Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A US Citizen of Jewish faith spied for Israel, an ardent ally?!

- LA times had a 500 word story in the inside pages
- NY Times forgot to cover this story ... ooops
- WP story is pasted below

This is NOT the first but the second known case of a Jewish-American (Jonathan Pollard) spying for Israel whom we call an ally of different proportions. In both cases, the spying was done by the State of Israel, for the State of Israel, using Jewish-American citizens!

Should the US call for a Jewish-Integration Program just as we ask of Mexican-Americans & Muslim-Americans to give up their Mexican-ness & Mulim-ness ...

Think for a moment if this were to have been a Muslim-American spying for a Muslim country, how the media & the government would have covered it ...


Man, 84, Is Charged With Spying for Israel in 1980s

By Carrie JohnsonWashington Post Staff WriterWednesday, April 23, 2008; A04

For more than two decades after he allegedly furnished an Israeli operative with secrets about U.S. nuclear initiatives and sensitive weapons programs, Ben-Ami Kadish lived unnoticed by law enforcement authorities in suburban New Jersey.

Until yesterday, that is, when Kadish, 84, was arrested at his home, taken to a federal courthouse in Manhattan and charged with four counts of conspiracy allegedly for serving as an foreign agent and allegedly for lying to the FBI about a recent telephone conversation he had with his alleged Israeli handler.

Kadish, a mechanical engineer, worked at the U.S. Army's research arsenal in Dover, N.J., in the early 1980s. He routinely checked classified documents out of a library there and passed them to an unnamed Israeli official who had provided a list of what he wanted, according to a four-count criminal complaint the FBI filed yesterday.

The official photographed pages related to nuclear weaponry, the F-15 fighter jet program and the U.S. Patriot missile defense system, according to an FBI affidavit on which the complaint is based.

Kadish's actions appear to have escaped detection for years even though his handler allegedly also collected classified information from Jonathan Pollard, a former Navy intelligence analyst. Pollard is serving a life sentence in a federal prison in Butner, N.C., after pleading guilty to an espionage-related crime in 1986.

"It's a fascinating case of another agent in place, another sleeper, with the very same handler," said Joseph E. diGenova, the former U.S. attorney in the District who prosecuted Pollard. "We always suspected there were other people. His tradecraft was apparently better than Pollard's."
DiGenova said the espionage, which the charging documents indicate ceased in 1985, doubtless have come to the government's attention because of wiretap evidence obtained by the FBI and federal prosecutors in Manhattan. FBI agents first interviewed Kadish last month about his activities at the Army's Picatinny Arsenal, where he worked between 1963 and 1990, according to the filing.

Kadish, a U.S. citizen who was born in Connecticut, told the agents that he "borrowed" classified documents at the urging of his handler, who encouraged him to help "protect Israel" by sharing papers that had a "direct correlation to Israel's security." He accepted only small gifts and occasional family dinners in exchange for his services, the FBI said.

Kadish told Special Agent Lance Ashworth that between August 1979 and July 1985, he provided the handler with 50 to 100 documents, according to the affidavit.

The handler is identified in the criminal complaint only as "co-conspirator 1," but he has been named in Israeli publications and by a former prosecutor as Yosef Yagur. He lived in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and worked as an adviser on science affairs at the Israeli Consulate in New York.

Yagur left the United States in November 1985, shortly after Pollard was charged with espionage-related offenses, and has never returned.

The handler called Kadish's home at least 22 times between July and November 1985, according to an FBI account of the phone records. The two men have since allegedly maintained contact through periodic e-mail messages and phone calls. They met in Israel four years ago, but their dealings since 1985 have been "purely social," Kadish told investigators.

The handler and Kadish renewed their ties on March 20, according to the FBI affidavit, after federal agents interviewed Kadish for the first time. "Don't say anything," the handler allegedly said. "Let them say whatever they want. . . . What happened 25 years ago? You didn't remember anything."

The next day, FBI agents again questioned Kadish, who allegedly denied the call had taken place. His statements eventually became the basis for two criminal conspiracy charges that accuse him of hindering an investigation and of lying to law enforcement officials. He was also charged with conspiracy to serve as an Israeli agent and conspiracy to disclose documents related to U.S. defense programs.

