Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Wednesday, August 06, 2003  

Whoa--shocking news.

PORTLAND — Maher “Mike” Hawash, one of seven Portland-area suspects charged with terrorism related crimes, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to provide services to the Taliban, but will not face other charges in exchange for testimony against other suspects.

Hawash, a software engineer who worked for Intel, had initially pleaded innocent to charges of conspiracy to wage war against the United States, conspiracy to provide material support to al-Qaida and conspiracy to contribute services to al-Qaida and the Taliban.

In exchange for testimony, federal prosecutors agreed to drop charges of conspiring to levy war against the U.S. and conspiring to provide material support for terrorism. Hawash pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide services to the Taliban.

He will serve a minimum of seven years in federal prison under the deal, which was approved by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Of course, no one knew whether Hawash was guilty or not. We'll be hearing a constant flood of "I-told-you-sos" from the conservative lock-em-up right. So let's all keep our heads about us: none of the Portland protesters ever said he was innocent. We protested the fact that he was locked up for 80-odd days without being charged. We protested because the US government felt it was necessary to suspend his Constitutional rights to build a case against him.

That Hawash is guilty doesn't mean John Ashcroft has been exonerated.

posted by Jeff | 2:42 PM |
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