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What Ever Happed To The Suspected Terrorist?

Geoffrey Allen wonders what ever happened to jailed Intel engineer Maher "Mike" Hawash? He was quite the cause célèbre back in the spring. You remember the inflammatory articles, such as this, or Dan Gillmor's addition. Friends started a Free Mike Hawash site that got lots of traffic and donations.

David Reinhard, columnist for The Oregonian, saw through the protestations of Hawash backers in May, yet support and donations remained strong.

As it turns out the government got it exactly right, "Mike" was part of a group that attempted to go to Afghanistan in October 2001 and fight with and for the Taliban against the US. All the gory details are contained in his plea agreement. The Free Mike Hawash page notes the plea on their new home page.

Fox News has a roundup of the guilty pleas of the co-conspirators.


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» Joe Grossberg linked with We Need a Constitutional War on Terror

Comments (3)

I admire your hope that peo... (Below threshold)

I admire your hope that people will reconsider their opinions when they conflict with the truth, but in fact, that rarely happens.

Example:

Conservatives, idiots and other advocates of the nascent Police State here in the U.S. were happy to have been "proven right" in the case against Mike Hawash. See, this poor schmoe went to China before the United States was to attack Afghanistan. He may have intended to join up with the Afghanis, but he was refused a Visa to enter Pakistan. He gave up and went home.

So, he was unconstitutionally arrested and secretly held under the PATRIOT act, and eventually charged with trying to aid the Taliban. In a state which respected the rule of law, this would have actually gone to trial. His initial "not guilty" plea reflected Mike's intent to take it there. But, it became obvious that if he pursued this path, and possibly won his freedom, the U.S. would just reclassify him an enemy combatant. That would - according to them - allow them to try him before a military tribunal, without any of his civilian rights.

So, in reality, his choice came down to take a plea bargain or else go away probably forever. I'd choose the plea, given that Devil's Bargain. It is just sad that such a thing could happen in my home country. The U.S. has just completed another incremental step toward the neo-con dream of a kinder-gentler Police State.

http://pug.zefamily.org/index.php?m=200308#52

Yes, that's right -- even him pleading guilty doesn't mean he actually did it. And, in fact, whether or not one little "poor schmoe" (not an educated, wealthy engineer) did intend (not actually doing anything, just intent) to "join up with the Afghanis" (not the Taliban or Al Qaeda, mind you), that surely pales in comparison to our "police state"!

Some minds can't be changed by reality.

Though I would like to hear how those who personally knew Mike Hawash (as opposed to the purely ideological supporters) are dealing with the fact that the seemingly assimilated family man in the cubicle next door was inspired, not horrified, by the events of 9/11.

Waaaaaaaah.... (Below threshold)

Waaaaaaaah.

This went down much in the ... (Below threshold)
verplanck colvin:

This went down much in the same manner of the "Lackawana 6" in Buffalo, NY. It is impossible to tell whether these individuals actually were guilty of the crime committed, or were intimidated into pleading guilty. If you were posed with a choice of 7 years in jail versus being an "enemy combatant" and being placed incommunicado with a very good chance at being put to death, what would you choose? Ashcroft is playing hardball with these suspects, and the detainees at Gitmo are a very good object lesson for those accused of terrorism. To sum it up, we cannot say with any certainty whether Mike Hawash really was a terrorist or not.

-x




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