A federal magistrate judge in New York released Kadish yesterday afternoon on a $300,000 personal recognizance bond secured by his home in Monroe Township, N.J. He was required to surrender his passport, and he will not be allowed to travel beyond New Jersey and New York.
Bruce Goldstein, a defense lawyer for Kadish, did not return calls. David Siegel, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy, said that "we were formally informed of the indictment by the relevant authorities," but declined to comment further.

Monday, April 21, 2008

CA Governor's selective representation

Governor of California's selective representation

The Governor's Cold Shoulder to MuslimsRebuffing California's Islamic leaders sends a message of intolerance.
By Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California.
August 25, 2006.

EARLIER THIS MONTH, with war raging in the Middle East, I saw that my governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was meeting with rabbis and others who support Israel. As executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, a federation of more than 75 mosques and Muslim organizations serving half a million Muslims, I thought that such a high public official should also meet with members of my community.

I wrote to him on Aug. 7. I wanted to talk to the governor about three important points.

I wanted him to know that my community felt that the deaths of innocent Israeli civilians from the rockets of Hezbollah were painfully tragic, and just as tragic as the deaths of innocent Lebanese people and the destruction of their country's infrastructure by the Israeli bombing.

I wanted to ask him to listen to another, equally important side of the story.

And I wanted to urge him to remember that the governor should represent and listen to all the people of California.

After waiting for more than a week, and following up with at least 10 phone calls to the governor's office, I had gotten no response. I felt it was my duty and my right as a citizen to avail myself of a public forum to reach the governor. When a reporter from the L.A. Times called, I spoke with him and, on Aug. 16, The Times correctly reported my perspective: The fact that the governor had ignored my request to meet was disrespectful and insulting.

I believe what I did comes under the heading of Democracy 101. Politicians govern and win elections by responding to the populace. And when they do not, the populace has two remedies: the power of the vote and the power of public opinion.

Finally, when the governor agreed to meet with two Muslims, it was as individuals, not on behalf of any organization. He refused to meet with me. His communications director, Adam Mendelsohn, was forthright in a public statement: "We did not meet with Mr. Syed [because] it was inappropriate for the governor to meet with someone who uses the media to demand meetings and threaten political retaliation."

I think the governor's communications director needs work on his communication skills. What he calls demanding a meeting, I call paying attention to constituents; what he calls political retaliation, I call voting.

I think that deliberately avoiding a meeting with me solely because I made use of my 1st Amendment rights is simply un-American. This isn't a personal matter between me and the governor. It's about making sure that the half a million people I represent are heard in Sacramento.

Marginalizing Californians who are Muslims subtly reinforces anti-Muslim stereotypes, which all too often cast us as outsiders. This is not principled, it's not good politics and it's not good for the state.

In these volatile times, with attacks on Muslims and our mosques, we cannot afford to be ignored by our governor; we can't stand by when his actions deepen religious and cultural divisions. Californians are, by and large, decent and well-intentioned. They want to solve problems; they want to break down barriers.

Shouldn't their governor be helping them bring down the walls that separate us rather than building them higher?

Published as an Op-Ed in Los Angeles Times on Aug 25, 2006.

Beware the Tax Collector, Cometh!

Beware the Tax Collector, Cometh!

Beware, the Tax Collector Cometh!
By Shakeel Syed, Executive Director of the Islamic Shura Council

Romans craftily taxed small farmers, artisans and businesses but exempted the senatorial class, the descendants of anyone who had served in the Roman Senate. Farmers who could not pay their taxes were enslaved (along with their wives and children) and had to give their lands and themselves to the local members of the senatorial class, losing both their freedom and their farms.

History shows us that tax collection is often used by the state as a chief instrument of power. From the ancient Egyptians and Romans to the recent British Empire and now to the emerging Empire of the United States of America, both taxes or the lack there-of is meant to demonstrate power.

