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Al-Arian judge allows Web sites as evidence (9/23)

St.Petersburg Times
Sept. 23, 2005
by Meg Laughlin

Link: Click here
TAMPA-- The trial of Dr. Sami Al-Arian reached a new low last week when Judge James Moody made a controversial decision allowing the prosecution to use web sites as evidence.

Defense attorneys for Dr. Al-Arian and three other men spent more than two days detailing their objections to the government's use of Internet materials as evidence in the trial. Among the long list of arguments against the inclusion of these materials were the following:

- The government's introduction of new evidence at this late stage in the trial constituted a violation of basic rules of discovery, since these materials were not included in the two and a half year pre-trial phase for adequate preparation by the defense. In fact, they were only turned over days before they were to be introduced in court.

- The authenticity of the web sites, which the government alleges to belong to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, cannot be verified. Prosecutors acknowledged this fact, and as a result, no defense team can adequately cross-examine what is essentially hearsay evidence, considered inadmissible by normal legal standards.

- None of the defendants had any role in the creation or maintenance of any of these web sites. In fact, as Dr. Al-Arian's attorney, William Moffitt, pointed out, of the nine computers seized from Dr. Al-Arian's home and offices, the government has not alleged that he ever visited any of these web sites, let alone knew of their existence.

In fact, much of the Internet evidence recovered by the government from these web sites dates to 2004, a year after Dr. Al-Arian's arrest, while he was being held in solitary confinement in Coleman Federal Penitentiary (needless to say, with no Internet access). In short, there is absolutely NO connection between Dr. Al-Arian and the content on these sites.

- Although two co-defendants are alleged to have previously visited one web site, the government seeks to introduce web content from at least seven web sites, meaning that at least six of these sites have no demonstrable link to any defendant in the case.

- The government's attempt to introduce inflammatory material from these sources is highly prejudicial, defense attorneys argued, with no evidentiary value toward proving its case. Furthermore, it is a violation of First Amendment rights to introduce constitutionally protected speech as evidence of criminal conduct.

- Even the government's technical experts did not expect to demonstrate the authenticity of the web sites or explain their source and any link to the case. In one instance, a site was shown to have been hijacked and maintained from Taiwan.

In spite of these and a myriad of other reasons argued passionately by the defense teams, Moody ruled that prosecutors could introduce the web site content to jurors. The defense was given one week to allow their own computer forensic expert to study the new evidence. While many court observers were dismayed by this development, it was the latest in a string of disappointing decisions which many believe are simply an attempt to bolster the prosecution which has not proven its case after four months of trial and only one week left to go.

Documents & Releases

Statement of Chairs of American Muslim Task-Force on Civil Rights and Elections  (AMT) and  Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

Howard Zinn Statement on Professor Al-Arian

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SPOTLIGHT

March 2000

December 2005alarian.jpg

January 2009

To be patriotic is to be able to question government policy in times of crisis.
To be patriotic is to stand up for the Bill of Rights and the Constitution in times of uncertainty and insecurity.
To be patriotic is to  speak up against the powerful in defense of the weak and the voiceless.
To be patriotic is to be willing to pay the price to preserve our freedoms, dignity, and rights.
To be patriotic is to
challenge the abuses of the PATRIOT Act.
From a speech by Dr. Al-Arian
9/1/2002

Biography---

UFF Summary: Al-Arian and USF

Poetry

Announcement of Book: The Al-Arian Reader

A new compilation of all relevant articles to be released soon by the National Liberty Fund

