For example, the government claims -- they've been reading too many Godfather novels or watched the movie too often -- but they claim that every time one of the defendants mentioned, quote/unquote, “the family” on the phone, that that was code word for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. So when one defendant would call up his mother -- this was Sameeh Hammoudeh -- would call up his mother and say, “How is the family?” the government claimed that he was asking how is the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
So, I mean, the jury saw through that, you know, on the counts that were hung, that the jury couldn't reach a verdict. There was never more than two jurors on any of the counts that voted for guilty. So, you know, and don't forget, the government spent -- I've been told by federal sources that the government spent close to $50 million on this case. They expended thousands of hours of FBI time, prompted by Steve Emerson and the Tampa Tribune. And in the end they came up with nothing. What they did miss with all this time that they spent in Florida is that they missed another guy, Mohamed Atta, who was living in the state, too.
But I think that, you know, this -- what the deal will do, it will allow the government to say, ‘Look, this man, this evil man pled guilty to,’ I believe, ‘the count of conspiracy to assist a terrorist organization.’ But I should also say, as I’ve reported, and after seven years the St. Petersburg Times finally discovered the same story, that the chief criminal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Tampa, a guy named Bob O'Neill, he owns a business that raises money for the Irish Republican Army and Sinn Fein. There's no difference between the two, as we know now.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Professor Sami Al Arian, having been acquitted of the government's laughable charges, is to be deported.