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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Article on CAIR's Website Bemoans "Kangaroo Court"

Why CAIR decided to include this article on their website baffles me. Here's the opening paragraph to the article:
So far, after 10 weeks of trial, all that the U.S. Government can say about Mohammed Salah and co-defendant Abdelhaleem Ashqar is that they opposed the Oslo Peace Accords and that they didn’t believe that their Muslim children should mingle in peace with Jews. Actor Mel Gibson and comedian Michael Richards said far worse about the Jews and they haven’t gone to jail for their anti-Semitism or racism. And in case anyone hasn’t noticed, the Oslo Peace Accords were a miserable failure in part because Israel’s governments dragged their feet on making real concessions in what was supposed to be "land for peace."
Somehow, I doubt Mr. Hanania's account of the trial, especially after reading this:
He was charged in this case in October 2003, and Salah was added as a defendant a year later. The racketeering indictment alleges Ashqar served as a U.S.-based "information clearinghouse" for Hamas, meticulously tracking the group's terrorist operations overseas and alleged money-raising efforts here. He's portrayed by the government as a behind-the-scenes Hamas guru: In a warrantless search of Ashqar's home in 1993, agents found debriefing reports of local operatives returning from missions in the Middle East.
Forgive me if I'm not buying Mr. Hanania's account in its entirety. It sounds to me like the U.S. government had quite a bit of information on Mr. Ashqar's racketeering activities. According to Wikipedia, RICO, which is short for the "Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations" Statute, "is sufficiently broad to encompass illegal activities relating to any enterprise affecting interstate or foreign commerce." Upon further digging, I found out that the Treasury Department "designated the al Aqsa foundation as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entity under Executive Order 13224." Here's the result of that designation:
As a result of this designation by Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), all assets of the Al-Aqsa Foundation are blocked and transactions with the organization are prohibited.

"By designating the Al-Aqsa Foundation, we have deprived the Hamas terrorist organization of a vital source of funding and have shut off yet another pipeline of money financing terror. Today’s action demonstrates our commitment to prevent the perversion of charitable organizations for terrorist ends," Secretary Snow stated.
According to the Treasury Department's website, here's what OFAC's mission is:
The Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") of the US Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. OFAC acts under Presidential wartime and national emergency powers, as well as authority granted by specific legislation, to impose controls on transactions and freeze foreign assets under US jurisdiction. Many of the sanctions are based on United Nations and other international mandates, are multilateral in scope, and involve close cooperation with allied governments.
What this means is that, far from Mr. Hanania's assertions that "all that the U.S. Government can say about Mohammed Salah and co-defendant Abdelhaleem Ashqar is that they opposed the Oslo Peace Accords and that they didn’t believe that their Muslim children should mingle in peace with Jews", the U.S Government can prove quite a bit more than that. It looks like they can prove that Mr. Ashqar was extremely helpful in funding Hamas.

Mr. Hanania also tips his hand saying this:
Well, the government did have the testimony of one Judith Miller, the proven professional liar at the New York Times whose exposes on Iraq’s "weapons of mass destruction" are lies that are far more criminal in nature than anything Salah or Ashqar have been proven to have done.
Mr. Hanania's statement that Judith Miller is a "proven professional liar" is over-the-top at minimum. At worst, it's an attempt to say "my friend is innocent because she's a liar, not because he isn't guilty."

Then there's this:
Miller admitted that her access to Salah was facilitated by the Israeli MOSSAD and Government. In other words, Miller has even less credibility on this case than she does on the issue of WMD’s. Let’s not get into the time she spent in jail for lying about the outing of the wife of a diplomat who criticized President Bush’s Iraq War policies.
Mr. Hanania's statement infers that anyone who has dealt with MOSSAD or anything Jewish doesn't have credibility. Furthermore, Mr. Hanania's credibility is further damaged by saying Judith Miller was jailed for lying about Valerie Plame. She was jailed for contempt of court for not revealing her confidential source. While I didn't agree with her withholding that information, I don't agree that keeping one's silence is the same as lying.

The bigger point in this is that CAIR reveals itself by simply posting Mr. Hanania's article on their website. The biggest thing that this reveals is that CAIR will go out of its way to defend the indefensible as long as the defendant is Muslim.

Another thing that this reveals is that they'll publish articles that are written by authors who reveal their anti-Semitic bias. Clearly, that's the case here.

Isn't it fair to question CAIR's claims of being a moderate Muslim organization specializing in Muslims' civil rights when they publish anti-Semitic authors?

UPDATE: It now appears that CAIR no longer has Mr. Hanania's article posted on their website. It also appears that they've scrubbed it from their website. The reason I know this article was posted on CAIR's website is because I remember the green color to the article's title line and because the article posted on CAIR's website only went to the sentence that said:
Isn’t the planning of violence a key component in a federal terrorism charge? Obviously not in this case.
I further remember the line in the upper left corner of the CAIR post was a link to Mr. Hanania's article with the notice that said:
Click here to view full text ...
On CAIR's page, the word HERE was used as a hyperlink to I'll keep tracking this and I'll update you with whatever I find.

Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog


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