May 2, 2006
Ages ago (two weeks), we noted in Bride of "Glad to See the Back of Him" that Sami al-Arian had cut a deal: he would plead guilty to a count of conspiracy to aid and abet a terrorist organization (Palestinian Islamic Jihad, PIJ), admit to a number of facts that he has been lying about for years... and that he serve at least some jail time before being shown the door.
After quoting the New York Sun's wretched website that al-Arian was to receive a sentence of "between 46 and 57 months incarceration on one count of conspiracy to assist a group or individual on a federal government terrorist list," we noted:
Since al-Arian has already been in custody without bail for 38 months, he should serve between eight and nineteen more; but with "a reduction for 'good time,'" which I think is like time off for good behavior, he may get an additional six months off. The earliest he could be released is June, but he might be held longer, depending on the actual sentence imposed.
Well it seems to have flown below most everybody's radar, what with the "just say No to gringos" million man march yesterday... but in fact, al-Arian just got the bad news. The judge -- who evidently thinks conspiring with terrorist groups is actually somewhat worse than robbing a liquor store, has maxed out poor Sami:
U.S. District Judge James Moody sentenced al-Arian to the maximum 57 months in prison but gave him credit for 38 months he has already served. He will have to serve the balance, 19 months, before being deported, prosecutors said.
Even if Sami al-Arian can get those six months off for being a model terrorist, he will still have to serve more than another year behind bars before being eligible to be deported... "where to" is yet to be determined.
Naturally, Reuters spends much of the article mocking the very idea that Sami al-Arian might, in fact, be guilty:
The case against al-Arian was considered a key test of the U.S. government's surveillance powers, which were strengthened by the Patriot Act following the September 11 attacks on the United States. The case was built on thousands of hours of wiretapped phone calls and intercepted e-mails gathered over a decade.
Al-Arian was acquitted on eight of the 17 charges against him last December after a six-month trial with three co-defendants....
Al-Arian's plea is the first guilty verdict federal prosecutors have gotten from the 53 charges against the four defendants in the original indictment.
Co-defendants Sameeh Hammoudeh and Ghassan Ballut were found not guilty on all 36 charges against them and Hatem Fariz was acquitted on 25 of his 33 charges.
But they can't quite explain away his guilty plea. And if, in fact, al-Arian is guilty (as he confesses he is), and if his admissions of various facts are accurate and correct... then evidently the very trial at which he was acquitted of half the charges was a travesty of justice.
Clearly -- to me, at least -- the government's hands were tied by the inability to introduce highly classified evidence at the trial... because it would have to be shown to Sami al-Arian and his mouthpiece, which was simply too great a security risk.
Which of course leads us right back to the inability of our civilian criminal courts to handle terrorism cases. This is why George W. Bush was right and John F. Kerry was wrong, wrong, wrong: criminal prosecution is a useful tool in the war against jihadist terrorism, but it can never be the primary method -- because the very rights we defend in our court procedure are systematically exploited by terrorists, just as they promised they would do.
Judge James S. Moody, jr. gets it:
In his ruling, Moody harshly criticized al-Arian for doing nothing to stop bombings perpetrated by Islamic Jihad.
"You lifted not one finger. To the contrary, you laughed when you heard of the bombings," he said....
"You are a master manipulator. The evidence is clear in this case. You were a leader of the PIJ."
Moody was actually appointed by Bill Clinton (confirmed in 2000 by the Republican Senate), but he still gets it. Why can't other liberals? What is their mental roadblock?
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, May 2, 2006, at the time of 4:53 AM
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The following hissed in response by: Cowgirl
How refreshing! Imagine a judge actually applying the law to the facts.
The above hissed in response by: Cowgirl at May 2, 2006 6:23 AM
The following hissed in response by: Big D
Their mental roadblock? It is George W. Bush and the 2000 election. Everything since then is just a blur. They lost their "freedom" that day, and they want it back.
Why do liberals consistently side with Islamic terrorists? Because liberals always love and respect totalitarians. They believe in freedom, but not the sort we understand. It is a more narcissistic version. To them the ultimate expression of freedom is to make others do what they want. In their minds the absolute ruler is the freest man of all, since he can do whatever he desires including steal and kill. They wish to be free of all restraints, they want to be that ruler.
Of course narcissists are commonly cowards, so that may also explain part of it.
The following hissed in response by: Roy Lofquist
I do not think that you can draw an inference of guilt from the plea. The government managed to get a no-verdict on 9 of the 17 counts. Situation: plead guilty and get a max of 12 months more confinement or go to trial on the 9. Two more years of confinement and if the government wins a no verdict on even one count it's rinse and repeat. Marquis of Queensbury rules? No way. Justice? Probably.
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