So, I've been getting a lot of feedback from readers interested in the Mike Hawash case. Hawash ended up admitting that he wanted to go to Afghanistan and fight with the Taliban, as you can see over at www.freemikehawash.org.
Now, some ignorant yahoos who I'm ashamed to say I share a country with have been implying that this article I wrote, back when Hawash was first jailed without accusation, has been somehow invalidated by his guilty plea. Let me show you why these people are maggot-brained retards who don't deserve freedom.
The Hawash case attracted attention before he was ever accused of a crime, because John Ashcroft's jackbooted thugs initially tried to trample all over his constitutional freedoms as an American citizen. Far from being arrested, as you would think a criminal should be, Hawash was rounded up and thrown in an oubliette, where he languished for five weeks. He had been accused of nothing.
That's right, thrown in jail for five weeks for NO OFFICIAL CAUSE whatsoever. And even more disturbingly, Hawash's imprisonment was clearly part of a large-scale agenda within the Justice Department, an agenda which brazenly attacked the cherished individual freedoms that we right-thinking Americans hold to be inalienable. The power-mad autocrats led by John Ashcroft had decided that, in the wake of September 11th, ideals such as "due process" and "presumption of innocence" had become inconvenient. They wanted to round up anybody with an Arabic name and throw them all into jail until somebody talked.
And terrifyingly enough, they were largely successful. Mass secret detentions were carried out, mostly targeting immigrants, though some FBI agents were instructed to go through the phone book and question anybody with a funny name. More than 1,200 people were thrown in jail simply because they were Arabs and "might know something." In the climate of fear that prevailed at the time, many were assumed to be terrorists by prison officials; some were tortured. Hundreds were kept in jail for six or seven months before being released, or charged on crimes unrelated to terrorism.
There's a link to an Amnesty International report at the bottom of the page. You can get all the facts there.
These mass secret detentions were a WRONG, TERRIBLE, HORRIBLY BAD THING. Our children will probably read about it in history textbooks the same way we read about Japanese concentration camps during World War II. And one of the reasons Ashcroft's forces were able to commit this atrocity is because they systematically abused something called the "material witness" statute, which allows law enforcement personnel to hold somebody who has important information in a case but might flee if left unguarded.
The material witness provision is NOT meant to be used on criminals. It's meant to be used on WITNESSES. We have a very well specified procedure for accusing somebody of a crime and bringing them to trial. This procedure involves many safeguards--Miranda rights, habeas corpus, presumption of innocence, reasonable doubt, standards of admissable and inadmissable evidence--which make it harder for police to arrest and prosecute the bad guys. That's because, for the police, the ideal government is a police state. But in a free country, the rights of individuals are held to be more important than the convenience of law enforcement personnel.
The use of material witness statutes to imprison suspects without evidence, without accusation and without trial is a BLATANT violation of due process. That's why the Mike Hawash case was important. And the good news here is, we won! Because freedom-loving Americans such as myself raised a REAL BIG STINK over Mike Hawash, the Feds were forced to bring actual charges against him, and to conduct his prosecution under criminal law, like they should have done from the beginning.
So, for those of you who think that because Hawash turned out to be guilty he didn't deserve due process in the first place, let me just say: You suck, you cowardly snivelling wimps. You're so brainwashed by the terrorism hysteria that you're ready to turn America into a police state. YOU'RE the most dangerous traitors this country has.