Saturday, October 11, 2008

"the TERRORIST Marzook"

FBI agent Robert Miranda has tried his best to add another defendant to the Holy Land Foundation trial—Mousa Abu Marzook, deputy head of the political wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement. This is no surprise: the preparation for this change in the prosecution has been obvious from the beginning—and for many years before the trial.

As early as 1993, President Bill Clinton was preparing Americans to believe that a deadly force was rampant in the world. The Soviet Union had disintegrated; the threat to American freedom from “godless communism” had disappeared. Americans could breathe easy that the arch-enemy had fallen. Even so, Clinton declared in his 1993 inaugural address that, “the new world is more free (sic) but less stable.” Almost on cue, terrorists, on February 26, 1993, bombed the World Trade Center in New York. Random “terrorist” attacks have continued around the globe.

For example, on February 25, 1994, Zionist terrorist, U.S. citizen Baruch Goldstein, machine-gunned Muslim worshippers at the Abraham Mosque in the Palestinian West Bank city of Hebron, killing 29 people.

On April 19, 1995, Christian terrorist Timothy McVeigh bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City. Terrorist attacks continued in far-flung areas of the world, but there was not another terrorist attack on US soil until September 11, 2001. Since 2001 there has not been another. Terrorists have been operating in other parts of the world, but not in the United States.

In the years 1994-2007 (after President Clinton made his declaration) 512,621 Americans died violently at the hands of automobile and truck drivers. But that's life as usual and not to be noticed—and certainly not to be thought of as highway “terrorism.”

Even without terrorism in the US, in 1995, President Clinton signed an executive order naming The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) a Specially Designated Global Terrorist organization, and persons associated with The Islamic Resistance Movement as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. * Among them is Mousa Abu Marzook.

In 2001, President George W. Bush, building on President Clinton’s original designations—and on the wishes of a foreign government—named several organizations and persons as Specially Designated Terrorists. Among them was the Holy Land Foundation.
(See my posting here of August 31, 2007, for a discussion of that Executive Order.)

The results of that designation are obvious. Enter FBI agent Robert Miranda.

“The Terrorist Marzook” is Miranda's mantra. The prosecution is building a case based on events that took place years before any of the “designations” above. The prosecution is subtly building a case based on guilt by association (not so subtly to anyone who understands the facts of the case). The defendants had dealings with “The Terrorist Marzook” when he lived legally in the United States, long before he became “The Terrorist Marzook” in the eyes of US Presidents, ergo, long before such dealings had a hint of “illegality.”

“The Terrorist Marzook” is irrelevant to the case. The prosecution counts on constantly harping on the irrelvant to sway the jury to conviction. Every decent American is “Terrified by [the] War on Terror,” as Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote in 2007. (1) Agent Miranda means his mantra to convince decent Americans that actions that predate the laws on which the trial is based were illegal. Fear is his best tool.

This fear is irrational (there are rational fears—of rattle snakes, of house fires, of earthquakes, of tornadoes). Americans’ fear of “terrorists” is not rational:

Even with the September 11 attacks included….the number of Americans killed by international terrorism since the late 1960s….is about the same as the number killed over the same period by lightning—or by accident-causing deer or by severe allergic reaction to peanuts. In almost all years, the total number of people worldwide who die at the hands of international terrorists is not much more than the number who drown in bathtubs in the United States. (2)

The government’s intention in prompting Agent Miranda’s mantra is simple: to use this trial of American citizens to aid in the Israeli subjugation of the Palestinian people and to help the Israelis make forever impossible the realization of the return to their homeland (or even a portion of it) for the Palestinians.

