December 8, 2005, - 6:50 am

Desperate But Not Serious: Why Terrorist Al-Arian Walked

By Debbie Schlussel
My friend, Michael Eisenstadt, dedicated his life, among other things, to seeing terrorist leader Sami Al-Arian face justice.
In September, Mike, spokesman for Tampa’s Jewish community, died of lung cancer. While his passing is a source of great sadness, I’m glad Mike didn’t get to see Al-Arian’s acquittal, Tuesday.
It was a sad day in America, but not one that was unexpected. At least by me. Everyone predicted that the jury would throw the book at the man who was a founder of terrorist group Islamic Jihad, and ran its worldwide headquarters from his University of South Florida offices.
But not me.

alarianbush.jpg

The Anti-Nuremberg Trial:

Laura and George Bush and “Acquitted” Terrorist Al-Arian Clan

I followed the trial and predicted all along (here and here) that Sami Al-Arian and his three co-defendants would walk. Why? Because our Justice Department, while desperate for victories, is really not serious about the War on Terror. In fact, more important to Gonzalez and Company (and before that, Ashcroft and Company) is outreach to radical Islamic individuals and groups that support terrorists like Al-Arian and prosecution of anything they perceive as “hate crimes” against those Muslims.


One need only look at the Justice Department record of fighting terrorism in court. It’s a complete failure.
It’s not just this case, blown big-time by Cherie Krigsman and other prosecutors on the prosecution team, but a host of other high profile case that were either flat-out lost or botched beyond belief.
Take the Sami Omar Al-Hussayen. A Saudi graduate student living in Boise, Idaho, he used his computer expertise to set up websites for Islamic terrorist groups and help them recruit members and financial donors. The evidence was pretty clear. One of the sites urged followers to use planes as weapons, flying them into American buildings. And that was BEFORE 9/11. And did I mention, he was here illegally?
Yet, the Justice Department–with all resources at its disposal–managed to lose. Al-Hussayen was acquitted.
Then, there is the Detroit Al-Qaeda terror cell trial. It was the first major jury terror trial after 9/11. The four men he was trying lived in Detroit house they shared with Nabil Al-Marabh, a Bin Laden associate who was among the FBI’s 25 most wanted. They had over 100 extremist jihadi tapes urging the murder of Americans, Christians, and Jews. They also took videotape of major American sites and tourist attractions with girls singing Al-Qaeda songs in the background of the tapes. They had diagrams of American and Israeli F-16 and AWACS planes and their order of take-off from the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey.
Sounds like a slam-dunk, right? Well, not exactly.
Prosecutor Richard Convertino’s superiors at the Justice Department repeatedly, deliberately put obstacles in his way at every turn. His own boss, then-U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Collins, didn’t want Convertino to win this case, let alone pursue it. The men had ties to Detroit’s Islamic community, whom the ambitious Collins was aggressively courting, ad absurdum.
The accused terrorists received thousands of dollars in federal job training money from a major Detroit Arab welfare agency, dominated by Muslims. The “job training” consisted of commercial driving lessons and attempts to get hazardous materials hauling certificates–exactly what an Al-Qaeda operative wanting to blow things up would have on his Ramadan gift wish list. Collins could not afford to see these men convicted because it would embarrass the Islamic community and–especially–himself.
