July 26, 2007, - 4:12 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
For the last three years, I’ve been writing about the U.S. Department of “Justice”‘s war on Richard Convertino, both on this site and in the New York Post. It’s a textbook case in why we are losing the domestic war on terror.
We’re persecuting our best and most courageous citizens who are fighting the war on terror, instead of persecuting the terrorists and their supporters. Rick Convertino learned that the hard way.
Prosecuting the first federal jury trial against terrorists after 9/11, then-Assistant U.S. Attorney Convertino spent days and nights in his office preparing to try members of the Detroit Al-Qaeda cell. They planned to blow up a military base in Turkey, Incirlik, from which U.S. and Israeli military planes took off. The terrorists–living in a house on Norman Street in Detroit–had diagrams of the planes and their exact order for take-off. They also planned attacks on various U.S. tourist sites, such as Las Vegas, and a military hospital in Jordan. One of their associates, Syrian Nabil Al-Marabh, was on the FBI most wanted list and was a right-hand man of Osama Bin Laden.
And while the terrorists had written plans and took steps to carry them out–and while the Justice Department touted the case to the press–Justice offered Convertino little help and breathed down his neck every step of the way. He was on his own with one FBI agent and no support for a major terrorism trial. And that was by design. Convertino’s then-boss, U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Collins, had political ambitions and was courting the very Islamic community and institutions who’d provided tax-funded commercial driving lessons to the terrorists. He couldn’t afford for Convertino to win and even helped secure witness testimony from terrorist Omar Abdel-Fatah Shishani to try to sabotage Convertino’s case.
But with all the odds against him, Convertino–who successfully prosecuted mafiosi, drug kingpins, and even BCCI fraudsters–won convictions against the Detroit terrorists who worked for SkyChef and had access to planes at Detroit Metro Airport.
With victory comes spoils, and Convertino was invited to testify before the Senate Finance Committee by then Chairman Charles Grassley. But Collins wanted to be the one to get the glory. Grassley said no dice. He wanted Convertino and subpoenaed him to appear before the Senate Comittee.
Collins became incensed, and saw an opportunity to both please his Muslim cronies in Detroit and Dearbornistan and a way to get Convertino. He pulled Convertino from the appeal of the case, and when Convertino was away, sent attorneys to search his office for material to overturn the verdicts against these Al-Qaeda terrorists.
Collins and his pet attorney, Eric Strauss, found what he was looking for, however flimsy and non-exculpatory, and sent it to the terrorists’ attorneys with a veiled suggestion that they try to overturn the case. Then they did everything they could to help the terrorists’ lawyers, persecuting Convertino every step of the way. Eventually, the Justice Department–with now-Deputy Attorney General Craig Morford taking the lead–itself made a motion to overturn the terrorism convictions.
Then, the Department of Justice indicted Convertino on the flimsiest of cases. Even Associated Press has reported on the baselessness of the charges and how Convertino was right that these were terorists. Recently, Convertino filed a 46-page motion asking that this witch-hunt finally end, which was just unsealed. A devout Catholic, Rick Convertino has five children and a wife to support, and the Justice Department is making sure that he pays dearly, every step of the way, for daring to convict Al-Qaeda terrorists bent on destroying America.
I hope the Convertino motion is granted by Federal Judge Arthur Tarnower. The case is empty and baseless, and the epitome of the vengeance by government bureaucrats run amok. The government even made a sweetheart deal with a drug kingpin to help free the terrorists and “get” Convertino.
We will NEVER defeat terrorism, so long as we continue to destroy our brave citizen soldiers, like Rick Convertino, who fight against all odds against America’s enemies on our shores and for America’s survival. Promoting the Islamist butt-kissers who help in the persecution–as in promoting Craig Morford to Deputy Attorney General–only weakens America’s resolve.
Well past time for the government to drop its ridiculous non-case against Rick Convertion. It’s a waste of taxpayer money that should be used prosecuting real criminals and terrorists. And it’s a travesty.
Please contribute to the Richard Convertino Legal Defense Fund and visit the Convertino website.
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