The state is now using that power against All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena over a 2004 sermon by Rev. Dr. George Regas in which he said Jesus would have told President Bush, “Mr. President, your doctrine of preemptive war is a failed doctrine [that] has led to disaster.”

Beware, the Tax Collector Cometh!

The Tax Collector claims Regas’s sermon implied endorsement of the then presidential Democratic nominee for president, John Kerry. Such discourse from the pulpit is evil, said the Tax Collector and threatened to take away the church’s 501C3 status, one of the key benefits awarded by the state.

Hypocrisy of the tax collector of our time, a.k.a. the I.R.S. (I Are Us as in With Us or Against Us), cannot be but at its worst.

The spiritually and socially responsible All Saints Church is being threatened, for merely calling for justice to the destitute and impoverished while the multi-million dollar 700 Club of the infamous Pat Robertson can continue to get richer in spite of calling for the assassination of a head of state, using the tele-pulpit!

Such are the hypocrisies of the I Are Us; very similar to the Roman inequities. When commoners could not bare the injustices, they rebelled, leading to the downfall of empires. The emerging American Empire should learn from history. Downfall is near.
The role of tax agencies all along in history was to serve as the bullies of the monarchs and dictators. The IRS is no different. Selective enforcement of good law is a demonstration of such corrupt power. A moral audit of IRS is imperative for the health of our society.

501C3 or not. The call to redress inequities and injustices often begins from the pulpit. And that never has, nor will ever change. Else, the Mayflower would never have sailed.

Much before man created the I.R.S. and such three-letter acronyms, the three-letter word, God, always has and always will remain simply supreme. Pulpit or no pulpit, 501C3 or no 501C3, man will always be inspired, like George Regas, to speak for justice and equity for the destitute and impoverished. No I.R.S. can ever succeed in auditing the word of truth to the power.

An Op-Ed in support of All Saints Church, Pasadena and the threats it received from IRS.
Published in Pasadena Star News.

A Semblance of Justice

Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Semblance of Justice

An Op-Ed by OCRegister upon release of Abdel Jabbar Hamdan after his two years unjust detention by the US Government. ---Thursday, August 3, 2006

A semblance of justiceEditorial: Release of Abdel-Jabbar Hamdan was overdueAn Orange County Register editorialAbdel-Jabbar Hamdan of Buena Park said his arrest and detention for two years in federal custody came from the "paranoia" of an overzealous government in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. We're not qualified to make psychiatric diagnoses, but his detention at Terminal Island in San Pedro for two years certainly seems unjustified. It was right that U.S. District Judge Terry J. Hatter finally ordered him released.

Mr. Hamdan does not deny he was a fundraiser for the Holy Land Foundation, a Texas-based Muslim charitable organization that the U.S. government says is a front for Hamas, the Palestinian organization the State Department has classified as terrorist but which recently won elections in the Palestinian territories. The U.S. government shut the Holy Land Foundation's U.S. operations down in 2001, but Mr. Hamdan says that all his work was strictly charitable in nature, not related to supporting terrorism.

That claim might be disingenuous. Money is fungible; money contributed to an organization for one purpose can be diverted to other purposes. But the U.S. government did not document any claim that Mr. Hamdan was knowingly supporting a terrorist group.

He was not arrested for or charged with supporting terrorism, but on charges he overstayed a student visa he got 27 years ago to attend USC. He had appealed deportation and would ordinarily have been released while the appeal was heard. But the government claimed he was a national security threat.

Shakeel Syed, executive director, Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, sees it this way: "It looks to us as if the government is making examples of people who speak out or are prominent in the community. Otherwise, this was a simple immigration violation case."

Assuming Mr. Hamdan did overstay his 27-year-old visa, he had not been in trouble with the law (before this), according to one of his attorneys, and there was an amnesty in 1986. The attorney believes it unlikely the government will be successful in deporting him to Jordan.

If the government was going to make a claim about national security, it should have at the very least have filed charges that backed up the accusation. Keeping people in prison because somebody in government says they're a national security threat is the way of tyrannies, not of constitutional republics governed by the rule of law. The fact that the judiciary finally recognized this injustice is encouraging, but the fact that Mr. Hamdan could be imprisoned for two years on such frivolous grounds suggests that American traditions of fair play and due process are shakier than we might have hoped.

