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Former Intel Employee 'Disappeared' by U.S. 1541

pmodern writes "Wired has this story about Maher "Mike" Hawash a former Intel programmer who is being held by the DOJ for suspected terrorism. Anyone familiar with the Kevin Mitnick saga will not be surprised that he hasn't been charged and has been locked away in solitary. 'For nearly two weeks, he has been held as a so-called "material witness" in solitary confinement in a federal lockup in Sheridan, Oregon. The designation allows authorities to hold him indefinitely without charging him with a crime.'" See also a NYT article and the Free Mike Hawash website.
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Former Intel Employee 'Disappeared' by U.S.

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  • hmmmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Triv ( 181010 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @04:27PM (#5663579) Journal

    Sound familiar to anyone else? Oh yeah, there was the case of Jose Padilla [], an american citizen who was being held as a 'material witness' to some unknown crime, prevented from seeing his lawyer (violating the write of habeas corpus)transferred to a military brig outside Charleston, SC as an 'enemy combatant' and has yet to be charged with a crime.

    Ain't it great when the government starts repeating itself?

  • by robbo ( 4388 ) <> on Friday April 04, 2003 @04:29PM (#5663603)
    It seems to me that the only reason why slashdot would post this story is the fact that he's an Intel employee. If he weren't an engineer and worked at Wal-Mart, the story would be ignored. Makes you wonder just how many 'detainees' there are in the states, not counting Guantanamo, of course. ;-)

  • by jandrese ( 485 ) <> on Friday April 04, 2003 @04:29PM (#5663607) Homepage Journal
    Also, Keven was part of the "Hacker Community." Maher was a suit at Intel. Still, I'd hope more civil liberties groups would take notice, as this is obviously yet another violation of human rights. I'd rather if governments didn't get away with this sort of thing on a regular basis. Either charge him with something and give him his normal legal rights, or stop lying to the people and change the name to the Tyrannical States of America.
  • by Ian Peon ( 232360 ) <ian@epperso[ ]om ['n.c' in gap]> on Friday April 04, 2003 @04:32PM (#5663633)
    First they came for the Jews
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for the Communists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left
    to speak out for me.

    Pastor Martin Niemöller

    2003: s/Jews/Terrorists/
  • by ajs ( 35943 ) <> on Friday April 04, 2003 @04:37PM (#5663678) Homepage Journal
    I don't think any of us were behind Kevin because he was an American per se. I was behind Kevin because he was being treated unfairly in a way that I could see myself being treated one day.

    This guy is even easier to identify with because there isn't even any presented evidence of his (lack of) guilt. He might well be Bin Laden's mole inside Intel, making 387 co-processors for embedded systems that round wrong to thwart US technology, but we'd never know, because we're not allowed to know.

    This idea that authorities can throw you in lockup forever, simply on the basis of a suspicion (with no evidence) of guilt is so blatently unconstitutional that I would be stunned if the ACLU does not sue on his behalf.

    This is exactly the kind of case that they have been waiting for since the PATRIOT act was passed.
  • by autopr0n ( 534291 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @04:37PM (#5663679) Homepage Journal
    Of similar ethnicities. It's sad that we only care when it happens to someone who has powerful (or at least well connected) friends in the tech industry.

    Not that I'm bitching that it's on here, but it's important to keep in mind that this is not an isolated incident.

    After 9/11 there was a guy imprisoned for several weeks because he was arab and booked a flight on 9/11... several hours before the attack (i.e. late sunday night). After the three weeks the FBI asked him a few questions, and then let him go.

    The comparisons with mintnik are somewhat apt, but at least he was charged with an actual crime, and guilty of it too. He may not have had a bail hearning, but he did appear before a judge.
  • by Jon Abbott ( 723 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @04:38PM (#5663695) Homepage
    I imagine that the next election will break down 50/50 along party lines, just as the 2000 elections did. I've noticed that many, many polls on CNN lately have been doing that, which (perhaps irrationally) leads me to believe that the trend will affect the next election as well. It's worrisome enough to make a libertarian like me want to vote democrat the next time around.
  • by Anonvmous Coward ( 589068 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @04:39PM (#5663700)
    "King George was not elected. Don't forget that."

    Same problem if Gore was in office. The reason that anything fishy could have happened is that the election was ridiculously close. The only way an election could be that close and controversial is if the American People didn't like either candidate.

    To put it another way, "King Al" wouldn't have been elected either. That's why a decision by the gov't had to be made, one or the other. To be honest, I think the voting system needs a "none of the above" vote. That would have made the 2000 election rather interesting.
  • It's disgusting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Munra ( 580414 ) <slashdot@jonatha ... k minus math_god> on Friday April 04, 2003 @04:47PM (#5663798) Homepage
    [Note, this is more of a general rant rather than specifically about Mike Hawash but my point still stands.]

    It's disgusting how America and Great Britain can be allowed to go against so many international conventions and strip people of any rights.

    There are specific conventions on how to treat suspected criminals, or terrorists, which should be adhered to. Rather than follow conventions, America decided to put people suspected of terrorism in a deliberate state of limbo where they can do anything they want.

