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maybe mike hawash is a terrorist

maybe mike is a terrorist
Hey guys. I'm just as uneducated as the rest of you in this subject, but Mike Hawash was just arrested as a "terrorist". Lets not start creating sites like www.freemikehawash.org because thats down right rediculous. the CIA/FBI were obviously checking him out for a while and they made this decision because they strongly believe that he is a threat to you. Get informed, join the CIA, stop assuming and start researching!

Ya think?!? 28.Apr.2003 19:10

Realityck

Gee, ya think?!? Or are we now supposed to go to rallies because his friends think he is innocent? If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck....

fuck off trolls 28.Apr.2003 19:11

--

if it walks like a terrorist, quacks like a terrorist, and helps execute assassinations and a war on freedom, it's probably the cia.

they'd hate our freedom if we had any 28.Apr.2003 19:51

Ms. Jami Marie Dwyer

Maybe YOU are a terrorist! Where do you live, so I can send the CIA right over? This guy is being charged with donating to charity, a charity whose web site I can't access, with an error message I've never seen before. It's fucking CREEPY. Try it yourselves: Global Relief Foundation If you get past the censors, try sending GRF a few bucks to build a hospital for Palestinians being mowed down by bulldozers daily and see how you like having your rights suspended indefinitely. Will you wait until six million have died before you stand up for your rights?


Wait a second... 28.Apr.2003 20:15

Meeper

This is more complicated than s is looking at it. One of the biggest problems here is that Hawash is being denied access to a lawyer, or anyone for that matter. How would you like to be scooped up and plopped in a cell, kept from any counsel or help? It would be pretty scary. And our government doesn't exactly have a perfect track record.

Best to think critically about this and not just assume that whatever the government does is hunky dory. The government is run by humans, you know.

well at least this isn't cuba 28.Apr.2003 21:25

rebel dude

well...at least this isn't cuba...Mike lucked out.

The real issue here folks... 28.Apr.2003 22:09

AK

...is about a 2nd justice system for people selected by the CIA/Feds because of their ethnicity or donations to a global relief agency.

A second justice system not based on the constitution, but rather based on secret military tribunals from the McCarthy era. It's a system that does NOT give people like Mike due process. The Patriot Act that gives the government this kind of unbalanced power against the people violates the Bill of Rights on a number of fronts. Unfortunately, the Congress and White House members forgot part of their oath when they voted for this horrible law...the part that says that they have to defend the Bill or Rights.

The evidence against Mike is weak at best and hasn't changed during the time that he has been unjustly incarcerated. In the early days of McCarthy-ism, the government rounded people up in a similar fashion and the trolls on this list would have probably given the "trust the government" verbage then.

Going back a little further, Hitler started out in the same way that Bush/Ashcroft has. He singled out one or two groups at the start. He enjoyed popularity and the patriotic flags of Hitler were waving in every neighborhood.

There is no reason to trust that the government is being honest here. Everyone, including Mike, is presumed innocent until proven guilty, at least in the justice system established by the constitution. Now that we (including Mike) know why the government is trying to ruin his life in the name of saving us all (give me a break), I'm hoping that the weak "guilt by association" evidence is thrown out and the prosecuting attorneys are thrown out of court on their asses.

Incidentally, it's interesting to me that the government has taken this time (the day before the big rally) to come out with these charges. Looks to me like they're worried that us rally attendees will bring Mike's case more attention. Thanks to the universe for someone like Steve McGeady, who keeps decent people like Mike from disappearing into Guantanamo Bay.

hey man 28.Apr.2003 22:37

doobie brother

what if like, we were all terrorists and like, didn't know it man?

woa,

huh huh

stereotypes 29.Apr.2003 07:38

rats

stereotypes are for people too ignorant to use the thought process to define people. doobie man and other trolls- not all protesters smoke pot. get a clue. we dont all need to take showers or get jobs just because we disagree with the government.

i think you must be jealous that you are slaves and you have no idea HOW to think for yourselves. you were tramatized in high school and forced into sheepdom by the peers that were cooler than you.

now, you have to lash out at anyone who is different than you. i can absolutely guarantee that you will be happier once you gain some self confidence. it shows in everything you say and do.

i feel sorry for you.

