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When Sami Al-Arian was arrested in 2003, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft declared a major victory in the “war against terrorism.” Two years later, after the Justice Department had spent an estimated $50 million prosecuting al-Arian, a Florida jury rejected charges that Al-Arian and three co-defendants had financed and promoted Middle East terrorism.
Al-Arian later pled guilty to a single lesser charge, saying he did so to bring the case to a close. That was supposed to lead to his deportation, but Al-Arian is still in jail. (He began a hunger strike a few days ago.) Jonathan Turley, Al-Arian’s lawyer, says that the Justice Department is seeking “to mete out punishment that it could not secure from a jury.”
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Estimated cost of the environmental damage caused each year by the world’s 3,000 largest companies:
Two thirds of U.S. teenagers experience uncontrollable rage.
Beekeepers began extracting 1 million honeybees living beneath the siding of a house in New York State.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”