October 28, 2005, - 5:02 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
More than four years ago, I was among the first to write about Sami Al-Arian, the University of South Florida Professor who founded Islamic Jihad and headed it up from his university office. I’d written about Al-Arian even before 9/11, but the only interest in him came after the attacks, when people became interested in my series of columns about him.
I appeared on FOX News Channel’s “O’Reilly Factor” and countless other media outlets. Since then, many also-ran writers have jumped on the bandwagon and ripped off my work (and even this photo I had of Al-Arian with President Bush).
Yesterday, Al-Arian’s defense lawyer rested without presenting a case in the ongoing trial against him. Speculation is that he didn’t have to. After months and months of testimony, media reports say jurors eyes are glazing over daily. Clearly, prosecutors bored them and didn’t stick to the meat of the case against Al-Arian. It will be a travesty of justice if Al-Arian walks. He is responsible for the murder of many civilians, including the bus-bombing murder of American college student Alisa Flatow.
But while it will be a travesty, if Al-Arian walks, it will be no surprise. The Justice Department has a terrible record post-9/11 of prosecuting terrorists, losing most major cases. It’s as if they really want to lose and are just putting on a show for the post-9/11 audience who pays their salary, but whom they secretly disdain. The one terrific victory, in which prosecutor Richard Convertino obtained a guilty verdict against terrorists, Justice Department officials and a questionable judge did whatever they could to overturn the verdict and ruin Convertino.
Remember this, if an when Al-Arian walks–a very serious and sad possibility.
Tags: Al-Arian Walk Watch, Alisa Flatow, Bush, countless other media outlets, Debbie Schlussel More, defense lawyer, Department of Justice, Florida Professor, founder, George Bush, Islamic Jihad, Laura Bush, May Go Free By Debbie, media reports, News Channel, President, Professor, prosecutor, questionable judge, Richard Convertino, Sami Al-Arian, terrorist, University of South Florida