The intention is to use United States laws to do what the Israeli government has not been able to do—destroy once for all the Palestinian desire for a homeland and self-determination. The legal system has been so corrupted that even US professors of law accept the corruption as fact:

This suit is an example of how using the prosecutors’ tools, that new mission to fight terrorism and prevent the next terrorist attack is being taken seriously by the Justice Department…This is a criminal case. We are governed by laws. The only reason this criminal case could be brought is because the government alleged those laws were violated. (3)

Agent Miranda is convinced he is helping to “prevent the next terrorist attack.” The entire US security apparatus (armed forces, intelligence agencies, homeland seurity) has been so taken over by one point of view that no other interpretation of events can be considered. President Clinton’s declaration was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Every event in the world, every word heard on a FISA wiretap, every meeting of Muslims must be interpreted as conspiring to terrorize. Otherwise justification of much US foreign policy would have to be reconstructed.

This is not to say that no terrorist is a threat to the US. But bundling the Palestinian Resistance Movment together with, for example, Al-Qaeda, is absurd and counter-productive. On August 2, 2006, Phyllis Starkey, a Labour Member of the British Parliament, after one of her several visits to the West Bank said:

I do not believe the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the war in Lebanon and the siege of Gaza are all part of the same struggle. Nor do I think it helpful to bundle together all the varieties of political Islam in the Middle East and treat them as indistinguishable. Life is more complicated and the Middle East cannot be reduced to whether you are ‘for us or against us’, or a war between democracy and the forces of reaction. (4)

It would be remarkable if the US Justice Department or US lawmakers had a modicum of MP Starkey's clarity. One lawmaker apparently had that clarity until his run for the presidency clouded his judgment:

Get on the damn elevator! Fly on the damn plane! Calculate the odds of being harmed by a terrorist! It’s still about as likely as being swept out to sea by a tidal wave . . . . Suck it up, for crying out loud. You’re almost certainly going to be okay. And in the unlikely event you’re not, do you really want to spend your last days cowering behind plastic sheets and duct tape? That’s not a life worth living, is it? (5)

"The Terrorist Marzook" is neither relevant to this trial nor a threat to any American. Period.
* Discussing the reasoning behind President Clinton’s designation should not, by this time, be necessary, but facts need reiteration. 1) The designation came at the request of a foreign government (Israel) and has nothing to do with “terrorism” against the United States. 2) The designation was meant to end the resistance of Palestinians to the Occupation of their land by Israel AND to punish any group or person who jeopardized the implementation of the Oslo Accords. President Clinton chose to overlook the fact that Israel was building “squatterments” all over the West Bank in contravention of those accords as well as against international law. That the squatterment movement was sanctioned at the highest levels of the Israeli government cannot be doubted:

“[Ariel] Sharon… always referred to the territories as Judea and Samaria, never as 'the West Bank' and certainly never as 'occupied.' For how could the very heartland of the biblical land of Israel be considered foreign to the present-day children of Israel? And it was both as a Jew and as a military man that, through the various ministerial offices he held in past governments, Sharon had done so much to increase the number and size of the Jewish settlements in those territories that he became known as the ‘father of the settler movement.’" (6)
(See my posting here of August 28, 2007, for a detailed account of the designation.)

(1) Brzezinski, Zbigniew . “Terrorized by 'War on Terror.' How a Three-Word Mantra Has Undermined America.” Washington Post. Sunday, March 25, 2007; Page B01.
(2) Mueller, John. “Simplicity and Spook: Terrorism and the Dynamics of Threat Exaggeration.”
International Studies Perspectives 6 (2006) 208–234. John Mueller is Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University.
(3) Kahn, Jeffrey. Statement on “Holy Land Trial’s Outcome Carries a Lot of Weight.” Bill Zeeble, KERA reporter on KERA radio, September 23, 2007. Jeffrey
Kahn is Assistant Professor of Law, Southern Methodist University.
(4) Starkey, Phyllis. “I could support Blair on Iraq, but not over this.” The Independent Online. Wednesday, 2 August 2006. Phyllis Starkey is Labour MP for Milton Keynes SW.
(5) McCain, John and Marshall Salter. Why Courage Matters: The Way to a Braver Life. New York: Random House (2004): 34.
(6) Quoted in: Podhoretz, Norman. "Bush, Sharon, My Daughter, and Me." Commentary 119.4 (Apr2005): 40.