So when Convertino won terror convictions against the Detroit terror cell, Collins and the Justice Department higher-ups, like then-Assistant Attorney General James Comey and Justice Department official Barry Sabin set to get the convictions overturned. They began a witch-hunt investigation and searched Convertino’s office, looking for ways to get his successful verdict against terrorists overturned. They also set out to destroy Convertino’s reputation in a campaign of whispers in cooperation with the case’s judge, Gerald Rosen and a fabricating Detroit News reporter.
Since then, Detroit’s new U.S. Attorney, Stephen Murphy III, has made it his priority to prosecute not terrorism, but trumped up “hate crimes” against Detroit area Muslims.
Remember, this is OUR Justice Department. But it seems like someone else’s. Someone who prays at an extremist mosque and wants to destroy America.
Then, there is the much touted Krigsman and other “prosecutors” in the Al-Arian trial. They could have taken a few lessons from Convertino. He had as much evidence as she did in her trial. But he knew how to trim the fat from the meat. The Al-Arian “prosecutors” took over five months to put on her case–five months in which they threw in every piece of evidence no matter how weak, causing jurors’ eyes to repeatedly glaze over. A Tampa TV reporter I know told me that he and other reporters were so bored, they stayed awake by betting on which juror would fall asleep next.
Clearly, “prosecutors” were out of touch with the jury and didn’t know what they were doing. They had strong evidence, including a videotape of Al-Arian at the Cleveland Mosque–at which he was proudly identified as the chief of “armed operations” for Islamic Jihad and he and the Cleveland Mosque imam, Fawaz Abu Damra, call for violent jihad and death to America, Christians, and Jews. They had evidence of money transfers, a letter to Kuwait in which Al-Arian speaks of a merger with “the brothers in HAMAS” which is almost complete, a speech in which Al-Arian calls for a river of gushing blood. The prosecution’s case should have taken a month to put on, but instead they took more than five–confusing the jury with a myriad of weak evidence that ended up overwhelming the strong stuff.
Then, there is the judge. Federal Judge James S. Moody, a Clinton appointee, is the Dancing Judge Ito of terror trials. Caught up in the glamour of intense media coverage, he used the trial to showcase his bad nightclub-style comedy act, just like Judge Rosen in the Detroit terror trial. When a female attorney objected to the inclusion of a certain male juror, he joked that he would get the attorney his phone number after the trial. When one federal prosecutor wrapped up cross-examination on a witness, saying “And finally,” Moody interrupted with, “You’re teasing us, right?” Not the kind of guy you want overseeing a serious terror trial.
If anything is an argument for treating terrorists as a national security problem, instead of a legal one in the courts, this is it. But the judge, jury, and prosecutors are exemplary of America’s psyche, today. We’ve fallen asleep again, forgotten 9/11, and don’t take Islamic terrorism very seriously.
Contrast that with the brave men of yesteryear. Sixty years ago, the Nuremberg trials of Germany’s most heinous war criminals began. “The were evil men, and what they did was our task to expose,” American Nuremberg prosecutor Whitney Harris, now 93, remembers. “And we did get the evidence and we were able to do so.” Twelve of the 21 men on trial were sentenced to death, six received tough prison terms, and only three were acquitted.
Back then, most Americans knew what we were fighting, had the resolve to do it, and we beat the Nazis. Today, we’re just too busy with XBox 360 to notice–or give a damn.