Selected Poems
by Sami Al-Arian

We Shall Rise

To Maya Angelou
Like the dream of the slave
You rise
And with the scream of the brave
I shall rise
In honoring the memory of your ancestors
You rise
With my stateless brothers and sisters
I shall rise
Like dust in the sunlight
You rise
And as ashes in a fiery night
I shall rise
You offend
Because of your existence
And I
For my resistance
You upset them
Recalling their past
And I
By holding steadfast
They may trod you in dirt
May cause me all the hurt
Inflict upon you excruciating pain
While they shut me up and detain
By they won't see you broken
Neither would my faith be forsaken
As you've never bowed your head
And never lowered your eyes
I'll continue to raise my fist
And hide my mother's cries
They may shoot you with their words
Cut me up with their swords
They may insult you with their eyes
Denigrate me with their lies
Trying to kill you with their hate
Bury me alive to seal my fate
But they'd certainly
Be shamed and fail
As the free chant and sing
On their march to prevail
So keep your head held high
As I follow you and try
And keep your beautiful smile
As I walk my first mile
They'll pressure and blame
Throw us in prison to control and tame
They'll exile and defame
Lynch us all or shoot and maim
Burn crosses with no shame
Target our children in a dirty game
By why is that a surprise?
Despite their evil and terror
Their falsehood and lies
You shall rise
And I shall rise
You're the black ocean
Leaping and wide
I'm the Mediterranean
With a stormy tide
Staying together
Side by side
It's no surprise
We shall rise
Surely shall rise
We together shall rise
No Longer Afraid
For us to feel "secure"
What price is being paid?
If living in freedom
Why are we afraid?
Fear is everywhere
All around
Perhaps irrational
But without any bound
You can see it on our faces
Sense it in our eyes
You can hear it in our whispers
Feel it in our cries
More>>No Longer Afraid
The Bird and The Vulture
The bird was chirping
In a house on a tree
But the vulture was angry
Because it was free
When the bird is singing
The vulture ain't safe
More>>The Bird and The Vulture
The Smile of Freedom
He looked like
A body-builder
Tall, tough, and full
All muscles and no fat
His mind was simple
Suited to follow orders
No questions asked
Acting mean and mechanical
Like any bureaucrat
More>>The Smile ...
In the Name of Freedom
In the name of freedom
We shall rule the world
To spread democracy
And set you free
In the name of freedom
We’ll descend on you
To make you civilized
Modern and orderly
More>>In the Name ...
The Accused: Franz Kafka Meets George Orwell in 21st Century America
Act I: The Mother of all Evidence
Act II- Weapons of Mass Deception
Act III: Silencing of the Lambs
Act IV: Attacks of the Wolves
Act V: Occupied Territory
Act VI: Police State
Act VII: Official Obituary
Act VIII: A Close Encounter of the Scariest Kind
Act IX: The Inquisition
Act X- Conspiracy Theory
Act XI- Secret Trials
Act XII- Silent Pain and Teary Eyes
Act XIII- True Patriot Acts
Do Not Sign
Rights are not for sale
History is not kind
On those who sell their people out,
Betray their cause,
Surrender their land
To tow the line
Do not sign
More>>Do Not Sign
Rachel Corrie: Daughter of Palestine
The most gentle
Amongst all honorable
Women
Had a spirit
As dazzling as
The garden of
Eden
More>>Daughter of Palestine
Ole Jerusalem
O Ole Jerusalem
I feel your pain
I hear your cries
The light thunder
In the darkness
And the heavy rain
I see the steady bleeding
Of your wound
With its mark and stain
More>>Ole Jerusalem
Patrick Henry
A revolutionary
At heart
A patriot
From the start
Loved by his country
To the core
Defended freedom
Even more
Hated arrogance
In shape and tone
Fought tyranny
With every bone
He was the conscience
Of his people
Striking fear in the enemy
And made it feeble
More>> Patrick Henry
Injustice
An overwhelming feeling
Of bitterness
Emptiness
Hopelessness
Helplessness
Sadness
Madness
Of hatred and rage
Trapped in a cage
Disappointment and anger
Continuing to linger
Wounding of dignity
Violating your virginity
More>> Injustice
Political Riddles
He sees the world as black and white
His solution to every quandary is fight with might
The economy will not stimulate
Because he can’t articulate
While jobs are gone
He says, “bring ‘em on.”
Who is he?
He likes to be called the General
The head of an agency that’s federal
If you spit on the sidewalk
He’ll send the Incredible Hulk
He hates to cite truth or fact
Because he’s busy promoting his unpatriotic act
He frequents TV cameras with a smash
The first part of his last name sounds like trash
Who is he?
He is the ideal dutiful poodle they say
From an empire where the sun did not set one day
He adores his cowboy friend and considers him a fan
And insists: I’m nobody’s yes-man
When the cowboy says no, I say no
Who is he?
More>>Political Riddles