    These people are not given any legal representation, they do not even need to be accused of any crime (and given than some were released without charge it's probably fair to say not all are guilty of any crime at all), there are no standards for their conditions, they do not need to be treated humanely, they do not need to be allowed visitation from independent organisations (such as Amnesty, Red Cross, etc) and they do not have to be put to trial. They can be held in this state of limbo for as long as they administration want them to be.

    For a country (or countries if you include Great Britain - but they contravene human rights to a far lesser extent, and not as written above) that prides itself on its freedom of speech and human rights, it's disgusting that they treat anyone in this way. And it's even more disgusting that they are one of the premier countries to point out international breaches by other countries - particularly when it favours the situation they're in.

    My view on the problem with American society is that although everyone pretends to be friendly and respectful of each other and their views, it's very much each person for themself. People don't think that they'll ever be in a situation when they'll need help, so don't support actions to benefit those who do.

    For example, the death penalty. It's all very well saying "Fry them!" or whatever, but when you're accused and found guilty of a crime you didn't commit, or you get found guilty because you're black, poor and can't afford proper legal representation, it's a whole new story. Abortions: it's all well and good to say no to abortions but when it's your daughter, your sister or you who's pregnant and shouldn'tt to give birth for whatever reason, it's different. When your family member/friend is dying from Parkinson's or some other degenerate disease, you'll be wishing the government would allow stem cell research, or at least sooner. I've forgotten who it was but when one president got some degenerative disease which could be potentially eradicated with enough research into stem cells (which don't use any fertilised eggs), although he had been staunchly against the research his whole life, the first thing the first lady did was speak directly to President Bush to try get it allowed.

    The shear selfishness - while not always apparent/transparent - of many American's is shocking. What if you were accused of some terrorist charge which you didn't commit? Put away on an island with no contact to anyone - even a lawyer, for a simple misunderstanding.

    "Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph."


    (Karma bonus abused!)
  • Half the story. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jimithing DMB ( 29796 ) <dfe@tgw b d .org> on Friday April 04, 2003 @04:55PM (#5663900) Homepage

    I noticed in that entire article that there was not one comment from he or his wife or anyone closer than a coworker (who may or may not be a good friend).

    A few things though. He is being held in solitairy confinement as a "material witness". Perhaps they want him to testify against the charity. If he were to claim that he had no idea they were sending money to terrorists then it could make a great case for fraud against the charity.

    It may be that the people who run this charity with ties to terrorism want him dead. So perhaps he is somewhat willingly hanging out in solitairy. Note that he's not in general population, perhaps that is why. Normally people don't START in solitairy confinement.

    In any case, I don't know. The article is rather sensationalistic. There's a lot of information we simply do not have and cannot speak of. I certainly hope that he makes it through this ordeal. If it becomes clear that he is in fact being held entirely against his will for doing nothing wrong, then I will champion his cause. Until then I refuse to take a position either way.

    And yes, what the government did to Mitnick was horribly, horribly wrong. But don't start acting like we don't have the power to change any of this. We do. Tell your friends and neighbors Kevin's story. Tell them how he did not intend to cause any damage and that any damage he did cause was indirect. Tell them how he was held without being charged for years. Tell them how he was held without a trial for years after that. But by god do NOT start championing the cause of someone that nobody really knows anything about (hell, for all we know he actually COULD be a terrorist) because then it really weakens your argument against the wrongs that were committed against Mr. Mitnick.

  • One Wonders (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Stargoat ( 658863 ) <> on Friday April 04, 2003 @04:58PM (#5663948) Journal
    If you don't like it, go here []

    Here. []

    Or here. []

    Regardless though, one one should be surprised. This is from an administration that employees criminals like Poindexter []. The US is also in a war, and has regarded itself as being in one since the September 11 massacre. To win wars, civil liberties are infringed upon.

    You can be upset, but don't pretend to be surprised.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 04, 2003 @04:59PM (#5663963)
    Umm, no. He's saying that to incarcerate citizens without charges and without any information whatsoever by simply labelling them a "terrorist" is quickly becoming the equivalent of the methods used to incarcerate and destroy the Jews in Nazi Germany. Of course, you are shit scared of "terrorists" so you buy into the whole deal. The Bush administration is going very far riding the wave of fear that the terrorists have imposed on Americans. Tragic really.
  • by foooo ( 634898 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @05:00PM (#5663983) Journal
    It IS illegal for Mountian Dew to contain caffeine. I did the research. Cola is however allowed to add it. Why? Beats me.

    In the US we have some pretty crazy laws... like seatbelt laws, laws in California and New York (hopefully not my state anytime soon) that prevent smoking in private establishments like bars and resturaunts.

