**Original Post: 7 Dec 2005
The acquittal of Professor Sami Al-Arian of terrorism, perjury and immigration charges by a Tampa jury proves that freedom of speech and association still the law of the land even after September 11, notwithstanding our Justice Department.
For 10 years, over zealous and over ambitious prosecutors in both Washington and in Tampa spent tens of millions of dollars building “their case” and of course listening to some 20,000 hours of secrete wire tapping, with the prosecutor spending hundred of thousands of dollars airlifting hundreds of Israel citizens to testify against Dr. Arian. Of course the prosecutor did not see a need to fly in one single Palestinian who were the beneficiaries of charities supported by Dr. Arian. To the prosecution all Palestinians are terrorists, similar to the views held by the Israeli government.
The prosecution unsuccessfully tried to frame the issue of Palestinians and Muslims exercise their rights of political speech and association as a form of terrorism. The jury made up of average citizens made it clear it has better understanding and better appreciations of the US Constitution and First Amendment rights. That such rights did not cross the threshold even if speeches are supporting independence and freedom of Palestinians is very unpopular with the Jewish communities in Florida, within community of Jewish Campus Watch, within college professors and administrators and certainly with such creeps and assholes like Bill O’Reilly of Fox News.
The acquittal of Dr. Arian is a slap in the face of both former attorney general Ashcroft and present attorney general Gonzales, certainly the acquittal might have a chilling effect on the business of Steve Emerson to tape and video tape speeches at mosques or at Palestinians and Muslim gatherings. The jury made it clear hates for Israel and Zionism and hate for Israeli Occupation, support for freedom and independence for Palestinians is not against the law and is a protected speech and is not terrorism, and those US citizens of Palestinians origin are not second-class citizens and do have the same rights granted to all US citizens.
Once again, the Justice Department proved that the Patriot Act is a very bad act and while not protecting US against terrorism as it is infringing on the rights of citizens for free speech and association and of course it stands against every legal principal we have in the country. Moreover, relying on Israel as a source of information to prosecute Palestinians in the US who happened to speak up against Israel and against the occupation does not stand. Perhaps the US Justice Department needs to understand that the standard of justice in the US is quite different from that of Israel. While in Israel the law and justice depends on whether the defendant is a Jew or an Arab, the law and justice in the US is color and religion blind and does not differentiate between a US citizens who is a descendant of the Mayflower or a citizens who legally immigrated to the US and made the US his/her country of choice.
The Bush Administration and the US Justice Department have to understand that Arab American and Muslim American love this country, their loyalty to the US is no less than that of the Jewish community and no less than the descendants of the Mayflower or the Daughters of the American Revolution. The US Justice Department has to understand supporting freedom and independence for Palestinians and advocating an end to the Israeli Occupation and advocating and end to Israeli settlements and the Wall is not a form of terrorism and supporting Palestinian charities is not a form of terrorism and speaking out on Zionism is not a form of terrorism, it is freedom of speech.
Once again American celebrates our rights of freedom and liberty, thank you Tampa.