “war on terrorism” trophy prisoner; he was targeted for his faith, ethnicity and political activism;

— he’s been in prison since February 20, 2003; held in over a dozen maximum and other federal prison facilities, treated punitively in all of them, held in solitary confinement for 37 months, and until April 14, 2008 (most recently) was in special housing unit (SHU) isolation at the Jessup, Maryland’s Howard County Detention Center.

Here’s how events unfolded this month. On April 11, Al-Arian was taken to the Alexandria, VA federal courthouse, held in a holding cell for three hours, then moved to the Alexandria Detention Center. He remained there until immigration authorities (ICE) took him to Fairfax, VA for processing.

At 10PM, he was taken to the Jessup, MD Howard County Detention Center and placed in the general population, according to standard procedure.

At 1AM April 12, he was transferred to the SHU unit, held in isolation under 23-hour lockdown, forced to endure frigid temperatures, and blasted with continuous deafening sounds for maximum punitive effect.

In January 2007, Al-Arian went on hunger strike (ingesting only water after 18 total abstinence days) to protest his abusive treatment. When it ended after two months, he lost 55 pounds, was very weak, unable to walk or stand on his own, and had to be confined to a wheelchair. He also endangered his life. Al-Arian is diabetic and needs regular sustenance for his health. Prison authorities were indifferent and abusive.

On March 3, 2008, Al-Arian again went on hunger strike. It’s now in its 47th day, he’s lost over 34 pounds (likely much more), been denied medical treatment, then on April 14 was transferred again – this time temporarily to an ICE holdover cell before being moved again to continue his ordeal.

Before the move, his family got 30 minutes with him behind a glass partition. His wife Nahla was here from Egypt where she moved and has now returned. His daughter Laila and son Abdullah were also there. They were shocked at what they saw. His son said “He (was) far thinner and weaker than the last time (they) saw him. (They) don’t know how much more of this he can take. The government needs to release him, if for nothing else, than for his life.”

Mrs. Al-Arian was visibly shaken and said “He looked like he’d been through a concentration camp. We want him to stop the hunger strike but he feels he has no other choice. This indefinite imprisonment has torn our family apart. We have had to suffer through three different release dates without him ever being freed.”

So far, even in ICE custody, there’s no indication it’s planned, justice demands it now, it’s been shamelessly denied, and “His life is on the line” according to his daughter. She urges all her father’s supporters to “become involved at this critical stage” and tell DOJ to “do the right thing and let him go….But there isn’t much time.”

On April 15, ICE agents transferred Al-Arian again – this time to the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth, VA. Since arriving, he’s been subjected to even worse treatment than in Maryland.

Initially, he was placed in the general population. Hours later, he was moved to a segregation unit and told he was put on suicide watch because of his hunger strike. He’s being treated barbarically. He was placed in a cold prison cell. His eyeglasses, clothing and undergarments were removed and replaced with a thin hospital gown. He has no bed sheets, blankets or pillows, just a hard metal bed frame supporting a one-inch thick mattress. He also has no drinking cup which is vital for water during his hunger strike.

He was told he can have one telephone call every 15 days but none from attorneys. Before being transferred, ICE officials said Hampton Roads Jail wouldn’t subject him to humiliating and abusive treatment. Instead, it’s worse than in Maryland, Al-Arian is greatly weakened after 46 days without food, his situation is grave, prison authorities are hostile and dismissive, and DOJ may be trying to kill him.

The Tampa Bay Coalition for Justice supports Al-Arian proudly, it’s backed him from the start, and it urges everyone of conscience to contact their elected officials, DOJ and DHS to demand that justice delayed him no longer be denied. His imprisonment term ended April 11, yet he remains confined. His plea bargain stipulated that his long ordeal end and that he be deported expeditiously.

The Bush administration disdains the law and shows no signs of complying. Its actions are vile and barbarous. It’s up to thousands of Al-Arian supporters to act. Justice can no longer be delayed. His life now depends on it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his blog site at and listen to The Global Research News Hour on Mondays from 11AM – 1PM for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests.

