THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
July 4, 2009
(Updated 2010, 2011, 2012)
The Wisdom Fund

Reflecting Upon Independence Day:
Justice in America

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Justice Denied

Five founders of the Holy Land Foundation, once the nation's largest Muslim charity, have received prison terms of up to sixty-five years on charges of supporting the Palestinian group Hamas. The five were never accused of supporting violence and were convicted for funding charities that aided needy Palestinians. The government's case relied on Israeli intelligence as well as disputed documents and electronic surveillance gathered by the FBI over a span of fifteen years.

. . . the United States government, through USAID, continued to give money to the same charities for years after Holy Land was closed.

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Guantanamo at Home

The Justice Department claims that the "centerpiece" of its case against Hashmi is the testimony of Junaid Babar. According to the government, in the beginning of 2004, Babar, also a United States citizen, stayed with Hashmi at his London apartment for two weeks. In his luggage, the government alleges, Babar had raincoats, ponchos and waterproof socks, which Babar later delivered to the third-ranking member of Al Qaeda in South Waziristan, Pakistan. It was alleged that Hashmi allowed Babar to call other conspirators in terror plots, using his cellphone. Babar, who was arrested in 2004 and has pleaded guilty to five counts of material support for Al Qaeda, faces up to seventy years in prison. While awaiting sentence, he has agreed to serve as a government witness in terror trials in Britain and Canada, as well as in Hashmi's trial. For his cooperation, Babar will be rewarded with a reduced sentence.

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The Persecution of Dr. Sami Al-Arian

Arrested in 2003, Al-Arian went on trial in late 2005 on charges that he used an Islamic think tank and a Muslim school and charity as a cover for raising funds to finance "terrorism." In 2006, after a six-month trial costing taxpayers a reported $50 million, a Florida jury refused to find Al-Arian guilty on a single one of the 17 counts he was charged with. The jury acquitted Al-Arian of eight charges, including the most serious, and deadlocked on nine others; 10 of 12 jurors reportedly favored acquittal on all counts. . . .

But the nightmare was only beginning. Against even government prosecutors' recommendations, Judge James Moody sentenced Al-Arian to the maximum allowable sentence.

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Bush Administration Exploited Terror Plots For Political Gain

On Thursday night's "Countdown" Keith Olbermann presented an impressively detailed timeline he called "The Nexus of Politics and Terror," in which he chronicled the Bush administration's exploitation of terror threats for political gain. Olbermann's exhaustive account weaves from each revelation of an intelligence failure or a Democratic political victory to an almost immediate orange alert or "new threat" from al Qaeda.

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Court Decision Strips Foreigners' Rights

. . . a decision by a federal judge in New York, I'm no longer confident that I can be so reassuring. Dismissing a case challenging the detention of Arab and Muslim foreign nationals in the weeks after Sept. 11, U.S. District Judge John Gleeson ruled that it is constitutionally permissible to round up foreign nationals on immigration charges based solely on their race, religion or country of origin. What's more, he said they can be detained indefinitely, even after they have agreed to be removed to their home countries.

In essence, he authorized a repeat of the Japanese internment -- as long as the internment is limited to foreign nationals charged with visa violations (a group that at last count numbered about 11 million people).

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Government by Star Chamber

The Orwellian named Patriot Act has destroyed habeas corpus. The executive branch has gained the unaccountable power to detain American citizens on mere suspicion or accusation, without evidence, and to hold Americans indefinitely without a trial.

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Tough Patriot Act Followed by 40 Nations

According to Amnesty International, about 40 nations in all had either passed or drafted similar legislation by mid-2002. . . .

The example of the Patriot Act also seems to have given foreign governments a fresh pretext for strengthening their hand against domestic critics. Authoritarian countries, in particular, leapt at the chance to align their own repression of political opponents or minorities with the global war on terror -- either expanding penalties for "terrorism" or simply applying the concept without bothering about law. . . .

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How the FBI's Network of Informants Actually Created Most of the Terrorist Plots 'Foiled' in the US Since 9/11

The bureau now maintains a roster of 15,000 spies, some paid as much as $100,000 per case, many of them tasked with infiltrating Muslim communities in the United States.

The informants could be doctors, clerks, imams. Some might not even consider themselves informants. But the FBI regularly taps all of them as part of a domestic intelligence apparatus whose only historical peer might be COINTELPRO, the program the bureau ran from the '50s to the '70s to discredit and marginalize organizations ranging from the Ku Klux Klan to civil-rights and protest groups.

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US Citizen Convicted of Providing 'Material Support' to Terrorists

During the trial, prosecutors said Mr. Mehanna considered himself part of Al Qaeda's "media wing," translating and posting materials online that glorified jihad. But the defense argued that Mr. Mehanna was well within his First Amendment rights in posting such content and that he was expressing his own views against American foreign policy, not working with Al Qaeda.

