Tampa jury celebrates our rights and freedoms

10 10 2006

**Original Post: 7 Dec 2005

The acquittal of Professor Sami Al-Arian of terrorism, perjury and immigration charges by a Tampa jury proves that freedom of speech and association still the law of the land even after September 11, notwithstanding our Justice Department.
For 10 years, over zealous and over ambitious prosecutors in both Washington and in Tampa spent tens of millions of dollars building “their case” and of course listening to some 20,000 hours of secrete wire tapping, with the prosecutor spending hundred of thousands of dollars airlifting hundreds of Israel citizens to testify against Dr. Arian. Of course the prosecutor did not see a need to fly in one single Palestinian who were the beneficiaries of charities supported by Dr. Arian. To the prosecution all Palestinians are terrorists, similar to the views held by the Israeli government.
The prosecution unsuccessfully tried to frame the issue of Palestinians and Muslims exercise their rights of political speech and association as a form of terrorism. The jury made up of average citizens made it clear it has better understanding and better appreciations of the US Constitution and First Amendment rights. That such rights did not cross the threshold even if speeches are supporting independence and freedom of Palestinians is very unpopular with the Jewish communities in Florida, within community of Jewish Campus Watch, within college professors and administrators and certainly with such creeps and assholes like Bill O’Reilly of Fox News.
The acquittal of Dr. Arian is a slap in the face of both former attorney general Ashcroft and present attorney general Gonzales, certainly the acquittal might have a chilling effect on the business of Steve Emerson to tape and video tape speeches at mosques or at Palestinians and Muslim gatherings. The jury made it clear hates for Israel and Zionism and hate for Israeli Occupation, support for freedom and independence for Palestinians is not against the law and is a protected speech and is not terrorism, and those US citizens of Palestinians origin are not second-class citizens and do have the same rights granted to all US citizens.
Once again, the Justice Department proved that the Patriot Act is a very bad act and while not protecting US against terrorism as it is infringing on the rights of citizens for free speech and association and of course it stands against every legal principal we have in the country. Moreover, relying on Israel as a source of information to prosecute Palestinians in the US who happened to speak up against Israel and against the occupation does not stand. Perhaps the US Justice Department needs to understand that the standard of justice in the US is quite different from that of Israel. While in Israel the law and justice depends on whether the defendant is a Jew or an Arab, the law and justice in the US is color and religion blind and does not differentiate between a US citizens who is a descendant of the Mayflower or a citizens who legally immigrated to the US and made the US his/her country of choice.
The Bush Administration and the US Justice Department have to understand that Arab American and Muslim American love this country, their loyalty to the US is no less than that of the Jewish community and no less than the descendants of the Mayflower or the Daughters of the American Revolution. The US Justice Department has to understand supporting freedom and independence for Palestinians and advocating an end to the Israeli Occupation and advocating and end to Israeli settlements and the Wall is not a form of terrorism and supporting Palestinian charities is not a form of terrorism and speaking out on Zionism is not a form of terrorism, it is freedom of speech.
Once again American celebrates our rights of freedom and liberty, thank you Tampa.

Why Jefferson Corner of campus?

10 10 2006

Originial Post: 19 April 2005

I am sure all of you now are experiencing what we have experienced some years ago. The issues may be different now, but the needs for free speech on campus was and remains a big issue for every one.

While college campuses now enjoy the relative calms that was missing in the sixties and seventies, now it is not the government that is stifling free speech on campus, it is the administration, alumni, campus watch groups, special interest groups, that are now interfering and creating a chilling effect on the right of free debate and free speech on campus inside and outside the classrooms.

Students groups, professors and college administrations are threatened with law suites and loss of jobs. Powerful and rich alumni withholding funds from universities threaten colleges and universities and colleges because some professors and student groups take on subjects deemed controversial and not so politically correct. Registered student and not registered students now bring in video cameras to record the teaching and classroom discussions. All of these sad and tragic events are creating threatening and frightening conditions on campus for the right of free speech.

