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The Road Map to Despotism

Posted on Feb 11, 2007
Sami Al-Arian

By Chris Hedges

Editor’s note: Despite spending an estimated $80 million, the government was unable to prove that Dr. Sami Al-Arian was a terrorist, yet he remains in prison and his sentence will likely be extended. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges warns that the abusive imprisonment of this nonviolent Palestinian dissenter does not bode well for the rest of us.

Professor Sami Al-Arian, whose persecution and show trial are parts of a long string of egregious acts of injustice perpetrated by the Bush administration, has been on a hunger strike since Jan. 22 to protest the prolongation of his imprisonment.

Al-Arian’s travels through the halls of American justice, and now the subterranean corridors of the nation’s Stygian prison system, reads like a bad rip-off of Kafka. Al-Arian was acquitted on eight of the 17 counts against him by a Florida jury, which deadlocked on the rest. He agreed to plead guilty to one of the remaining charges four months later in exchange for being released and deported. The judge gave Al-Arian as much prison time as possible under a plea deal—57 months at his sentencing. He was set to be released this April, something that now appears unlikely.

The trial was a stinging rebuke to the Bush administration’s drive to turn the American judicial system into kangaroo courts. Over the six-month trial a parade of 80 witnesses, including 21 from Israel, attempted to brand the Florida professor as a terrorist. The government submitted thousands of documents, phone interceptions and physical surveillance culled from 12 years of investigations. The trial cost taxpayers an estimated $80 million. The 94 charges against Al-Arian and his co-defendants resulted in no convictions. But because Al-Arian has twice refused to testify before a grand jury in Virginia in a case involving a Muslim think tank, he has now been charged with contempt of court. The date of his release could be extended by as much as 18 months.

Al-Arian, who is a diabetic, began a hunger strike in response.


Square, Site wide

“I believe that freedom and human dignity are more precious than life itself,” he said in a telephone interview from Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Va. “In, essence I am taking a principled stand that I am willing to endure whatever it takes to win my freedom.

“I am still OK,” he said. “I have lost 26 pounds by today. It’s definitely not easy, but I am determined to continue. It’s not a decision you make haphazardly or something that you take lightly. In the end, you have to make difficult decisions because of the larger cause. I drink four large cups of water a day, about 12 ounces each.”

Dr. Al-Arian said he will remain on a hunger strike until the government ends its campaign against him and allows him to return to his wife and children.

The case and continued harassment sets a dangerous precedent for American Muslims, who since 9/11 have been monitored, detained and deported in large numbers.  But it bodes ill for the rest of us as well. The new legislation suspending habeas corpus and creating the possibility of legally stripping U.S. citizens of their right to a fair and timely trial is a taste of what awaits us all should we enter a period of instability or national crisis. In many ways the assault against Al-Arian is an assault against the judicial system that lies like a barrier between us and despotism. 

“Much of the government’s evidence against me were speeches I gave, lectures I presented, articles I wrote, magazines I edited, books I owned, conferences I convened, rallies I attended, interviews I conducted, news I heard and websites no one accessed…In one instance, the evidence consisted of a conversation that one of my co-defendants had with me in his dream,” he said. “It was reminiscent of the thought crime of Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four.’ The scary part was not that these were offered into evidence, but that a federal judge admitted them. That’s why I am so proud of the jury, who acted as the free people that they were and saw through Big Brother’s tactics.

  “I’ve been to nine prisons in nine months,” he explained. “I spent the first 23 months in Coleman Federal Penitentiary, where the conditions were Guantanamo-plus, that is they were like those of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay ‘plus’ one phone call a month and visits with my family behind glass.  I was in a nine-foot-by-eight-foot cell, where I was held under 23-hour lockdown. During the first few months, they wouldn’t even allow me to exercise unless I was strip-searched, which I refused to submit to, so I was inside 24 hours. During the first month, I was allowed only one 15-minute phone call, and for six months after that I was not allowed to make any calls.

