Friday, October 20, 2006

Terror Ties in the US

The NY Times, after implying in a recent story that we don't need any Homeland Security funds around Lake Michigan as we're just a bunch of drunken boaters, is a bit more balanced in its story today on the Chicago trial of accused Hamas terrorists. The story provides descriptions of the two accused terrorists as " a former grocer from suburban Chicago who now drives vans that transport dialysis patients for treatments" and quotes the lawyer of the other who characterizes him as just an intellectual innocent enjoying the free speech this country affords.

Why is the Times writing this story? I would imagine to raise questions and advance the theme pre-election that the U.S. and Israel torture terrorist suspects, as evidence was obtained in Israeli custody. And to discount the legal use of evidence obtained overseas. (Of course the Times and their liberal supporters are quick to cite overseas' legal precedent when they agree with it.)

Here's more background from an earlier Tribune story, which quotes an assistant U.S. attorney, and seems persuasive to me:
Ferguson countered that U.S. officials who visited Salah in custody didn't report signs of torture. Ferguson displayed photographs of Salah taken days after his arrest and on his way to court hearings, noting that Salah showed no signs of being beaten.

He said Salah often lied to the agents and sometimes refused to sign statements, "unafraid of the consequences of saying no to his so-called torturers."
Terror ties in this country have been gestating for years, official description or no. (The Times story also raises questions about whether Hamas was legally viewed as a terror organization by the U.S. (officially 1997) at the time of the alleged illegal activity) (Long official list here.) The Times neglects to mention that documents in the case also show Salah joined the Muslim Brotherhood, an offshoot of Hamas, in 1978. Guess it's not legally a terrorist group, but is in the news today, here on Newsweek/MSNBC and in the Counterterrorism Blog. They are on our radar now.

We are just starting to Connect the Dots and penetrate the legal and cultural wall of silence that has protected those who wish us harm and who have harmed those in their community, especially girls and women, some without consequences until perhaps now.

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