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USA vs Al-Arian
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Contempt Charges Will Stand

Washington Post
January 17, 2009

By Tom Jackman

A federal judge in Alexandria ruled yesterday that she would not throw out contempt-of-court charges against former professor Sami al-Arian, who has refused to cooperate with a terrorism investigation, and set his case for trial on March 9.

U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema said that Arian can use the defense that he was relying on the advice of his attorneys when he declined to testify before grand juries investigating whether Muslim groups in Herndon were financing terrorism in the Middle East.

"We are very gratified by Judge Brinkema's rulings with regard to the trial," said Jonathan Turley, one of Arian's attorneys. "We look forward to putting Dr. al-Arian's case in front of the jury."

Arian, 50, declined to comment. In the courtroom was a crowd of Arian's supporters, includ ing nearly two dozen people from Tampa, where Arian taught computer engineering at the University of South Florida before his first arrest in 2004.

Arian was charged then with raising money and otherwise assisting Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a group the U.S. government declared a terrorist organization in 1995. At trial in 2005, he was acquitted on eight of 17 counts, and the jury deadlocked on the other counts.

Rather than face a retrial, Arian pleaded guilty in May 2006 to one count of conspiring to assist the terrorist group and was sentenced to 57 months in prison, most of which he had served while awaiting trial. In his plea agreement, Arian did not agree to cooperate with subsequent investigations, as most federal plea agreements require.

Within days of Arian's plea and sentencing, prosecutors in Alexandria subpoenaed him to testify in the investigation of a group of Herndon organizations suspected of funneling money to terror groups, although no one has been charged. Arian refused, both in 2006 and 2007, and was jailed for civil contempt of court for nearly all of 2007.

"I refuse to testify," Arian told the grand jury in 2007, "based on my prior plea agreement with the government that I'm not required to testify and cooperate in this or any other investigation. I refuse, therefore, to make any further statements."

Last year, Alexandria prosecutors subpoenaed him for the third time and again offered him immunity from prosecution for his testimony. But the immunity order crafted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Kromberg contained additional language not usually found in such orders, saying that Arian could still be prosecuted for obstructing justice or for actions occurring after his testimony.

Arian's attorneys protested, and Brinkema said in August, "I think it's real scary and not wise for a prosecutor to provide an order to the court that does not track the explicit language of the statute."

After Arian's third refusal to testify, prosecutors obtained indictments in June charging him with two counts of criminal contempt of court. Brinkema postponed the trial while Arian appealed his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the court declined to consider the case.

Turley sought to have Brinkema dismiss the case, but the judge said, "There is nothing in the record that would indicate that the U.S. attorney in this district is barred, by the plea agreement in Florida, from bringing this action." Brinkema said Kromberg's immunity orders "did not materially change the scope of protection given to the defendant."

Kromberg then asked whether the defense would be able to use the theory that Arian refused to testify based on the advice of his attorneys. Brinkema said yes, that a jury could consider it. That issue could become crucial to a jury trying to determine why Arian defied orders to testify.

Link: Click here

Documents & Releases

Statement of Chairs of American Muslim Task-Force on Civil Rights and Elections  (AMT) and  Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

Howard Zinn Statement on Professor Al-Arian

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SPOTLIGHT

March 2000

December 2005alarian.jpg

January 2009

To be patriotic is to be able to question government policy in times of crisis.
To be patriotic is to stand up for the Bill of Rights and the Constitution in times of uncertainty and insecurity.
To be patriotic is to  speak up against the powerful in defense of the weak and the voiceless.
To be patriotic is to be willing to pay the price to preserve our freedoms, dignity, and rights.
To be patriotic is to
challenge the abuses of the PATRIOT Act.
From a speech by Dr. Al-Arian
9/1/2002

Biography---

UFF Summary: Al-Arian and USF

Poetry

Announcement of Book: The Al-Arian Reader

A new compilation of all relevant articles to be released soon by the National Liberty Fund