College campus is the one place where students not only get an education; they are exposed to many competing ideas, thoughts, and issues. And it is one the place where no one has a monopoly on knowledge. The university is the one place where great ideas are always debated in a civilized and enlightened atmosphere where people on the “other side’ of the issues would meet after a debate and continue the discussions into the late hours. Such was the case with me while at Indiana University in Bloomington, where the subject of Israel and the Palestinians was always a “hot” topic, but where students on both side of the issue would have very heated debates only to go out afterward to a bar of a coffee shop and continue the discussions. Many on both sides of this issue became lifetime friends. The same was with the issue of Vietnam, where students would have great and very moving debates and all in the interest of the nations. Great times and great moments in one’s college life. That was before interest groups and alumni change that.

I invite all student governments on campus to petition the university and sponsor a single location on campus, where students at any time, can mount a soapbox and exercise and enjoy the right to free speech, and where all can enjoy the fun and the knowledge that comes of such encounters. I am sure that most if not all of you heard of Hyde Park Corner, that great and famous Speaker Corner of London famous Hyde Park where speakers after speakers can mount that soap box and give great speeches, not so great and sometimes foolish speeches, but all have the right to speak out and express an opinion. The idea is for you, the students to sponsor a Jefferson Corner at your campus and make it and turn it into the great and central attraction it can be. I invite you to join me in celebrating our rights and tradition of free speech and celebrate a Jefferson Corner on every campus in this great country of ours. Thanks you.
Sami Jamil Jadallah, sponsor and promoter www.jeffersoncorner.com
Fairfax, VA

One more right down the drain of liberty

10 10 2006

**Original Post: 9 June 2005

The US Senate, that great bastion of power, where lobbyist roam the great halls of the people and dictates the laws of this country, met in secrete session and voted on the new provisions of the Patriot Act. The new provisions give that other great police institution of this country, once run by the infamous J. Edgar Hoover for over 40 years. Lady J, ran it with an iron fist for his/her person and his/her personal agenda, making sure agents, where “straight as an arrow” while he/she was parading in a skirts and women handbags. The same man, oh, sorry Lady J, terrified so many sitting presidents and terrified the nation, using the hunt for communism as the agenda to control the nation, and no one dared to question him/her. That same institution now has power that went beyond the dreams of Lady J.
Under the new provisions of the Patriot Act, the FBI can issue orders; warrant for arrest, seizures, monitor and wire tap any and every one. Well, not really every one, but mostly Arabs and Muslims of this country, and can get all kind of information, including medical records and how many times couples have intercourse, and books checked out of the library. All of this power and more even if the person the FBI is after did not or is not suspected of doing any thing illegal or criminal, or have any connection with any foreign power or group. All that and more without the benefits of an independent federal judge to look at the evidence or pass a judgment on the request of the FBI.
Well, of course, we need to keep in mind that this great institution of ours have within its ranks and for so many years, spies and traitors who were responsible for policing others and protecting the nation.
Well, the question is does the nation trust the FBI to do all that, and have all of the powers without the danger of abusing such powers? Of course not!
Without any checks and balances, no police or security institution could ever be entrusted with the security of the nation and with the rights of citizens without an independent supervision of the judiciary, the only independent branch of the government we have, that is not subject to the dictates of lobbyist and people like Tom Delay, who if has it his way, federal judges will be at the whims of special interest groups, and even in danger for their lives. We only need to look at the Gestapo or Hitler’s Germany or the Stassi of East Germany or the KGP of the former Soviet Union and to the Savak of the late Shah of Iran, to know that such institutions with raw powers not only failed to protect the nations, they contributed to their demise. We only hope this will not be the case with the FBI.
Terrorism and the fear of terrorism is a big business and federal agencies asking and are getting hundreds of billions of precious tax dollars only to give it away to greedy and incompetent federal contractors who think they are providing the nation with added security, when in fact the citizens feel other wise and they are filling the pockets of their shareholders and executives.
I am not going to go to the intended victims, suspects and targets of the Patriot Act, the Arabs and Muslims. I will not be surprised if I walk up one night on the sound of someone knocking on my door at 4 am in the morning and asking me why do I shop at Safeway and not at Giant, and why do I buy smoked turkey and not roast beef. We should not be surprised if these things happen. Every thing we buy or a book we check out, or a restaurants we go out to, or food we eat, or music we listen to, we must first think what interest will the FBI have in such activities. Of course, we like the rest of the nation, it is our country and we care for it as any one else, perhaps more, we chose to be here.