“I was shackled and handcuffed every single time I left my cell for any reason,” he said. “When I needed to take my legal papers for meetings with my attorney, the guards would not carry them for me, even though they did for other prisoners. Though I was shackled, they forced me to carry them on my back, as I was bent over. I had to walk like that for half a mile. I should also mention the use of fire alarms in trying to disrupt life. In the Special Housing Unit [SHU], a punitive section of the prison where I was the only pretrial detainee, alarms and emergency sirens would go off 15 to 20 times every single day, at 12 a.m., 2 p.m., any time of the day. It was a deafening noise that would continue for five to 10 minutes. It was clearly deliberate. In the SHU, commissary was almost nonexistent. All they offered was potato chips, whereas in the general compound everything was available. The SHU was designed for disciplinary purposes, not for housing a pretrial detainee.

“Not only did they place me in the SHU, but they imposed additional restrictions on me,” he went on. “For instance, everybody else was granted contact visits, while I had to see my family behind glass. They also insisted on strip-searching me before and after these behind-the-glass visits. In May 2003, my wife drove two hours to see me, but they denied her the visit when I would not submit to a strip search.”

Al-Arian is a Palestinian. The injustice meted out to him in America is writ large in the Middle East. He has no passport, no home, no country. He must live on the charity of others, stateless, as most Palestinians are, and without the rights of the citizens around him. He once thought America would be his home.  He was, before this charade, in the process of gaining citizenship. All this is over. In George Bush’s America there is no place for activists or dissidents. And when they finish with those on the margins of our society they will turn, if we let them, on the rest of us.

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By guest, February 14, 2009 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment
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Another is Carrol O’Neal about 50 years old dark skinned black female. O’Neal is her maiden name but she might go under the named she married under.She is in Chicago or Illinois. She also has a big influence on America and big corporations and governments. She believes people DON’T know and that they all need to LEARN. She is recently divorced and might use her married name. Supposedly she was married to a policeman in Chicago who is still protecting Carrol O’Neal’s wrongdoings and covering up her crimes.  He is wrong for doing that too. She got their huge brick house at the divorce and probably child support and alimony too.  She believes that only she and all computer programmers KNOW it all.  She believes she is the most ORGANIZED and that others have no idea. She believes people are full of excuses for each other. She calls every one else in the world SLOW and she says they cannot think but only she can and that she KNOWS.  She feels people NEED to KNOW, because they don’t know.  She is a Computer Programmer (though not very astute at it). She is said to have a bad ATTITUDE and it rubs off on others.Some people recall that being around Carrol O’Neal is a real headache.  They begin to get very slow at the mind, brain dead, tired, out of breath, and incompetent. They said they begin to feel down about their self and the world and they fell like they can’t accomplish anything especially after she starts calling you ignorant and telling you that you DON’T KNOW and NEED TO LEARN.  She tells people they don’t pay attention. Then Carrol starts to say she is better and that she dresses better and has more and knows more and wants the world to continue to look up to her. She feels she is better than others just because she did he laundry at the laundry matt when she was a teenager and because she had a leather coat to wear to school. Carrol is known to create problems with other people and destroy their relationships (marriages and dating).  She has gotten many people fired from their job they say.

American lets correct these people at the end of 2008 and in 2009. Let’s aim to go up above them to strive for higher goals that their level of life. Their views should not control the quality of our lives. Lets get them down and correct these wrong attitudes.  Let’s not let their obscure psychology ruin America. Lets stop the corrupt mental terriorism of these and other people working with them.  If people were using psychology to benefit the people advantageously they would have many websites to give free advice family counseling, relationship counseling and help to answer many peoples questions. They would be positive and not give people headaches. Even ask Ann Landers did better with her advice column in Chicago.  She did not try to destroy peoples thinking and brains and and try to make them hurt each other and cause abuse.  This is destructive psychology at it’s worst.  What if the tax man tried to destroy peoples tax return and try to make everybody owe the IRS money? No tax men don’t do this. But why are these people who studied psychology and randomly use it try to destroy and insult others with it? Let’s put a halt to Sherry Joe Sims, Carrol O’Neal and other people like them who are looked up to so highy with bizzare destructive ATTITUDES-using psychology as their basis.  The basis in America is complimentary improvement and empowerment not mental destruction of America.
America needs to be at its best and mind healthy and a good attitude.
Please keep my name confidential.  That’s BAD PROGRAMMING. We should only sound like simple everyday cool people and not terriorizing people with abusive psychological and social terminology that insults nice Christian people and gives them bad labels in their life.Is it the Universities that are teaching abusive psychology? If so lets stop the Universities from doing this. 
Please keep my name, IP address, and any information about me confidential.

