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Pity poor Sami Al-Arian, the Palestinian University of South Florida (Engineering) Professor/activist indicted on February 20th by Jesus freak John Ashcroft’s U.S. Justice Department under the so-called RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) Statute for allegedly "aiding and abetting terrorism."
On top of this contrived indictment, Professor Al-Arian must contend with the theatrics and grandstanding of Fox Network’s in-house (one of many) megalomaniac, Bill O’Reilly and the Tampa Tribune who are doing public battle to take credit for Al Arian’s indictment.
And Al Arian’s right to a fair trial?
In the phony parlance of that populist fraud and nightly dispenser of political blarney, O’Reilly: "Yeah, right."
On Friday February 21st the sad excuse for a newspaper ran an incredibly prejudicial editorial titled, "The Scorching Indictment of Sami Al-Arian."
Far from being a dispassionate discussion of a news event and the charges leveled at Al-Arian the editorial itself is a "scorching indictment"– of the newspaper’s ethics.
The editorial is a barely disguised friend of the court brief for the prosecution that seriously jeopardizes Al Arian’s ability to receive a fair trial.
A fairer more accurate headline would have been, "Guilty As Charged! Now Where’s Our Pulitizer?"
Here’s an example of the mentality of the editorial jury:
Al -Arian, amongst other damnable things, the Trib editorial alleges, is .." a consumate manipulator, willing to take advantage of the freedoms here–to use the United States as a safe haven-to wreak havoc elsewhere."
The editorial proceeds to list the litany of charges in the indictment and writes of them as though they were proven fact and prejudcially conludes:
"These and other revalations vindicate USF Preisdent Judy Genshaft, who more than a year ago-amid withering criticism–decided to fire Al-Arian."
Since when are allegations "revalations?"
JACK McCARTHY can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org