Glass Houses 29.Apr.2003 09:04

Stone

Rats writes - "stereotypes are for people too ignorant to use the thought process to define people. "

Now lets take a look at what Rats writes next.....

"you must be jealous that you are slaves and you have no idea HOW to think for yourselves."

Geez Rats, arent you "stereo typing" as well? Do all Trolls fit into this category? Did you think for a moment that the PDX Indy media crowd are all "independent thinkers"?
Have you not noticed that the Indy media crowd that posts here all think the same? (i.e. Free Free, he's not such a bad arsonist, only the corporate media distorts the truth, SUV drivers are ALL beer guzzling cheeseburger slingers etc....)

what to do? 29.Apr.2003 09:21

p

This is a complicated case, morally. On one hand The Federal gvt. has pressed charges against him for terrorist activities. IF he is guilty that is a horrible crime. However, so far he has been held for 5 weeks without charges and presumed guilty by the justice system and now ass soon as the charges were filed he was presumed guilty by the news media. Do you think he will get a fair trial by jury? (if he gets a trial at all?) The issue all along (at least for me) has not been whether or not he is innocent, but whether or not the United States system of justice is following it's own rules. The rules of the justice system before the patriot act and other encroachments on personal liberties still set the system up to win in most cases. However, it was at least a game with rules that both sides could count on. It seems that the winning team has just taken over the officiating aspect of the game to make sure that it will win even if the other side is innocent. I would be very interested to know if how other people view the complex issues (moral and legal) of this case. Perhaps instead of slinging one line insults around on this web site we could share our opinions in a way that was somewhat productive.

Today's (4/29) Story on Mike in WS Journal 29.Apr.2003 10:49

xoxox

Wall Street Journal

American Mystery -- Immigrant's Path: From Tech Success To Terror Charges --- Mike Hawash Worked at Intel; The U.S. Says He Wanted To Join the Taliban --- An Unusual Trip to China

By Scot J. Paltrow

29 April 2003

PORTLAND, Ore. -- As Maher "Mike" Hawash arrived for work at the Intel Corp. facility in Hillsboro, Ore., on March 20, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, with guns drawn, surrounded him in the parking lot, bundled him into a car, and whisked him off. That morning agents armed with assault rifles and wearing flak jackets also raided his house, scaring his wife and young children and carrying off financial and computer records.

Mr. Hawash's incarceration in a federal prison as a material witness in a terrorism case prompted six weeks of protests by an increasingly angry group of current and former Intel employees, as well as friends and neighbors of Mr. Hawash. They saw their friend and colleague, who was born Palestinian and Muslim, as a loyal naturalized American citizen. He came to the U.S. when he was 20, became a citizen in 1990, married an American Christian woman and had three children, to whom he was devoted. He was held with no charges and no explanation from the government.

Yesterday federal prosecutors spelled out their charges. In a criminal complaint, they charged Mr. Hawash, 39 years old, with conspiracy to wage war against the U.S, and conspiracy to provide support to al Qaeda and the Taliban. Mr. Hawash was accused of traveling to China, along with several other Portland-area residents who were previously charged, with the intention of going to Afghanistan to fight against U.S. forces after Sept. 11, 2001.

Mr. Hawash's prosecution is shaping up as one of the biggest mysteries of the government's terrorism cases in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. The case shows how difficult it is in terror cases to separate suspicious behavior from truly nefarious activity.

Of the more than 40 individuals held as material witnesses, and more than 200 others being prosecuted on terrorism charges, no other individual has galvanized the outpouring of support in the U.S. that he has. Earlier this month, about 150 of his friends, former colleagues and neighbors held a protest in front of the U.S. District Court in Portland. Yesterday, shortly before the charges were announced, some of his supporters rallied near the federal court in Seattle.