In a statement Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts said the verdict "undermines" the First Amendment.

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Enver Masud, "A Clash Between Justice and Greed," The Wisdom Fund, September 2, 2002

Suzanne Goldenberg, "More Than 80,000 Held by US Since 9/11 Attacks," Guardian, November 18, 2005

Michael Powell and William K. Rashbaum, "Papers Portray Plot as More Talk Than Action," New York Times, June 4, 2007

Enver Masud, "9/11 Unveiled," The Wisdom Fund (September 11, 2008)

Robert Dreyfuss, "Yet Another Bogus 'Terror' Plot," Nation, May 22, 2009

[Then-Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft violated the rights of U.S. citizens in the fevered wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks by ordering arrests on material witness warrants when the government lacked probable cause, a federal appeals court said in a scathing opinion Friday.--Carol J. Williams, "Ashcroft can be sued over arrests, appeals court rules," Los Angles Times, September 5, 2009]

Shamshad Ahmad, "Rounded Up: Artificial Terrorists and Muslim Entrapment After 9/11," The Troy Book Makers (2009)

[ . . . in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 the US government undertook the "preventative detention" of about 5,000 men on the basis of their birthplace and later sought a further 19,000 "voluntary interviews". Over the next year, more than 170,000 men from 24 predominantly Muslim countries and North Korea were fingerprinted and interviewed in a programme of "special registration". None of these produced a single terrorism conviction.--Gary Younge, "The war on terror has been about scaring people, not protecting them," Guardian, January 3, 2010]

[The chart includes the defendant's name, district, charging date, charges brought, classification category, conviction date and conviction charges.--"National Security Division Statistics on Unsealed International Terrorism and Terrorism-Related Convictions 9/11/01 - 3/18/10," U.S. Department of Justice, March 26, 2010]

The War on Islam Enver Masud, "The War on Islam," The Wisdom Fund (April 17, 2010)

"Muslims and Non-Muslims: A Blatant Double Standard," The Wisdom Fund, February 25, 2010

Extreme Prejudice Congressional staffer Susan Lindauer performed as a U.S. Intelligence Asset. . . . This is the story of what happened when Lindauer tried to disclose the true facts of Iraqi Pre-War Intelligence and the 9/11 warning to Congress and the American people. It details the nightmare of her arrest on the Patriot Act and her imprisonment without a trial at the notorious Carswell Prison inside a Texas military base.--Susan Lindauer, "Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq," CreateSpace (October 15, 2010)

James Bovard, "Assassin Nation: Obama's 'don't ask, don't tell' test for killing Americans," amconmag.com, December 2010

"Targeted and Entrapped: Manufacturing The Homegrown Threat In The United States," Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (2011)

Robert Steinback, "Jihad Against Islam," Southern Poverty Law Center, Intelligence Report, Summer 2011, Issue Number: 142

"Muslims and Non-Muslims: A Blatant Double Standard," The Wisdom Fund, February 25, 2010

Extreme Prejudice VIDEO: Susan N. Herman, "Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy," Oxford University Press, USA (October 3, 2011)

Jeanine Molloff, "Free Speech in the Age of Obama -- A Cruel and Dangerous Hoax," huffingtonpost.com, October 17, 2011

[Under the NDAA, the suspicion of the president is sufficient to confine an American citizen to military detention for life without accusation or trial.--Bruce Fein, "An execrable ancestor," dailycaller.com, December 28, 2011]

[Assassination of U.S. citizens... Indefinite detention... Warrantless searches... Secret evidence... War crimes... Secret court... Continual monitoring of citizens... Extraordinary renditions--Jonathan Turley, "10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free," washingtonpost.com, January 13, 2012]

[Americans in 2012, although only a few are aware, live in a concentration camp that is far better controlled than the one portrayed by George Orwell in 1984. Orwell, writing in the late 1940s could not imagine the technology that makes control of populations so thorough as it is today. Orwell's protagonist could at least have hope. In 2012 with the erasure of privacy by the US government, protagonists can be eliminated by hummingbird-sized drones before they can initiate a protest, much less a rebellion.--Paul Craig Roberts, "America's Last Chance," counterpunch.org, January 16, 2012]

Paul Craig Roberts, "Can Americans Escape the Deception?," paulcraigroberts.org, July 4, 2012

Chris Hedges, "Criminalizing Dissent," truthdig.com, August 13, 2012

VIDEO: Sidney Powell, "Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice," Brown Books Publishing Group (May 16, 2014)

Ryan Gallagher, "The Surveillance Engine: How The NSA Built Its Own Secret Google," firstlook.org, August 25, 2014

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