An Oregon lawyer and convert to Islam has settled his lawsuit against the FBI for $2 million. Brandon Mayfield, who sued after he was falsely linked to the Madrid train bombings, described his experiences as an Orwellian nightmare where “an act that strips you of your civil rights could be called a Patriot Act.”


Brandon Mayfield, the Portland-area lawyer wrongly linked to the deadly Madrid, Spain, train bombings of 2004, accepted a $2 million settlement Wednesday in his lawsuit against the federal government, setting up a legal showdown over the constitutionality of the USA Patriot Act.

The United States will pay the convert to Islam $1.9 million for the emotional toll he suffered from two weeks of imprisonment as a material witness to a crime he knew nothing about, with another $100,000 going to his wife and three children for their suffering.

The government also agreed to destroy all materials seized from Mayfield’s home and office. And it agreed to issue the 40-year-old lawyer another apology for FBI foulups that matched him to a fingerprint found in Madrid, leading to his investigation as a possible terrorist.

… At a news conference Wednesday in a downtown Portland high-rise, the lean, bespectacled lawyer likened his ordeal to an Orwellian nightmare.

“I am talking about the George Orwell frightening brave new world in which Big Brother is constantly watching you, complete with 24-hour surveillance, thought control and doublespeak,” Mayfield said. “Where war means peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Where torture is morality. And an act that strips you of your civil rights could be called a Patriot Act.”


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