Monday, August 20, 2007

Holy Land Foundation Trial and the Myth of "Terroism"

I have not posted about the VERY important events of the trial last Thursday. In brief: the phantom agent admitted under cross-examination that none of the zakat groups (or any of their leaders) listed in the indictment are (or were in 2001) listed as SDT groups by the Treasury Department; he admitted that the government of the UK found that the US has provided no creditable evidence that Interpal was in any way connected to terrorism (and, he said, the UK is incapable! of gathering evidence as good as his); and, perhaps, most significantly, he had a slip of the tongue and referred to the West Bank as "Samaria." Joshua Dratel tried to get him to admit that was a politically charged slip that demonstrates his inability to be objective. He also admitted that he is here under orders of, and that his travel here and his salary while he is here are being paid by, the Israeli government.

For thorough coverage see:

Or look for the LA Times coverage, or the DMN where Jason Trahan is doing a very even-handed job of covering the trial.

My reason for not posting is that I am in the middle of some time-consuming research on some of the writing of star-witness Matthew Levitt. I have chosen a couple (of the many) outrageous statements he made in an article last year, and I am in process of tracing their origins. I am using his own citations of sources, then moving back through their citiations to see who first made the statement. It turns out to be fairly easy to demonstrate that much of what he says comes from sources that are, at best, questionable. For example, in one instance he quotes at length from an article in USA Today that was written by Jack Kelly, who was fired because the newspaper discovered he had fabricated a great deal of his "information" and plagiarised much more. The article that Levitt quotes is one of the articles named by USA Today in their disclaimer.

This kind of research is time consuming, but I will be ready to post some of my results soon. I believe that I will be able to show that much of the "common wisdom" about "terrorism" in the United States is "mythology" fabricated by the likes of Matthew Levitt. He may well be an "expert," but he is an "expert" in a subject that is built on lies and distortions (which is no surprise to most of us).