Riad Hamad - Pal-American Peace Activist found dead in Austin, TX

55 years old, husband and father of one son & one daughter, Riad Hamad, Palestinian-American School Teacher & a peace activist, under investigation by FBI, for sending books to children in Palestine, found dead floating in a lake in Austin, TX.

May we all be blessed to honor his legacy by reaffirming our unconditional & unwavering commitment to justice & peace for all oppressed & voiceless people.

- Obituary in Austin Statesman

- Hamad’s project - Palestinian Children's Welfare Fund

- Did Riad Kill Himself ?

- Riad's body condition according to the Imam who washed him before burial

FBI Hunts Looking Backward

Here's a WP piece that proves yet once again how FBI loves catching innocent people and then parading them on national Television. But, never once the shameless DOJ 'apologized' for ruining their lives. I have personally witnessed few such cases in Southern California. This immoral & unjust DOJ practices may never end until the citizens starting suing DOJ for their lives, altered forever!

Few Clear Wins in U.S. Anti-Terror CasesMoving Early on Domestic Suspects Often Does Not Bring Convictions

By Carrie Johnson and Walter Pincus Washington Post Staff WritersMonday, April 21, 2008;

When seven ragtag men in a Miami religious sect were indicted in 2006 for their role in a bizarre plot to blow up the FBI Miami office and Chicago's Sears Tower, then- Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said the case represented "a new brand of terrorism" among homegrown gangs that "may prove to be as dangerous as groups like al-Qaeda."

Justice Department officials used similar rhetoric in a 2003 case against a Tampa-area man and his associates who allegedly supported a reign of terror by a violent Palestinian group. The officials did so again in a 2004 case involving a Dallas charity known as the Holy Land Foundation, which they said provided "blood money" to finance overseas suicide bombings.
But juries in all three cases saw things differently than the government's national security team. In the most recent disappointment for federal prosecutors, a jury last week did not reach a verdict in the Miami case for the second time. In the Holy Land case, one defendant was cleared of the charges and jurors deadlocked on charges against the others. After 12 days of deliberation, jurors in the Tampa case acquitted two men and could not agree on the charges against the main defendant.

The department's domestic terrorism record to date -- no new attacks, but few blockbuster convictions and some high-profile hung juries or acquittals -- has provoked criticism of its early strategy for going after homegrown terrorist cells and the people who fund plots well before deadly events occur.

Jurors appear to be particularly troubled by a controversial element in the Miami case, part of several other early prosecutions, in which FBI informants encouraged others to perform acts they otherwise may not have done.

This week, federal prosecutors in Miami will announce whether they will seek to try the defendants for the third time. The government's incentive to do so is powerful: Two years ago, it intended the case to be a model for intervention against potential terrorists before they acquire the weapons and insight needed to act.

Independent commissions have urged the FBI to become more aggressive at detecting threats and neutralizing them before they explode. But what emerged was an approach where investigators sometimes acted very early, charging conspiracies to commit minor crimes or immigration and tax violations as a way to preempt potential threats, while avoiding the disclosure of sensitive intelligence.

Justice Department officials say they are pleased to have won a few high-profile convictions as well as some little-noticed guilty pleas. Increasingly, authorities say, their current goal is broader than a courtroom victory: It is collecting enough intelligence to eradicate a threat by using informants, wiretaps and other tools to get as clear a picture as possible .

"Our mission is not just to disrupt an isolated plot, but to thoroughly dismantle the entire network that supports it," FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III told an audience this month.

* * *

The Miami case revolved around a part-time contractor who gathered a loose band of men in a rented room in a downscale neighborhood known as Liberty City. The group, distantly affiliated with the Moorish Science Temple religion, talked about Muhammad, Jesus, Confucius and Buddha, and also practiced martial arts.