Unlike many of the other defendants and material witnesses, held in custody to ensure they don't flee, Mr. Hawash had fully integrated himself into the mainstream community where he lived. In many respects he had attained the American dream. He owned his own home and was respected at microchip-maker Intel, one of the U.S.'s preeminent high-tech giants. He was exceptionally popular and known in the community for his volunteer activities.

But if the federal government's accusations are true, Mr. Hawash had another, hidden side, one that led him to travel with five other Muslims from the Portland area to the province of Xinjiang in Western China and to make an unsuccessful attempt to enter Afghanistan in October 2001.

Many of Mr. Hawash's supporters didn't know that he traveled to China in 2001. They don't deny that he paid off his mortgage and put his house in his wife's name before he left. The question is: Why?

Steve McGeady, a former Intel executive who was once Mr. Hawash's boss and heads the support group, insists that "the evidence is weak and amounts to guilt by association." He calls the charges "baseless."

Leora Gregory, an Intel executive who helps oversee a plant in China, and a friend of Mr. Hawash, says she finds it impossible to believe that he had planned to join the Taliban. "It's so hard to believe that he would wage war against the country that housed him as a citizen and housed his family," she says. "It's not the guy I know. It just doesn't add up."

Mr. Hawash started working for Intel in 1992 as a software engineer on cutting-edge digital video software. With an Intel colleague, he co-wrote a book on advanced video graphics. When his father, a carpenter in Nablus, on the West Bank, became ill, Intel made special arrangements for him to work in 1994 at an Intel facility in Israel, according to a former Intel supervisor. His close friends say that after he returned to Portland about two years later he continued to have Jewish Israeli friends. Intel eliminated Mr. Hawash's division in 2001 and he lost his job. But the company took him back as a contract employee. An Intel spokesman said that the company is aware of the charges against Mr. Hawash and that it has no comment.

Far from being a hothead on politics, Mr. Hawash's friends say, he was unusually pacific, even-keeled, and sought to calm others upset by world events. He was known for building and donating furniture for school auctions, volunteering as a youth soccer coach, and donating his time to turn a garage into a learning center for children at a local, secular community center.

Ms. Gregory describes Mr. Hawash as "magnetic" and "fun." In an interview before the charges were filed yesterday, she said she would be surprised if he had been involved in anything violent, because "he often said `why do people have to fight'. Instead he always concentrated on trying to help people improve and do things that would improve, not be destructive."

As a measure of his popularity among Intel colleagues, she recalled a seemingly interminable round of going away parties for him before he left for Israel in 1994. At one, five Intel staffers had their hair cut to imitate Mr. Hawash's then-unusual short style.

The support group formed on his behalf launched a "Free Mike Hawash" Web site, alerted media around the world to his plight, raised thousands of dollars for his family and organized demonstrations.

Rohan Coelho, a close friend of Mr. Hawash's -- he introduced Mr. Hawash to his future wife and was best man at their wedding -- said before the charges were filed that he couldn't conceive of Mr. Hawash setting off to do anything violent or anti-American.

But to friends such as Mr. Coelho and Ms. Gregory, it appears that Mr. Hawash was deeply influenced by the recent death of his father, and in the aftermath underwent a religious reawakening.

According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Hawash allegedly went to China six weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks with a mostly down-on-its luck group of five fellow Muslims from Portland. Those individuals, and the wife of one who is accused only of wiring money to her husband in China, were charged in October 2002 with conspiring to make war against the U.S. by attempting to aid the Taliban and al Qaeda. They have all pleaded not guilty and denied the charges.

The charges stem from an alleged attempt to reach the Taliban to aid the ultra-orthodox Islamic regime in defending Afghanistan against the American military attack. They traveled from Portland to China, but quickly abandoned their plan because they couldn't reach Afghanistan. Evidence so far made public indicates that they never made contact with the Taliban, and most simply returned home to Portland.