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By Skruff, February 21, 2007 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment
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Comment #54625 by Deborah on 2/20 at 11:17 pm

Aryan is far from the blonde blue stereotype that Germans left us;

Aryan (/eərjən/ or /ɑːrjən/) is an English language word derived from the Sanskrit and Iranian terms ārya-, the extended form aryāna-, ari- and/or arya- (Sanskrit: आर्य, Persian: آریا). Beyond its use as the ethnic self-designation of the Proto-Indo-Iranians, the meaning “noble/spiritual one” has been attached to it in Sanskrit and Persian. In linguistics, it is sometimes still used in reference to the Indo-Iranian language family, but it is primarily restricted to the compound Indo-Aryan, the Indic subgroup of the Indo-Iranian branch.

Unfortunately U.S. Folks lack a classical education

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By Deborah, February 20, 2007 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment
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#Comment #53378 by Armadeus on 2/13 at 12:49 pm

I come to this site for entertainment because the spin you guys put on facts is just that funny.
This guy funnels money into terror organizations of whom i have inside data.
Carry own - Semper Fi
Been there done that , and seen for myself.

When you hide behind an anonymous web handle and say stuff like this, can you really blame anyone for laughing at you in turn?  It boils down to this - you can’t prove that you have proof.  In essence, you continue a mindless allegation that predicates itself on the suppression of free speech.  Isn’t that what you fought for, Mr. Marine?  Didn’t you join the service to fight for our rights, including the right for every American - and this man was trying to become one - to have the same right as you to say what you please, when you please to say it?

I don’t agree with racist thought of any stripe.  I don’t agree with what Armandeus has said, and not being him I can have no knowledge of the motivation for saying it.  But the fact remains that in a democracy he does have the right to say it whether I like it or not - and I have to respect that or I cannot honestly stand up and say that I support a democratic society.  So does Mr. al-Arian.  And so does Bush.

By the way, for anyone who takes seriously any of the posted links calling the defendant “Sammy the Aryan,” may I offer a brief history lesson?  An Aryan, by the Nazi definition which remains today’s standard for the word, is blond-haired, blue-eyed, and of a specific genetic descent.  Sami al-Arian, a Palestinian with brown eyes and dark hair, fits none of these.  Consider how deeply this country is tied into right-wing Israeli politics and the rationalization for such a mindless knee-jerk label off of his surname is obvious.  I believe a rather unfortunate name singled him out for special attention in all arenas.  As to the rest, as the jury said, there was no evidence.

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By mlb, February 14, 2007 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment
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The following comes from the February 7,2007 edition of Democracy Now!

When one of the jurors in Al-Arian’s case was asked after the trial,  “How did you—why did you fail to convict this guy?”, the juror’s response was “There was no evidence.”

Not weak evidence, unconvincing evidence, or circumstantial evidence: NO EVIDENCE.

Yet US District Judge James Moody, said the following to Al-Arian: “You are a master manipulator. The evidence is clear in this case: you were a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”

This is a grotesque miscarriage of justice.  Moody is corrupt and should be dismissed. There’s something behind this and it smells like Likudniks to me.


Richard Wallace, we are not a Judeo-Christian country.  Separation of Church and State is one of the basic principles on which our country was founded and which we have lived by for over 200 years.  Please give a little thought to why the authors of our Constitution chose to set up our country that way.

I am of Anglo-Saxon extraction, and American from many generations back, but I am neither a Christian nor a Jew, and you are way out of line telling me, Sami Al-Arian, or anyone else that we don’t belong in America because we don’t agree with your religious beliefs. 

Sami Al-Arian’s America IS my America, and in our America, “freedom and human dignity are more precious than life itself.”, as Dr. Al-Arian so beautifully put it.

In our America, in Ben Franklin’s America, those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither, and I would add to B.F.‘s comment that those who do sacrifice liberty for the promise of security generally end up with neither - just what we’ve gotten from George W. Bush.

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By Jon B, February 14, 2007 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment
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It took a pro bono team of lawyers to successfully argued the case. The presiding judge blasted the heck out of prosecution and apologized on behalf of the US of A. Then it took Bob Sheer to tell the tale.