Its leader, Narseal Batiste, told his Yemenese grocer in October 2005 that he wanted to conduct jihad to overthrow the U.S. government. The grocer, an FBI informant who himself had a criminal record, told the bureau. The FBI then employed a second informant, this one an Arab from overseas who depicted himself as a representative of Osama bin Laden.

Batiste confided, somewhat fantastically, that he wanted to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago, which would then fall into a nearby prison, freeing Muslim prisoners who would become the core of his Moorish army. With them, he would establish his own country.

The FBI informant, under bureau guidance, refocused Batiste on what he said was bin Laden's plot -- to bomb FBI offices in several U.S. cities. Batiste's group was enlisted by the FBI informant to aid in the attack. The informant then wrote out what he termed an al-Qaeda oath, and got Batiste to lead his men in taking it -- an act that the government argued was key evidence of their guilt.

After one of the seven left Miami to get away from the group, an internal dispute developed and it fell apart. They were then arrested, charged with conspiracy to commit a terrorist act and placed in prison, where they remain.

Jurors in the case, which ended in a mistrial last week, have not spoken about it publicly. But panel members who deliberated in the first trial told reporters they were skeptical that the defendants were as dangerous as prosecutors asserted.

* * *

Formerly the largest Muslim charity in the United States, the Holy Land Foundation was "funding the works of evil" and encouraging suicide bombings on behalf of Hamas, according to a press conference statement in 2004 by then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft.

Earlier that morning, authorities had arrested a group of men with ties to the foundation for supporting Hamas, violating laws that bar financial transactions that threaten national security, and money laundering, among 42 counts that could have sent the men to prison for decades.
But the prosecution ended in a mistrial last October, when Dallas jurors could not reach agreement on charges involving two defendants and mostly cleared another of criminal wrongdoing. Jurors have offered contrasting accounts of the problems they faced, but at least one cast doubt on the quality of the evidence. Prosecutors are scheduled to retry the case later this year.

A less-publicized case involves Javed Iqbal, a Brooklyn businessman who provided overseas cable access to clients and data to others, including U.S. government agencies. In August 2006, Iqbal was arrested for conspiring to supply financial support to a terrorist agency. His alleged crime was selling access to Al-Manar, the news and information cable channel run by Hezbollah out of Lebanon.

According to court filings, the case started when a confidential informant told the FBI in February 2006 that Iqbal was selling access to Al-Manar. At the time, it was not illegal, but the next month the Treasury Department added Al-Manar to the list on the grounds that funds it obtained went to Hezbollah, which the United States considers a terrorist group.
In June, the FBI's confidential informant went back to Iqbal's company and again offered to buy the overseas cable service that included Al-Manar. Iqbal told the informant that Al-Manar was temporarily unavailable, but would return. Iqbal also allegedly said he knew the channel was now on the terrorist list, but he expected that to change.

After being arrested for conspiring to violate the law, Iqbal was released on $250,000 bail. In November 2006, he was indicted again, along with a partner, this time on multiple charges of conspiracy to provide support to Hezbollah.

At the time of the arrests, Michael Garcia, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said, "As terrorist organizations become more sophisticated, it is critical that we respond using all the law enforcement tools the law provides." They are awaiting trial.

* * *

The Justice Department, U.S. attorneys and the FBI have doggedly pursued individual suspects in these domestic terrorism cases, even when their initial steps are unsuccessful.

In Miami, prosecutors not only sought a retrial after the first hung jury but also went after the one person, Lyglenson Lemorin, whom the jury found not guilty. Instead of turning him loose, they immediately had him detained for possible deportation to his native Haiti on grounds that he had been indicted on a felony charge.

Law enforcement officers say that in deciding when to indict, they weigh whether the targets might flee overseas, whether the cost of surveillance is paying adequate dividends, and whether a group is likely to take actions that could cost human lives.

"There's a risk here that while we're trying to perfect our evidence that something very bad could happen," said Patrick Rowan, acting chief of the Justice Department's National Security Division. "It's certainly the case that there is a value in stopping a plot, even if you aren't 100 percent certain that a conviction is assured."

