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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
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”