On April 21 at noon US Central time, Laila Al-Arian will be interviewed for the hour to discuss her father’s case. Listen and respond to its urgency.

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries:
© Copyright Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is:

Police State America: Sami Al-Arian’s Long Ordeal by Stephen Lendman

Political Prisoners/Sami al-Arian/Suzi Hazahza

The US Gulag Prison System by Steve Lendman

Police State America: Sami Al-Arian’s Long Ordeal by Stephen Lendman

Dandelion Salad

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, March 24, 2008

Sami Al-Arian is a political prisoner in Police State America. This article reviews his case briefly and updates it to the present.

Because of his faith, ethnicity and political activism, the Bush administration targeted Al-Arian for supporting “terrorism.” In fact, he’s a Palestinian refugee, distinguished professor and scholar, community leader and civil activist.

Nonetheless, the FBI harassed him for 11 years, arrested him on February 20, 2003, and falsely accused him of backing organizations fronting for Palestinian Islamic Jihad – a 1997 State Department-designated “Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).”

A week later, in spite of his many awards, impeccable credentials and tenured status, University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft fired him under right wing pressure.

Since February 20, 2003, Al-Arian has been imprisoned – first at Tampa, Florida’s Orient Road jail, then on to more than a dozen different maximum and other federal prison facilities. He’s currently on hunger strike at Warsaw, Virginia’s Northern Neck Regional jail after being transferred back March 18 from Butner, North Carolina’s medical prison.

Al-Arian’s trial began in June 2005 and was a travesty. It lasted six months, cost an estimated $50 million, and the prosecution called 80 witnesses, including Israeli intelligence agents and victims of suicide bombings to prejudice the jury. It introduced portions of hundreds of wiretapped phone calls from over a half million recorded; “evidence” from faxes, emails and what was seized from his home; quotes from his speeches and lectures; conferences, events and rallies he attended; articles he wrote; books he owned; magazines he edited; and various publications he read – all legal and in no way incriminating unless falsely twisted to appear that way.

After years of effort and millions spent, Al-Arian was exonerated. On December 6, 2005 after 13 days of deliberation, the jury acquitted him of all (eight) “terrorism” charges. They were deadlocked 10 – 2 for acquittal on nine others. All of them were false and unjust.

Nonetheless, within days, the Justice Department said it would re-try him on the lesser charges. His lawyers called it legal but a highly unusual move. At the same time and in secret, a plea bargain deal was struck. It stipulated:

— Al-Arian neither engaged in or had any knowledge of violent acts;

— that he would not be required to cooperate further with prosecutors; and

— that he would be released on time served and deported voluntarily to his country of choice.

In the meantime, Al-Arian remained in custody pending sentencing and deportation on May 1, 2006. He expected to be free and his ordeal ended. Instead, the presiding judge changed the deal. He sentenced Al-Arian to the maximum 57 months, gave him credit for time served, and ordered him held for the remaining 11 months, after which an April 2007 deportation would follow. Now it’s extended as explained below.

In October 2006, assistant prosecutor Gordon Kromberg violated plea bargain terms by subpoenaing Al-Arian before a grand jury. His defense attorneys tried to block it by citing his “no-grand jury cooperation” provision to prevent DOJ from springing a perjury-obstruction trap. Defense’s motion was denied, and on November 16 Al-Arian refused to testify and was held in contempt.

A month later, the grand jury expired, a new one was convened, and Al-Arian was again subpoenaed to testify. He continued to refuse, was held in contempt, and had his sentence increased without mitigation to April 7, 2008.

On March 3, 2008 Kromberg ordered Al-Arian before still another March 19 grand jury, three weeks before his scheduled release and deportation. On the same day, Al-Arian began a hunger strike against the government’s continued harassment. It’s his third one but is life-threatening for a man in his condition. He’s diabetic and needs regular sustenance to avoid serious health problems. His January through March, 2007 strike depleted one-fourth of his body weight, gravely harmed him, and ended only at the urging of his family.

