Al-Hussayen was arrested for building web sites that allegedly support terrorism. Now, what exactly constitutes 'supporting terrorism', as you might expect from our current Justice Department, is a bit on the murky side. I think Ashcroft tends towards the if you are brown and Muslim, then you support terrorism philosophy, but let's hope the jury disagrees.
Basically, this case is about free speech and the Patriot Act, but it's interesting on several levels. Parts of the Patriot Act, which are being used to prosecute Al-Hussayen (am I engaging in criminal activity by just linking to a site that links to a site that 'supports terrorism'? if it's been longer than a few days since this post, then you'll know I'm in Gitmo...), have already been deemed unconstitutional, which means any convictions based on those parts of the Patriot Act would be automatically overturned, yet Aschroft is persuing the case - I guess to make his Aryan/Christian friends happy. Al-Hussayen is a Saudi citizen - so the Saudi royal family got him a team of high-priced lawyers. The whole Saudi connection is interesting because we know they (and the Israelis) funded the 9/11 terrorists. But wait - even though Al-Hussayen has been linked with Islam extremists in Saudi Arabia who wish to overthrow the Saudi royal family, the Saudi royal family is still paying for his high-priced lawyers. Huh? Well, it might have something to do with the delicate balancing act that the Saudi royal family has to do to stay in power. Kissing America's ass on one hand - kissing the arse of the Islam extremists on the other. Saudia Arabia, unlike Iraq was, is a very, very religious society. Must be a fun balancing act.
The case is currently in trial - in Boise, Idaho. Other Muslims Ashcroft has tried to 'Gitmo' have been exonerated because of the constitutional problems with the Patriot Act, so now he's asking for more specific and powerful language in the Act.
Critics charge that the law already is murky and say it could invite prosecutors to go after people who innocently make a donation or provide a service to a group they didn't know had terrorist ties. Two federal court rulings in California have ruled as impermissibly vague the law's definitions of "expert advice and assistance," "personnel" and "training."
Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said similar questions surround cases such as that of Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, a University of Idaho computer science graduate student on trial for using his skills to create Web sites for terrorist recruitment and to draw financing.
"Could you go after a repairman who comes by to fix the computers?" Leahy asked.
[Assistant Attorney General Christopher] Wray responded that the law would apply only in circumstances where a terrorist sympathizer used his expertise to repair a device he knew was being used for terrorist purposes.
This non-answer answer, in other words, means yes. That is why we all need to be very afraid of this insane, unconstitutional law. The dude, as far as I know, just posted messages on a website! Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot?! Will I be in Gitmo tomorrow for calling Ashcroft the biggest asshole the world has ever known? (Ashcroft is the biggest asshole the world has ever known.) This is madness. (Not the part about Ashcroft being an asshole - the other stuff.)
I don't know all the facts, but this case just seems like another round-'em-all-up sweep by the Justice Department. Fascists. They're hoping that the sheep jurists are still scared to death of all brown Muslim people. Let's hope they're wrong.
p.s. Ever curious to know what the fascist 'USA PATRIOT Act of 2001' stands for? Yes, most of it is actually an acronym. From that handy-dandy Library of Congress, we have:
Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001'.
Sort makes sense - kinda. Not too sure I'm satisfied that 'intercepting terrorism' is the appropriate phrase-ology, but hey, if it frames the issues correctly for the sheep, more power to the fascists!