If you want real moral compass, stick around Truthdig.

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By Serge Oberoi, February 14, 2007 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment
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JUSTICE WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS: As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.

Is the Great U.S. of A losing its grip on justice? Is it heading towards the darkness? Let’s not be the bystanders. Let’s protect our values for justice and equality for all.

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By Jackie T. Gabel, February 14, 2007 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment
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RE: Comment #53502 by morgan -lynn lamberth  on  2/14  at  6:12 am — “And al-Qaeda is not a CIA group .Knock off conspiratorial thinking left or right!”

>>> conspiratorial “thinking?”

Sounds like the “thought” police on the beat again. Don’t take my word for it, look here — Able Danger, we were told, was missioned to “track” terrorists — no, no, no…they “ran” terrorists; and that’s the way it’s done — think NATO = GLADIO = Red Brigade — fully investigated, fully documented

Al Queda is a classic pseudo-gang, by the book — Kitson’s book

This line of analysis isn’t just a seductive game. What must be grasped is that FALSE FLAG TERROR so distorts the political picture, it leaves no basis for sound judgement. Terrorized minds cannot reason. They are directed by psyches in full panic, total self defense. Black-ops/psy-ops is the lethal game. At the moment the greatest danger is that the neocon-strangeloves will sanction another 911, or Gulf-of-Tonkin-like event to predicate a launch on Iran. They must be shown to their cells.

Support 911Truth - End War Of Terror!

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By musings, February 14, 2007 at 10:45 am Link to this comment
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It isn’t just the Constitution and the First Amendment which have been flouted with this imprisonment. It is also two centuries of case law to the effect that speech is free, even in “time of war” (“which will not end in our lifetimes”—- what a deal for a tyrant!).

You cannot spin this man’s speech into “crying fire (falsely) in a crowded theatre.”  And the admissibility of a dream is also cause for mistrial.

I am not up to date on his appeals. What’s the deal here?
And what about the man in Virginia sentenced to life for saying something positive about terrorism while at a dinner party?

What kind of phony Creationism is at work here?—the Creationism of Enemies we never had before.

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By freespeechlover, February 14, 2007 at 9:00 am Link to this comment
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It doesn’t matter what he said in speeches or what he wrote or what side of the bed he wakes up on in the a.m.  Go back to Political Sci 101 and read the Constitution.  Speech that you find objectionable politically is not criminal.  That’s the difference, or used to be, between citizenship and law in the U.S. compared with many places in the world run by despots, including those of some of our famous “allies” in the Middle East who repress their own people’s will to get arms and money from the U.S. 

If you believe in freedom of expression, you defend not speech with which you agree but speech you find abhorent.  Otherwise, you can’t claim to support the basic freedoms and the rule of law that follows on which the U.S. was founded. 

Modern democracy is based on the idea that I don’t have to be you.  The entire edifice is built around that concept.  It means that Sami Alrian does not have to be me; he can associate with people whose political views I may not like or agree with.  He can have a political point of view that may not be my own.  To criminalize his politics is unconstitutional.  It’s really that simple. 

And that is what this entire fiasco is about, which Chris Hedges analyzes astutely and with great clarity.

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By sue, February 14, 2007 at 8:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

who cares about what lectures he did or books he has, freedom of speach is freesom of speach.  why don’t we arrest these zionists who are faning the war against Iraq and Iran, at least we know they mean violence and racism.  I guess america is selective to who can be racist and who can’t.  wy don’t we arrest every jew or rabbis who read or have a talmud?  we know that it contains hate and genocide against christians and non jews?

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By Robert, February 14, 2007 at 7:38 am Link to this comment
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Why is anyone shocked by this?  All we have to do is go talk to, say, some American Indians, Afro-Americans or Mexicans to get a feel for the Big Brother State and its wondeful court system.  The Trail of Tears disaster is one of my favorite examples or, better still, the Hay Market witch hunt in Chicago. 

Justice and Freedom are for sale just like everything else.  Get used to it.

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By morgan -lynn lamberth, February 14, 2007 at 6:12 am Link to this comment
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Set him free.However, if he is calling for violence ,what to do? We cannot tolerate intolerance .We need counter argument to violence here !What is the full scope on him then ? And al-Qaeda is not a CIA group .Knock off conspiratorial thinking left or right! Rae is right.

