02 May 2006

Good riddance of bad Sami

Suzanne Goldenberg dedicated an article to the results of the plea bargaining between Sami Al-Arian and the prosecution. After reading this article, one is left with a sense that something very serious went wrong in this case, that a miscarriage of justice causes much suffering to an innocent person.

A Florida judge told a Palestinian computer engineer yesterday that he must spend another 18 months in prison before being deported, in a case that had been seen as a key test for sweeping anti-terror legislation brought in after September 11.

"Palestinian computer engineer" is a vital detail here. The mere mention of the defendant's profession already makes you feel more charitable toward the poor guy. Probably should be expected in any criminal case from now on. "A paleontologist, expert in prehistoric insects, allegedly accused of triple murder...". Sounds good, doesn't it?

On the other hand, the same passage makes one immediately feel bad about that sweeping anti-terror legislation (as if we don't feel bad enough about it as it is now). Two birds with one stone, so to say.

Now look at another passage:

Arian became the target of an FBI investigation as one of the founders of a campus thinktank and a charity formed in the 1980s to support a Palestinian state.

Another point to add to the image of an innocent wronged by the Big Brother. Clearly FBI does not have anything better to do than persecute a think tank egghead, whose only interests in life are science and some charity on the side.

That's saying nothing before you read the site by hypocritical supporters of Mr. Al-Arian here. A purer lamb was not born yet in the whole blue world, they will tell you.

Oh well, there is a different view of the case, presented here without histrionics - only the documents and dry unemotional information. Including the plea agreement signed by the learned professor. This is what a part of it looks like (click to enlarge):

And this is only a small part of a pretty damning document signed by the convict. To remind you, it is a plea bargaining document whereby the accused agrees only to a part of his misdeeds.

Back to Ms. Goldenberg:

In the past, Arian, a Kuwaiti-born Palestinian who has lived in the US for nearly 30 years, has said he was singled out for prosecution because of his support for Palestinian rights. He denies advocating violence.

Yes, he never pulled the trigger himself, he only financed the guns and the bullets and brainwashed the poor deluded and stupid teenagers in Gaza and West Bank to do it. And the only sensible quote in the article is that of the judge:

...the judge said yesterday: "Your only connection to widows and orphans was that you create them."

Cross-posted on Yourish.com