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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
Acreage of a Christian nudist colony under development in Florida:
Florida’s wildlife officials decided to remove the manatee, which has a mild taste that readily adapts to recipes for beef, from the state’s endangered-species list.
A 64-year-old mother and her 44-year-old son were arrested for running a gang that stole more than $100,000 worth of toothbrushes from Publix, Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS stores in Florida.
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“He could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein — literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.”