In Search of the Truth, Journalists are Jailed and Killed

10 10 2006

**Original Post: 28 Sept 2005

Two major stories that hit the freedom of speech and information in the heart. One is the jailing of award winning journalist Judith Miller of the New York Times for failing to disclose here sources, and the other the jailing of Al-Jazeera investigative journalist Taiseer Allouni for 7 years by Spain.
Ms. Miller has been sitting in Alexandria jail for more than 3 months with no end in sight as to how far the government will go toward prosecuting journalist as they risk every thing in search of the truth.
The jailing of Mr. Alouni arises out of interviews with that the number one terrorist, Osama Bin Laden. Of course Taiseer was jailed for his investigative journalism while other Western journalist who have done the same where never brought to trial. Of course the US jailed Ms. Miller, while Spain jailed Mr. Alouni.
More troublesome are the news from Beirut, where a car bomb severely injured TV journalist Ms. May Shidiaq. This comes soon after the car bomb murder of journalist Samir Qassir. It seems that the word is out, to get the entire journalist who are out to get the truth.
In a country like the US where the government is always part of the cover-up, we do need journalist who are dedicated to the truth to go where no politician dare to go, to the truth, even if the truth is hard to stomach. We need more of those journalist, that those on TV who makes millions of dollars shouting at themselves, shouting as their guests and shouting when they hear something that does not fit with their point of views. Of course the TV and airways are always full of these pseudo journalist, some of whom are an insult to the American intelligence. We need more of Ms. Miller and we need more of Taiseer Alouni, Samir Qassir and May Shidiaq.
We may not agree with the truth they bring out, but we must admire them for going where we as citizens could not go.
It is too bad that many journalists have been killed over the last year covering armed conflict all over the world. Some journalist, like those killed in Iraq where perhaps targeted killing design to intimidate journalist who reports on the mess we made out of Iraq. They were not the pretty boys and girls “impeded” with the US military. This of course was the first time the use of the word” impeded” applied to journalist. One would think that what we need is independent journalist who bring us the good, the bad and ugly about our wars. Journalist like David Halberstram, Dan Rather, Tom Brokow, Peter Jennings, Edward R. Morrow, Eric Severid and that dean of all, Mr. Walter Cronkite.
If any one take people like Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbo as serious journalist, one need to take an introductory to journalism or buy one of those short books “journalism for dummies” from Safeway. There are journalists and then there are those who claim they are journalist who could not stand on their own without being fed by assistants and public relation staff.
I salute Mr. Miller and Mr. Alouni and I mourn Mr. Qassir and wish Ms. Shidiaq quick and speedy recovery. No one, no one should be jailed or killed for their opinion or because they are searching the truth.

Welcome to Jefferson Corner!

10 10 2006

Jefferson Corner is dedicated to providing a Free Forum: the Alternative to the Established and the Sponsored Media. It is an area where we give Free Speech its real meaning. We all have the rights to speak out, on issues of Politics, Economics and Finance, and Social Science. We all have the right as Americans to speak out on National issues as well as Global concerns.

In the spirit of Thomas Jefferson and the US Constitution, we are providing the forum for all to express their opinion free from editorial boards and publishers.

Our goal is to host opinions and raise issues that affect the nation and its future. We invite you to take this opportunity for you to add your input, add your opinions, raise questions, and respond to other opinions.

Jefferson Corner also has “The Morning Coffee” which is an area for selected guest speakers to voice their opinions and allows you to participate in analyzing, commenting, and critquing opinions made with no editorials and no censorship.

In the Message Board, we provide an opportunity for you to open a free speech section for your own home town, your own school, or your own city. A place where you can place opinions and concerns affecting your area with no editorial censorship. We do however advise that authors are responsible for their own opinions.

Promote Jefferson Corner in towns and cities across the nation and on college campuses. Make free speech an American tradition again, and not the prerogative of established media and the pundits. Jefferson Corner is where every one have the right to stand up and speak their mind and share their opinion with citizens across the nation and the world.

Please check out our official website at: http://www.jeffersoncorner.com/

Perhaps it is time to turn Congress into a public company, where we all can trade in the stock of each congressmen!

24 01 2006

US Congress

The case of Jack Abramoff not only raises many questions, it demands more and creative measures to address the corruptions that have become the norm in a Republican led Congress.
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