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By boffo, February 14, 2007 at 6:09 am Link to this comment
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Is anybody really surprised by all this?  America persecuting minorities?  Abuses of the justice system?  What’s new?

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By J.L. Elkhorne, February 14, 2007 at 5:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“we have met the enemy and he is us.”—Pogo

RW, old chum, you talk the talk but I’ve walked the walk. Nominally a Christian, I worked in Saudi Arabia in 1969-1970. And literally did not get killed. Of course, most of the Arabs I worked with were moderates.

I did learn something of extremist attitudes there, a very small minority. Funny thing, when I went back to the states and told family and friends of “those who would die for Allah”, no one believed it. They do now.

Btw, RAE, it’s not a nation of scofflaws and outlaws—just ~300 million bewildered people led by a handful of thugs.

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By Jackie T. Gabel, February 14, 2007 at 12:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE: Comment #53188 by Michael  on  2/12  at  3:14 pm — ” Re: comment 53174 “How can you tell? What hallmarks does a CIA plant have as opposed to someone who merely disagrees with you?”

>>> who better to inflate the Myth of Islamofascism

than those who direct the War of Terror —  from

The SITE Institute Intelligence service is already an extremely important asset for a wide variety of users. Large, high-profile corporations employ this service to monitor threats to both the company’s assets and employees. Government agencies and the military utilize this service to study potential terrorist tactics and targets, review attacks on troops filmed by terrorists, and understand the jihadist mindset. Academic institutions and think tanks analyze the information from the service to produce studies on the terrorist threat. With our service, the media can quickly report on the statements of terrorist leaders as well as research information for articles about terrorism. Individuals with a deep interest in terrorism also use our service to keep abreast of terrorist propaganda without having to resort to second-hand sources that are often incomplete.

If you’re selling a War of Terror…you’re gonna need some real TERROR on demand. SITE Institute, calling itself an institute with “deep” interest in terrorism, are essentially selling themselves as the experts on predicting when and where terror will next erupt.

SITE Institut claim major corps clients. They claim the US Government, for crying out loud — from all appearances, a privatized intelligence network. Really, with better intel than the alphabet spooks?

You ask me, ” How do I know?” I ask you, “How do they know?” That’s how I know. Moreover, what do we really know? For all we know, Dr. Sami Al-Arian is an agit-prop, cointel, terrorist patsy — for all the noise he makes, he looks like a textbook case, not unlike the 6 imams on the Northwest Airlines flight a couple months back. Psyops is everywhere; that’s the real War of Terror. It’s a war for your mind.

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By nosemajd, February 13, 2007 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m suprised no one has mentioned the Grover Norquist connection to Sami.  He’s a sponsor of doc Sami.  Grover even married a Palestinian with connections to Hezbollah.  Grover lobbied the DOJ so long that the FBI couldn’t used the survelliance tapes it had (with a FISA court warrant) because the statute of limitations had run out.  Oh the tale gets curioser aned curioser . . . its all on several right wing blogs, like:, or, and  For an in-depth article written by Reagan’s former Deputy Sec Def, Frank Gaffney:, 2003-Dec-9.  If you want something from the left, though I honestly don’t know if its left or right and  Un-f***ing-believable! Semper Fi!

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By Spirit of '76, February 13, 2007 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment
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“first they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I was not a communist;
then they came for the trade unionists and I didn’t speak up, because I was not a trade unionist; then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I was not a Jew; then they came for the Catholics and I did’t speak up because I was Protestant.  Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak up”
Martin Niemoeller on the German descent into fascism.
“First they came for the Muslims, ....???

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By qedpro, February 13, 2007 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment
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I’m with you on thinking that what has happened to him is wrong.  But you gloss over the lectures that he did give and the things that he did write many of which did call for violent confrontation and murder.
We charge kids with having hitlists and throw them out of school for thinking impure thoughts.
I’m not sure how to draw the line.  If you call for the destruction of a race of humans, should you be respected?  should you be arrested?  If you say something that causes a riot should you be held accountable?  but more importantly should we tolerate it? 
I don’t know how to answer these questions. I would prefer that we didn’t turn into a bunch of knee-jerk facists.  but at the same time, we need to stop tolerating intolerance.  i suspect that Sami Al-Arian’s america is one that is very different from your version.  i suspect the women have bags over their heads and everyone prays 5 times a day and gets beaten if they don’t.  Do i want his america - absolutely not.
If not tolerating intolerance means that i’m a racist then so be it.  I don’t want to live like that.

