June 5, 2008
One of the things about the Sami Al-Arian saga that always confounds is this: It's understandable that he would have strong supporters who argue he should be released from prison and deported. But if this cause is just, why can't it be argued without lying about the fundamental issues in his case?
Al-Arian completed his 57-month prison sentence for conspiring to provide goods and services to a terrorist group in April and agreed to be deported. He faces a possible criminal contempt indictment for his refusal to testify before a federal grand jury investigating terror financing in northern Virginia. He claims the subpoena is invalid because his plea deal absolved him from any cooperation with law enforcement.
Perhaps the most ridiculous example of this ill-informed advocacy is on display at the fringe website Counterpunch. It's an excerpt from an updated book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, co-authored by a former assistant Treasury secretary and a former adjunct law professor at Georgetown University. It is so wildly incorrect on the basic facts that it reads almost like parody.