He’s now 20 days into his latest fast, lost 30 pounds, is weakening, and his life is endangered. On March 12, Al-Arian was transferred to the Butner, North Carolina medical facility where treatment is poor, the staff indifferent, and in Al-Arian’s case hostile to a designated enemy of the state. On March 18, he was returned to Warsaw, Virginia’s Northern Neck Regional jail ahead of his third grand jury appearance. Again, he refused to testify, so he’ll likely face new contempt charges and continued confinement.

George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley heads up Al-Arian’s legal team. On March 3, he released the following statement:

“On behalf of Mr. Olson and Mr. Meitl and the entire legal team, (we are greatly disappointed by) the Justice Department(‘s) continu(ing)….effort to mete out punishment that it could not secure from a jury. Having lost (its) case (it’s) openly sought to extend (Al-Arian’s) confinement by daisy-chaining grand juries. As in other cases, the government has given Dr. Al-Arian the choice of an obvious perjury trap or a contempt sanction. (Either way assures his imprisonment. This) choice….is obnoxious to our legal system and contrary to any standard of decency. The mistreatment of Dr. Al-Arian remains an international symbol of how the Bush Administration has discarded fundamental principles of fairness in a blind pursuit of retribution against this political activist. We stand committed to fighting this great injustice and hopefully reuniting Dr. Al-Arian with his family and friends.”

In the meantime, his long ordeal continues at a time lawlessness prevails over justice, and we’re all Sami-Al-Arians in America’s “war on terrorism.”

Global Research Associate Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his web site at and listen to The Global Research News Hour on Mondays from 11AM to 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests.

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries:
© Copyright Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is:


Political Prisoners/Sami al-Arian/Suzi Hazahza

Democracy Now’s Year In Review (videos)

Dandelion Salad

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2007 in Review: Power, Politics and Resistance Pt. 1

Today, part one of our special look back at 2007, including Saddam Hussein’s execution, the U.S. bombing of Somalia, the Appeal for Redress, Scooter Libby’s convicton, the firing of Don Imus, the Virginia Tech massacre, the rise of Blackwater, the death of Molly Ivins and Kurt Vonnegut, Michael Moore and “Sicko”, Greg Palast and Rep. Conyers on vulture funds, the Hamas-Fatah split in the Palestinian territories, the U.S. Social Forum and more.

Featuring the Voices of:

Nancy Pelosi, Cindy Sheehan
President Bush, Sgt. Ronn Cantu, Leslie Cagan
Sen. Patrick Leahy, Zanku Armenian
Molly Ivins, Sami Al-Arian, Laila Al-Arian
Greg Palast, Rep. John Conyers, Salim Lone
Patrick Fitzgerald, Murray Waas
Dennis Kucinich, Jeremy Scahill, Don Imus
Rev. Al Sharpton, Bill McKibben, Louise Melling
Alberto Gonzales, Sen. Dianne Feinstein,
Seymour Hersh, Katrina Vanden Heuvel,
Ernesto Arce, Paul Rusesabegina, Don Cheadle
Sen. Daniel Akaka, General John Batiste
Majid and 9 yr old son Kevan
Ricardo Alarcon, Tony Blair, Joan Baez
Tariq Ali, Studs Terkel, Ted Shaw, Mona El-Farra
Rocky Anderson, Michael Moore, Ali Abinumah
Vanessa Redgrave, Dennis Brutus, and more

Added: December 31, 2007

The American Police State By Chris Hedges

Dandelion Salad

By Chris Hedges
Oct. 29, 2007

A Dallas jury, a week ago, deadlocked in its deliberations and caused a mistrial in the government case against this country’s largest Islamic charity. The action raises a defiant fist on the sinking ship of American democracy.

Continue reading