Michael W. Mosman, the United States Attorney in Portland, declined to be interviewed about the Hawash or Portland Six cases.

Mr. Hawash is being held in the Federal Correctional Institution in Sheridan, Ore. His lawyer, Stephen A. Houze, declined to comment except to say that he planned to ask that Mr. Hawash be released on bail at his arraignment today.

Mr. Coelho, a former Intel software engineer, said in an interview before the charges were filed that some time around October 2001, Mr. Hawash left the U.S. for "a couple of weeks," telling friends and family that he was going to visit his mother and sister in Nablus. Mr. Coelho said that when Mr. Hawash returned, he said that he hadn't been allowed into the West Bank. He didn't want to talk much about his trip.

The trip followed a marked change in Mr. Hawash, after which he increasingly turned toward his ancestral religion. Until his father's death in early 2001, friends say, Mr. Hawash had routinely fasted during the holy month of Ramadan. But otherwise he seemed to pay little attention to religious observance. After his father died, Mr. Hawash stopped drinking alcohol, grew a beard, and made a pilgrimage to Mecca, according to his friends.

The transformation resulted in strains on his marriage. "As Mike became a lot more Muslim, the change was something Lisa had to struggle with," Mr. Coelho said, adding that she felt that he was no longer "the person she first married." It got so bad, Mr. Coelho said, that one night the couple fought and Mr. Hawash ended up sleeping in his car. Mrs. Hawash couldn't be reached.

Just before he left on the October 2001 trip, moreover, Mr. Hawash took several steps that suggest he thought he might not return. He paid off the mortgage on his house, for example, and transferred its title to his wife. But Mr. Coelho says Mr. Hawash said he paid off the mortgage simply because the Koran forbids Muslims to borrow money at interest. And he said Mr. Hawash transferred title to the house because he wanted to get his affairs in order in case he got stuck in the West Bank indefinitely, due to continuing violence and uncertainty about the border.

In an affidavit filed in court with the charges, the FBI said that Lisa Hawash had told them that her husband said he was going to China to look for business opportunities. But the FBI said that his telephone records showed no phone calls to China before he left.

Mr. Coelho and other friends say that Mr. Hawash, like other Palestinians, might have reasons to be angry with Israel and the support it has received from the U.S. When Mr. Hawash was a child, his family was exiled for a time by Israel to Kuwait, the friends say. In recent months an Israeli tank has been stationed in front of Mr. Hawash's mother's house, often firing shells over her roof at Palestinian targets.

Nevertheless, Mr. Coelho says he can't imagine Mr. Hawash engaging in violence. He says that as his friend became more religious, Mr. Coelho, a devout Catholic born in India, challenged him about whether Islam, with its requirement for jihad, or holy war, prescribed in the Koran, wasn't a violent religion. "He said actually `no'," Mr. Coelho recalls. "He said the religion is about peace and charity."

Ms. Gregory, the Intel executive, recalls that when Mr. Hawash returned from making the pilgrimage to Mecca, he complained bitterly about fellow Muslims who he said had pushed and shoved as the pilgrims approached the holy places, in contravention of what he said was supposed to be the religion's spirit of peace and cooperation. "He told me that there was a whole class of people who didn't seem to understand what it was all about," she says.

Friends also say they find it hard to believe that Mr. Hawash would have accompanied the individuals charged in the earlier indictment. While the Portland Muslim community is small, estimated at from 7,000 to 10,000 individuals, and closely knit, the five defendants who allegedly set off to fight for the Taliban were people with menial jobs who associated with few people outside of the Muslim community, and weren't the type Mr. Hawash normally spent time with. They included a nurse's aid, a bagel-maker and someone who sold cellphones and taught physical education part time at a local Muslim school.

But the FBI affidavit states that neighbors told FBI agents that they had seen several of the defendants in the Portland case at Mr. Hawash's house in the month or so before their alleged departure for China and that one of them had done yard work for the Hawash family.

