The Sears Tower and Holland Tunnel “plots” are not the first such prosecutions. “Freedom Watch” flagged the Justice Department’s unsuccessful prosecution of a Saudi graduate student in Boise, Idaho, in 2004, for lending “material support” to terrorists by operating a Web site linking to jihadist (as well as to anti-jihadist) sites. The jury, instead, viewed his Web-site activity as a form of free speech and acquitted him (see “Covering a Multitude of Sins,” News and Features, April 30, 2004). Because most of the Bush administration’s cases have failed, the government has now changed tack, stretching already malleable crime categories such as “conspiracy” and advocacy of “imminent lawless action” beyond recognition. Whether the Justice Department can fool and panic the courts as easily as it hopes to scam the electorate remains to be seen.

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Related: Ring of fire, William Lemmer: Coming home, MCLU worries FBI is watching peace groups, More more >
  Topics: This Just In , Federal Bureau of Investigation, Trials, Terrorism,  More more >
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