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7 Responses

I read these things and don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or what. I know the government is a huge monstrosity, but if Debbie notices and reports on these things why can’t one single person in power get a grip?
If this is the norm, let’s pull out the troops today. No use them fighting in harms way when the war is being fought and lost here at home.

Jeff_W on December 8, 2005 at 9:03 am

When Krigsman wrapped up cross-examination on a witness, saying “And finally,” Moody interrupted with, “You’re teasing us, right?”.
Thats pretty outrageous! Not a surprise though because most judges in America are incompetent.
It seems to me the prosecutor had only circumstantial evidence in this case to convict Arian. In such cases, the prosecutor needs to be cognizant of the fact that throwing in too many ‘circumstances’ in the circle of circumstantial evidence will make it an incomplete circle. The prosecutor by throwing in too many things definitely blew the case.
I must say that its pretty far-fetched to suggest that the Justice Department under Asscroft and now Gonzalez is more interested in appeasing people who want to do harm to the US, then in prosecuting those people. Is there any evidence for that ?
I heard on O’Reilly last night that the parent of one of the victims of Islamic Jihad is going to bring a civil law suit against Arian. Maybe the lower burden of proof required in a civil trial would be enough to prove that Arian was guilty.

lawman on December 8, 2005 at 10:31 am

Abdul,
The judge presiding over this case is a Clinton appointee – I posted extensively about him on an earlier thread. I even posted the excerpt of what he said, “And finally,” Moody interrupted with, “You’re teasing us, right?” So, Abdul, you’re not posting anything new.
As for your lame comment about, “Thats pretty outrageous! Not a surprise though because most judges in America are incompetent.” I disagree. Only America-hating LIBERAL judges appointed by other America-hating LIBERAL presidents are incompetent.
As for your Monday-morning quarterback analysis of the case – I find it laughable. Are you a former prosecutor? LMFAO!
As for your other lame comment about how Debbie’s other posts (posts in which she refutes your lame propaganda regarding how terrorists organizations, such as HAMAS, are great humanitarian groups) are indefensible, well, she’s already documented in detail how the Justice department is more interested in prosecuting cases against people who e-mail threatening statements to Muslim groups than vigorously pursuing terrorists.
You’re always bringing into this argument that the only way this savage would be found guilty is if they lower the burden of proof. What you’re really saying is that this guy is innocent and the only way to find him guilty is to lower the bar so low that you’d HAVE to find him guilty. You’re energetic advocacy of this savage is so great that you should’ve been on his defense team.
I AM a big fan of “reasonable doubt”, just as I was during the O.J. Simpson, Robert Blake, and Michael Jackson trials. However, when it comes to a Muslim being tried in the Land of the Infidels, the threshold of reasonable doubt for fellow Muslims couldn’t be raised high enough.
If Yasser Arafat was tried in the U.S. as a terrorist who murdered innocent Americans (he did murder innocent Americans) and you were on the jury, you would vote to acquit because;
A. You agree with his/your cause (just as you agree with this savage who was found not guilty on some counts),
B. Arafat is not being tried in a Muslim court under Sharia Law.
You see, Abdul, as you know, Islam calls for all Mohammedans to be tried under Sharia Law. Islam recognizes no other law other than Sharia – so no matter what verdict the jury came up with, you would still find this savage not guilty of his crimes. Sure, you would equivocate, and blow smoke about moral relativism, but it’s all typical Muslim double-talk. That’s what all Muslims are good at when defending the indefensible..just what you’re doing here.
I just hope you’re never selected to serve on a jury in which a Muslim is tried on terrorism charges – your religion would dictate that you acquit him because he’s doing allah’s work (read the Qur’ an).

Thee_Bruno on December 8, 2005 at 4:30 pm

Thee_Bruno,
You stated “she’s already documented in detail how the Justice department is more interested in prosecuting cases against people who e-mail threatening statements to Muslim groups than vigorously pursuing terrorists”.
So are you now suggesting that a CONSERVATIVE Justice Department under Asscroft and Gonzalez are soft on the terrorists (gasp!).
I guess we need a Democrat led Justice Department so they stop playing ball with the terrorists as two successive conservative led justice deptt under asscroft and gonzalez have dropped the ball on terrorism or so you say.
Affectionately yours,
Abdul

lawman on December 8, 2005 at 5:08 pm

Oh! How I rue the day when a tough minded Janet Reno who put away terrorists like Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and Ramzi Yousef was replaced by the terrorist sympathizer and a generally incompetent buffoon Asscroft and now Gonzalez who have dropped the ball on Sami Al-Arian, the Lackawanna Six, Sami Omar Al-Hussayen and the Detroit Al-Qaeda terror cell trial.
Can we please get some patriotism and competence back in the Justice Deparment!
I guess we will have to wait till 2008 before we can finally get a Justice Department which will be serious about prosecuting terrorists.

lawman on December 8, 2005 at 5:19 pm

Lets not forget to add the ill-fated Federal prosecution of International Drive (Orlando, FL.)magnate and Palestinian philanthropist Jesse Maali(now deceased)and cohorts for numerous
Federal violations (tax evasion, money laundering, immigration improprieties, and the
funding of terrorist organizations etc.). In fact it would appear the only consistency with the Federal Court system here in Florida is the
inability to achieve a conviction…

CFL Jim on December 8, 2005 at 6:41 pm

“….. why can’t one single person in power get a grip?”
Could it be the same reason that no one in Congress or the Senate supports term limits? The power is absolutely intoxicating.

meesterbig on December 11, 2005 at 10:59 am

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