As with the detention of Mr. Hawash, the case against the Portland Six also has drawn criticism from civil libertarians and others who feel that the government has been overly zealous. When the six were indicted in October, Attorney General John Ashcroft called the event "a defining day in America's war against terrorism," and said that "a suspected terrorist cell within our borders" had been "neutralized." Evidence that has emerged so far, however, appears to give little support to the contention that the group was a real terrorist cell. Despite months of intensive surveillance of the defendants by the FBI before their arrests, no allegation has been made that they were plotting any violent action after they returned home from China. Justice Department spokesman Bryan Sierra said that the department views sleeper cells to be any group that "conspires to support terrorists," regardless of whether it was planning any violent action here.

The criminal complaint and lengthy affidavit in the Hawash case offer little actual evidence of what Mr. Hawash's intentions were. The sole exception is a partial transcript of a conversation recorded by a confidential FBI source with one of the other defendants in the case, Jeffrey Leon Battle. In it, Mr. Battle said a "Palestinian" who was "married to a white woman . . . left with us to go fight."

My basic feelings haven't changed 29.Apr.2003 12:26

dave

Hawash's "guilt" or "innocence" is determined in a larger context, and the government is manipulating that context to put itself into the role of "protector", to give itself more power, or scare others into giving it that power. Shortly after Hawash was first arrested, I wrote a letter to Ron Wyden. Looking back, it still reflects my views on the matter (and others), so I enclose it here (cleaned up a bit):
====

Over the decades and centuries, this country has painstakingly developed laws, procedures, rights, and principles to guarantee that all citizens will have an adequate voice and representation in any sort of legal matter. These established procedures and principles help us, as a people, come to a strong likelihood of determining truth, and then acting sensibly based upon that truth. These rights and laws all work together, in a balanced checks-and-balances approach which creates trust and ensures stability,

In a very short period, I have seen these rights and principles erode to near folly, and with them our effectiveness at determining truth and sensible action. The foundation of the entire checks-and-balances system has been undermined in the name of Terrorism, in a very similar way as they were in Germany prior to WW2.

In the last few weeks, I have read of "voluntary" interviews with people of Iraqi descent, where "voluntary" is in the context of new overly-broad wiretapping and spying rules afforded by the Patriot Act against anyone who seems overly suspicious. I have seen FBI admit that they are using small planes and helicopters to spy on citizens. And now, we have the case of Mike Hawash, a US citizen and employee of Intel in Hillsboro, who has been literally kidnapped by federal agents on March 20 and held without clear charges to allow him or his loved ones to provide an adequate defense. Even if terrorism is as large of a danger as our president depicts it (and which even he admits is only likely to increase as a result of this current war), these tactics are not helping us as a country to determine the truth and react sensibly to it. The very "War on Terrorism" is likely to invite terrorism by robbing people of their reliance on established legal procedures.

The "us versus them" philosophy borne out by the Patriot Act has a trickle down effect to rob common citizens of their belief in the government as an adequate means to redress concerns. I have heard from or witnessed war protestors fined or literally jailed for days Portland for stepping off a curb, or simply asking why they have been singled out by police, or for taking video of another protestor being arrested under suspicious circumstances, or for honking in support of other protestors. Even if the Patriot Act has nothing itself to say about these sorts of issues, it is providing the backdrop that makes the denial of first amendment rights palatable to citizens who would otherwise be justifiably outraged.

Please take quick and decisive action to reverse the erosion of our rights and increase in likely terrorism. Address the issue of Mike Hawash and insist on preservation of his rights. Insist on the preservation of war protestors' rights. And critically question every aspect of the Patriot Act and the invasion of Iraq. Even if your actions, like those of our president, result from a fear of terrorism, consider ways that the Patriot Act and the Iraq invation and other rights attenuations might increase, rather than decrease, that fear.

Thank you for your attention to this. No response requested, just action.

nice letter 29.Apr.2003 14:39

p

dave, I enjoyed reading your letter. It is a very nicely written statement that makes good sense. Thanks for sharing it.