Friday, February 13, 2004

Hawash sentenced

Though there’s been nowhere near the blog coverage of his sentencing, you may recall that last April Mike Hawash, a naturalized American citizen and former Intel engineer, was arrested on terrorism charges. At the time, many (myself included) commented on the case and remarked on the Kafka-esque notions of a citizen being arrested (but not charged) in a terrorist conspiracy when all he’d done was give some money to a charity.

Well, it turns out that isn’t all he did. Last week he was sentenced to 7 years in prison for, among other things, traveling to China with five other suspected terrorists in an admitted attempt to enter Afghanistan to aid the Taliban during our war in Arghanistan.

The sentencing was a result of a guilty plea Hawash entered back in August. Given the very broad coverage this got last spring, when we were all convinced that Hawash’s arrest (and subsequent failure to file charges for nearly a month) was just one more example of a government gone awry in abusing the Patriot Act, it’s disappointing (but not surprising) that his sentencing hasn’t received similarly broad coverage in the blogosphere. While I have no kind words for the Patriot Act in general, this at least appears to be a case where the government got it right, and a guy who was trying to aid an enemy was caught, pled guilty and sentenced.


  1. Rick what 'specifically' word for word.. paragraph or sentence? Do you not like about the Patriot Act? I keep hearing about the 'Liberal' blogosphere not liking the patriot act. But, all they ever do is toss up some rhetoric and doom and gloom. They have yet to really 'spell it out.'

    What as American citizens should we all feel horrible or bad about in terms of the Patriot Act?

    The best we got from Howard Dean (written on the Professor Blog where Dean posted prior to the Primary Season) was that he did not like the fact that an FBI agent could get information on someone at a Video Store based on investigating Terrorism.

    First of all? Where exactly does that Patriot Act say that? And that's what I mean concerning rhetoric. I don't want you to tell me what the Patriot Act says. I want you to 'show' me.

    Oh and... (irrelevant to the Patriot Act). Our Military in Guantanamo Bay Cuba screwed up and held a guy for 1 year who was innocent of all charges! So... That is bad. Military goofed major. He was released.

  2. Jeff - Not sure if this spells it out enough for you, but as a start, here's what I said 18 months ago on the subject...


  3. I echo jeff's sentiments about the (mostly) liberal paranoia over the Patriot Act. Liberals want everything handled by the legal system, and ours is in disrepair. I live in Maryland, and the average sentence of a convicted murderer is less than 15 years! Nobody's civil rights are being violated; this is just another screaming--I mean talking--point to be used in an attempt to scare the dumbed-down. It's working less and less...