Selected Poems
by Sami Al-Arian

We Shall Rise

To Maya Angelou
Like the dream of the slave
You rise
And with the scream of the brave
I shall rise
In honoring the memory of your ancestors
You rise
With my stateless brothers and sisters
I shall rise
Like dust in the sunlight
You rise
And as ashes in a fiery night
I shall rise
You offend
Because of your existence
And I
For my resistance
You upset them
Recalling their past
And I
By holding steadfast
They may trod you in dirt
May cause me all the hurt
Inflict upon you excruciating pain
While they shut me up and detain
By they won't see you broken
Neither would my faith be forsaken
As you've never bowed your head
And never lowered your eyes
I'll continue to raise my fist
And hide my mother's cries
They may shoot you with their words
Cut me up with their swords
They may insult you with their eyes
Denigrate me with their lies
Trying to kill you with their hate
Bury me alive to seal my fate
But they'd certainly
Be shamed and fail
As the free chant and sing
On their march to prevail
So keep your head held high
As I follow you and try
And keep your beautiful smile
As I walk my first mile
They'll pressure and blame
Throw us in prison to control and tame
They'll exile and defame
Lynch us all or shoot and maim
Burn crosses with no shame
Target our children in a dirty game
By why is that a surprise?
Despite their evil and terror
Their falsehood and lies
You shall rise
And I shall rise
You're the black ocean
Leaping and wide
I'm the Mediterranean
With a stormy tide
Staying together
Side by side
It's no surprise
We shall rise
Surely shall rise
We together shall rise
No Longer Afraid
For us to feel "secure"
What price is being paid?
If living in freedom
Why are we afraid?
Fear is everywhere
All around
Perhaps irrational
But without any bound
You can see it on our faces
Sense it in our eyes
You can hear it in our whispers
Feel it in our cries
More>>No Longer Afraid
The Bird and The Vulture
The bird was chirping
In a house on a tree
But the vulture was angry
Because it was free
When the bird is singing
The vulture ain't safe
More>>The Bird and The Vulture
The Smile of Freedom
He looked like
A body-builder
Tall, tough, and full
All muscles and no fat
His mind was simple
Suited to follow orders
No questions asked
Acting mean and mechanical
Like any bureaucrat
More>>The Smile ...
In the Name of Freedom
In the name of freedom
We shall rule the world
To spread democracy
And set you free
In the name of freedom
We’ll descend on you
To make you civilized
Modern and orderly
More>>In the Name ...
The Accused: Franz Kafka Meets George Orwell in 21st Century America
Act I: The Mother of all Evidence
Act II- Weapons of Mass Deception
Act III: Silencing of the Lambs
Act IV: Attacks of the Wolves
Act V: Occupied Territory
Act VI: Police State
Act VII: Official Obituary
Act VIII: A Close Encounter of the Scariest Kind
Act IX: The Inquisition
Act X- Conspiracy Theory
Act XI- Secret Trials
Act XII- Silent Pain and Teary Eyes
Act XIII- True Patriot Acts
Do Not Sign
Rights are not for sale
History is not kind
On those who sell their people out,
Betray their cause,
Surrender their land
To tow the line
Do not sign
More>>Do Not Sign
Rachel Corrie: Daughter of Palestine
The most gentle
Amongst all honorable
Women
Had a spirit
As dazzling as
The garden of
Eden
More>>Daughter of Palestine
Ole Jerusalem
O Ole Jerusalem
I feel your pain
I hear your cries
The light thunder
In the darkness
And the heavy rain
I see the steady bleeding
Of your wound
With its mark and stain
More>>Ole Jerusalem
Patrick Henry
A revolutionary
At heart
A patriot
From the start
Loved by his country
To the core
Defended freedom
Even more
Hated arrogance
In shape and tone
Fought tyranny
With every bone
He was the conscience
Of his people
Striking fear in the enemy
And made it feeble
More>> Patrick Henry
Injustice
An overwhelming feeling
Of bitterness
Emptiness
Hopelessness
Helplessness
Sadness
Madness
Of hatred and rage
Trapped in a cage
Disappointment and anger
Continuing to linger
Wounding of dignity
Violating your virginity
More>> Injustice
Political Riddles
He sees the world as black and white
His solution to every quandary is fight with might
The economy will not stimulate
Because he can’t articulate
While jobs are gone
He says, “bring ‘em on.”
Who is he?
He likes to be called the General
The head of an agency that’s federal
If you spit on the sidewalk
He’ll send the Incredible Hulk
He hates to cite truth or fact
Because he’s busy promoting his unpatriotic act
He frequents TV cameras with a smash
The first part of his last name sounds like trash
Who is he?
He is the ideal dutiful poodle they say
From an empire where the sun did not set one day
He adores his cowboy friend and considers him a fan
And insists: I’m nobody’s yes-man
When the cowboy says no, I say no
Who is he?
More>>Political Riddles