Robert M. Chesney, a law professor at Wake Forest University who studies the government's terrorism cases, said the picture is complicated. "The bottom line is that they are doing considerably better than is often reported . . . but they certainly aren't doing perfectly and they've had plenty of black eyes along the way," Chesney said.

One senior law enforcement official recently said, "We may have been too aggressive at the beginning." He thinks that early cases, such as the one in Miami, were pushed too hard and that the FBI and U.S. attorneys now understand that getting a full picture of potential threats by groups is as important as making cases.

J. Wells Dixon, a staff attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, said the Miami case is among the "few and far between" disappointments in the government's aggressive campaign to attack the sources and funding of possible terrorist groups. These outliers, Dixon said, are not a signal that terrorism cases are too complex for juries but rather a sign that the current system is working.

"If you have 12 jurors who decide that an individual or an organization should not be convicted, I think that suggests these people are in fact not guilty of anything," Dixon said.
Andrew C. McCarthy prosecuted Omar Abdel Rahman, the man known as the blind sheik, for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bomb plot. McCarthy said that had the first Trade Center bombing, which killed six people, not happened, he still wonders whether the government could have secured convictions of the same defendants on more nebulous charges that they had made "fantastical" plans to blow up the United Nations and the Lincoln Tunnel.

"The argument that the people really are pathetic, hapless, incapable, has more resonance if you strike at an early stage," he said. "In a way, you're undone by your own efficiency. I do think it's harder to be a prosecutor today."

Staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Fitna of Fitna (Documentary)

Devolution of intellectual thought
By Shakeel Syed

Freedom of expression is an inherent right that many societies protect by law. But that does not make every expression made in the name of freedom of expression, right.

The inflammatory content including the tearing of Quran in the so-called seventeen-minute-documentary, Fitna, is pure anti-Semitism reborn as "Islamophobia," an increasingly popular vocation among secular fanatics. The world is smarter than the likes of Geert Wilders. Thanks to history.

Neither the two World Wars, genocides of Bosnians in Europe, of Native Indians in Americas, and of the Aborigines in Australia nor the killing fields in Cambodia or the just ended apartheid in South Africa and the ongoing apartheid in Israel has any parallel in Islam.

And it was Europe that gave the world the Inquisition and the Holocaust. And it was within the Christian cultures of Italy & Germany that Mussolini & Hitler became heroes. Contrasting Islam and Muslims with such rival cultures and butchers is an intellectual corruption.

Islam’s conquests were by cooptation and conversion unlike thru genocides and extermination camps.

From the Islamic perspective, freedom of speech and expression (hurriyyat al-qawl wa bayan) is "vindication of truth" and "protection of human dignity," with embedded maxims of morality and legality. Slander and libel are not protected under free speech.

Fitna is yet another failed attempt in inciting hatred against Islam that has successfully survived the taunts by the like of Geert Wilders for more than fourteen centuries.

Muslims are well aware of the double standards West places in regard to freedom of speech and expression. Neither the West could tolerate the demonization of any other faith nor the dehumanization of any other people (with occasional exceptions from Hollywood), but seemingly it is all acceptable to bash Islam and Muslims in the name of freedom and secular civility.

The twenty first century has divided the world into two camps – the secular and the religious, living together but without knowing one another. What is sacred in one is deranged in the other.

Fostering an environment where nothing is sacred in the faith of secularism will not help a sage civilization of fifteen centuries in which the sacred is all that counts. Thanks to many leaders of several faith groups and the secular world (UN Secretary General among many) for their calls to sanity.
History does not end with the discovery of what is best in us but after we recognize the worst that we can do to ourselves. Failing to see beyond that imperative will result in a life that sees all within one’s own closed circle as good and all outside as evil. In an ever more interconnected and interdependent world, this is a sure disaster of colossal proportions.

All strands of artists and academics, journalists and politicians must embrace a thoughtful discourse over mindless cartoons and documentaries. The discourse of history ought to continue its conversation but not with the military might or the stoned intellectualism but within the wider rhythms of human experience.

Only then could we as a human society be free, genuinely attempting to engage each other to learn from rather than creating Fitnas.