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By Armadeus, February 13, 2007 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I come to this site for entertainment because the spin you guys put on facts is just that funny.
This guy funnels money into terror organizations of whom i have inside data.
Carry own - Semper Fi
Been there done that , and seen for myself.

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By David, February 13, 2007 at 9:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would bet the CIA has a detailed file on every contributor to this site.

But it is wartime, and of this we all must be mindful.

In War time certain sacrifices have to be made. Certain freedoms must be curtailed.

Who exactly is the enemy? We can’t know. They’re everywhere, yet nowhere. Are they here in the United States? Yes. Are they abroad? Yes. Are they your brother? Could be. Are faceless and on the internet?  Yes.

Can the war be won? Someday. How? Give us your freedom. For how long? Till victory in the war is won. What does victory mean? No ne will attack you ever again. How can you gaurentee that?

Because we will have total control.

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By Skruff, February 13, 2007 at 8:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #53283 by JenSonee on 2/12 at 10:58 pm

“cheney/bush is a fascist. corporatist.  its not that they don’t care about rights they don’t understand them.  we have teenagers running the white house”

Your slander against teenagers is unforgivable, and you should appoligize.

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By iska, February 12, 2007 at 10:58 pm Link to this comment
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I went to the site recommended by Kevin ( Their “Sami Al-Arian Fact Sheet” starts by saying that “Al-Arian served as one of the original founders of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)”


so right then and there I don’t think this site can be trusted if they start by saying something so blatantly false.

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By JenSonee, February 12, 2007 at 10:58 pm Link to this comment
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cheney/bush is a fascist. corporatist.  its not that they don’t care about rights they don’t understand them.  we have teenagers running the white house and the pentagon.  the only people that vote for them are those with a slave mentality/christian right or greed in place of a soul.  from nixon to reagan to bush we’ve moved further and further to the right.  one more step and we all will just smile and nod as thousands go to their deaths, oh wait,, we’re already there.  the ones that really hate the professor are the israelis.  those that can’t stand anyone that says it like it is.  that the isrealis have taken up were the nazis of germany or the fascists of south africa left off.  check the walls around palistine.  concentration camps, bantu stand and now Palistine. how nice the white house has some one it can relate to.

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By Jon B, February 12, 2007 at 10:02 pm Link to this comment
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C’mon, we all know the rule of law applies to some but not the other since the founding of this nation. This case merely repeated the fact that not everyone is equal under the law of this nation.

You know it, I know it and the history shows it.

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By Steve, February 12, 2007 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment
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Hey Kevin

‘Actual facts?’ How about 8 of 17 charges dropped and deadlocked on the rest ? In other words the jury hearing the case has decided in essence there is no case.

This doesn’t surprise me as the so called ‘facts’ posted at SITE’s web page (obviously some type of government supported and funded operation given the people who head it) amount to a whole lot of heavy breathing, unsubstatiated claims and vague, misleading statements seemingly taken out of context.

Your post does the same and throws in some digs at the media for free. Even more laughable is how you’ve now linked a Palestinian-American to the events of 9/11:

< These people are relying on us to forget what they did to us on 9/11 and feel sorry for them so that they can do it AGAIN when the time is right…>

Uh, I hate to break it to you Kev but it was primarily SAUDI NATIONALS that committed the 9/11 attacks, not Palestinians (or Iraqis, Syrians, Iranians, Afghanis or N. Koreans for that matter).

Please, take your own advice pull your head out and ‘WAKE UP!’

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By joneden, February 12, 2007 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am sorry, but next to the coming provoking of an incident with and then bombing the hell out of another country, this seems like small potatoes.


A Relevant and Irreverent Look at Latest Report on Global Warming

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By Dennis D, February 12, 2007 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment
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As a country we have become our own worst nightmare. How fast we have fallen as a nation and how far - remains yet to be seen.

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By Linea, February 12, 2007 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Agree with lulu - Chris Hedges is an amazing hero - and so is Amy Goodman who interviewed Dr. Al-Arian - also a hero - I was listening in the car and the tears - of shame and horror as well as sympathy - just kept falling.

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By Michael, February 12, 2007 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment
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Re: comment 53174

How can you tell? What hallmarks does a CIA plant have as opposed to someone who merely disagrees with you? I don’t ask these questions to accuse you, just to point out that many on both the left and the right dismiss those who disagree with them out of hand.

I do agree that-innocent or guilty- Al-Arian needs to be treated as the Constitution demands, not as is politically expedient.

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By Jackie T. Gabel, February 12, 2007 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment
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RE: •    Comment #53070 by Kevin  on  2/12  at  5:12 am — “These people are relying on us to forget what they did to us on 9/11 and feel sorry for them so that they can do it AGAIN when the time is right.  WAKE UP!”

>>>>> BS - SITE Institute is obviously a CIA propaganda operation

The Myth of Islamofascism is more extensively cultivated than the the Myth of Monolithic Communism ever was. Brzezinski started this stuff, funding and training the Mujahedeen through the Pakistani ISI 30 years ago and the Iran-Contra people carried it on and it’s never stopped. The CIA and MI-6 have been running most of the terrorism in the world ever since. The purpose is to destabilize and fail every state that refuses to fall in line with the demands of the New World Oligarchy.

If WMD go off anywhere in the world, don’t look to the cave, bin Laden, the laptop. Don’t look to the Axis of Evil; look to Cheney and Cheney’s handlers.

Indeed, WAKE UP - Support 911Truth - End War of Terror

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By M Henri Day, February 12, 2007 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment
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Messers Syzmanski and Wallace seem to be missing the point - the United States of the framers of the Constitution was <u>not</u> conceived as a nation where one could be imprisoned for one’s opinions or the publication thereof, but only for certain crimes, specified in the law. Nor was it conceived as a country in which only those professing to be Jews or Christians could live - given the private religious views of many of these framers, they would, in that case, have been excluding themselves. What Syzmanski and Wallace don’t seem to realise is that by allowing - or rather, advocating - the treatment that Professor Al-Arian has received at the hand of a justice system charged with protecting his rights, they expose themselves to the same dangers they so cavalierly applaud when visited upon someone with whose opinion they happen to disagree. Can they guarantee that they will always be in complete and total agreement with those in authority ? That they will never be tempted to air their differences publicly ? If so, well and good - but if not, they might be advised to do everything in their power to prevent the destruction of habeas corpus and the misuse of the overwhelming might of the state….


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By Dale Headley, February 12, 2007 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment
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As a result of this and other missives I’ve posted online, I have little doubt that I am on a list of millions whose opinions have been culled from NSA electronic surveillance databases.
Should the ideological tentacles of the neocon’s reach for world domination extend beyond the next election, I expect I will join Mr. Al-Arian in one of the fifty or so prisons Halliburton is building around the U.S. to incarcerate dissenters such as I - a U.S. citizen who used to be protected by the Bill of Rights.

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By Tahoe Progressive, February 12, 2007 at 10:18 am Link to this comment
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Is Dr. Al-Arian a Muslim? People forget that some Palestinians are Christians. I would hope the courts in this country will start to protect the rights of the people who are here, whether citizens or non citizens. We can’t defeat the world we disagree with by military force…we need to win the hearts and minds through talk and positive action.

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By trantieungoc, February 12, 2007 at 9:40 am Link to this comment
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When the facist becomes animals everything will be up side down !

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By RAE, February 12, 2007 at 9:38 am Link to this comment
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He says “this” - they say “that” - and the rest of us “know” nothing more than what we’re told.

Which, of course, means that we don’t know anything about what’s true, half true, or an outright lie ON EITHER SIDE.

Because I do not/cannot know, I do not judge either Al-Arian or the US government on the specifics of this case.

However, I DO know “justice denied” when I see it. In countries where I will reside, or even visit, NO ONE is ever held in prison when NOT CONVICTED of a crime (as defined by the legitimate legislators of the nation, NOT JUST THE ADMINISTRATION FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES.) The USA no longer qualifies as a country in good standing in my view. It has rapidly become a nation of scofflaws and outlaws and has lost all trust and credibility in the eyes of the world.

I do hope that someday “what goes around, comes around.” I hope to see the entire Bush administration on trial for crimes against the Constitution, the spirit of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, international law, and the right to liberty and justice for uncounted individuals.

By the way… not a trial in any US juridiction… clearly, many US courts are in collusion with the politicians. It would be the ultimate irony for them to be convicted by the World Court in the Hague, and incarcerated for life on a large iceflow in the Arctic. This chunk of ice would melt, of course, but not so quickly that these miscreants wouldn’t have several years to ponder their crimes and pending dooms before dropping into the sea to become fish food.

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By lulu, February 12, 2007 at 9:23 am Link to this comment
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wow..Chris Hedges is my freakin role model..his writing is BEYOND great!! Free Sami Al-aryan..we have a pathatic excuse for a government at this time:(

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By Skruff, February 12, 2007 at 6:14 am Link to this comment
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So now what seperates us from the Facists my father fought in WW II, the Soviet Union, villified as “repressive’ throughout my youth, or Saddam’s government in Iraq.

How many innocents must a nation jail, kill, and marginalize before that nation is labeled a dictatorship?

How many of us must be reduced to citizens in shame of their country before we act enmasse to throw of the yoke of repression?

These are not conservative sv liberal issues

People can either love and defend freedom, or they can embrace slavery… Older, more schooled, nations have made the wrong choice.

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By ron syzmanski, February 12, 2007 at 5:45 am Link to this comment
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I no what his speachs were about, hatred for the west!!!I hope he starves to death in prison then he can enjoy the death he preaches about.I dont give a dam about no one that has that much hate in there heart like the guy in this story your writting about does.Islam is a religion of violence and hate nothing more.If you hate it here move we dont want you anyhow.

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By Richard Wallace, February 12, 2007 at 5:36 am Link to this comment
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It seams to me if you want to be a muslim and have your culture you need to leave america and go live in the middle east were you belong.I dont want to change this judeo christian nation for no muslims.LEAVE GO HOME WERE YOU BELONG.Just try to be a christian in a muslim country , the mulims will literaly kill you!!!!!!!.

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By Kevin, February 12, 2007 at 5:12 am Link to this comment
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This is the most slanted view of actual facts I’ve seen in a while…and that’s saying a lot given that the media always make the bad guys look like the good guys and vice versa.  The facts are that Sami Al-Arian actively supported jihad against America long before 9/11 and he’s playing the victim because he’s in our custody.  If you want the facts, check out his fact sheet:

These people are relying on us to forget what they did to us on 9/11 and feel sorry for them so that they can do it AGAIN when the time is right.  WAKE UP!

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By Jackie T. Gabel, February 12, 2007 at 12:33 am Link to this comment
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Though Professor Sami Al-Arian does not complain of sever torture, only abject abuse, the threat thereof looms large. Sever torture is well documented and it’s now being suggested that it was intentionally leaked; i.e. they want us to know.

There is now overwhelming documentation that supports the analysis that al Queda is a CIA/MI-6-run, strategy-of-tension, Gladio-like operation, designed to cultivate the myth of Islamofascism and predicate the Global War of Terror. So, why torture their own operatives, witting or otherwise? Moreover, if they just want “information,” why not just use psychoactive drugs — much more effective than physical torture?

So why then, it does beg the question, is torture being used on detainees? Clearly, and especially if they really do want us to know it, the strategy is to terrorize the entire world. Simply put: nobody, but nobody is beyond the reach of this hideously draconian, global network of secret operatives, nor is anyone immune to the horrors of their Torture Gulag. No matter what you may or may not have done, the message is clear: you have zero guarantee of any measure of due process, no matter what your citizenship, and while in their custody you should expect to suffer severely.

The only conclusion that one can come to in analyzing why the US Congress fails to tear into this rogue network of treasonous spooks is that they too fear for their safety and the safety of their families. The anthrax attacks (anthrax traced to US Gov. labs) made very clear that each and every one of them is too within reach.

If they fear that unmasking this network, clearly in service to the New World Oligarchy, will result in a monumental constitutional crisis, they really need a wake up call. Because what we’ve now gotten to is very close to a full-blown treasonous deconstruction of our very republic, and the “sanctioned” Torture Gulag is only the tip of the iceberg.

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