    My general feeling is that we have stronger protections for individual liberty, a generally more libertarian history (socially liberal thinking, financially conservative... protecting individual rights)

    Simply put Canada is a little to socialist for me. If your more interested in my particular politics go to

    Our politicians are probably just as wacky and liberal as yours in many cases.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 04, 2003 @05:09PM (#5664110)
    Don't forget

    3. "Profit"

    $80 billion is a lot of business for the bomb makers/ fuel suppliers/ oil well construction companies

  • Re:Possibly true... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @05:16PM (#5664197) Homepage
    Right. You think Bush somehow enacted the legal loopholes that allow the government to keep someone like this. News for ya: Bush doens't make the laws. He signs them but your representatives make them. And probably the laws that allow them to do it were around long before bush. People like you make me laugh. Anything any government agency does is somehow blamed on Bush. Feh.
  • by adilsonoliveira ( 597940 ) <adilson.linuxembarcado@com@br> on Friday April 04, 2003 @05:19PM (#5664232) Homepage
    I really feel sorry for you guys. On the seventies, early eighties, we (I'm Brazilian) lived had a military government, really a dictatorship with fragrant violations of civil rights on daily basis. Thank God, we're free and live a full democracy. Lots to do on the social side yet, but I believe we can make it. You take care or you'll go the same path we took. Adilson.
  • Re:Possibly true... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HeghmoH ( 13204 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @05:20PM (#5664247) Homepage Journal
    Well, he's head of the government, and he isn't fighting any of this stuff. It may not be his fault, but it's his responsibility.
  • Welcome home y'all! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by moominpapa ( 193163 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @05:28PM (#5664360)
    It's ironic in a very unfunny way that the soldiers who are risking their lives in Iraq to supposedly bring the gift of American values to the oppressed Iraqis are going to come home to find their veteran's benefits cut and the very civil liberties that they are supposed to be promoting stolen from them by the Bush administration. I appreciate that when Shrub visits a service base to give a speech the men and women there want to show their patriotism and loyalty by cheering, saluting, etc., but surely they can see the contradictions between what the President and his cronies say and do? Makes me wonder how most of them feel about him privately.
  • by mfrank ( 649656 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @05:38PM (#5664485)
    Before you do so, you may want to ask yourself whether the Democrats would have better for your constitutional rights in the last 3 years.

    It's likely they wouldn't have been so, uh, agressive against the Taliban and Al-Queda, and may have compensated by being more aggressive on the home front.

    After all, isn't the senator from Disney a Democrat? And the last time a couple of thousand Americans died in a sneak attack, a whole bunch of Americans spent the next few years in internment camps. And they were put there by a Democrat.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 04, 2003 @05:40PM (#5664503)
    1) All terrorists are people.
    2) Detaining and strictly controlling a terrorist stops terrorism.


    3) Detaining and strictly controlling all people stops terrorism.

    So yes, things are going on according to plan.

    Who says politicians fail logic?

  • Re:Possibly true... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mysticalfruit ( 533341 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @05:45PM (#5664562) Homepage Journal
    I think we should take 60 people...

    25 of them would be the children of people in the senate
    25 of them would be the children of people in the house of represenatives

    The other 10 would be a mix of the loved ones of the President, Vice-President, John Ashcroft and a couple random cabinet memebers from the administration.

    The FBI should just go busting in the doors and take them as "Material Witnesses" and hold them for 90 days.

    During that time, they'd be held at an "undisclosed" location and be treated exactly the same as other "Material Witnesses".

    I think it would be funny to see several senators sweating all over the TV set wondering if their loved ones will ever get out of jail and that there being held without everything being charged...

    You watch how fast counter legistation gets passed...
  • by Trevor Meursault ( 663904 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @05:52PM (#5664638)
    With states considering passing certain laws [] that would potentially allow for disruptive protesters to be jailed for a mandatory 25 years, events like this aren't entirely surprising.

    The only surprising thing is how willing people are to overlook events like these. While they can say that they don't have the facts, they should really be worrying that they don't have any legal channels to obtain them.

    Hopefully the majority's attitude will change sooner rather than later.
  • Re:Possibly true... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Loki_1929 ( 550940 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @05:55PM (#5664676) Journal
    "Oh, BTW, this is the same Ashcroft that lost an election to a dead man and Bush appointed."

    Indeed, he was appointed at the behest of the ACU [] (American Conservative Union), which later issued a statement following the implementation of the USA PATRIOT Act (since when is it patriotic to shred the US Constitution?) stating that many of their constituents regretted its support [] for his appointment. Aside from that, all reports indicate that even the rest of the Bush Administration doesn't like Ashcroft. A part of me thinks that he might not be part of the package if Bush wins re-election.

    Oddly enough though, John Ashcroft has managed to unite the left and the right. Groups such as the ACLU and the ACU (at completely different ends of the political spectrum) are actually issuing joint press releases stating their belief that he is the single greatest threat to American liberty right now.

  • by fonnix ( 139680 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @05:55PM (#5664682)
    I agree. Slashdot editors only care about sensationalist stories to make money (or maybe to push some other agenda). Who else thinks we need new editors with brains, who can spell, and who try to be objective?

    I submitted this article but it got rejected. Here is what I submitted:

    2003-04-04 17:10:55 Arab-American Software Engineer Held as Material Witness (articles,doj) (rejected)

    In the description I said something to the effect of "Unlike most /.ers I will not editorialize." I then linked to the article.
  • Re:Possibly true... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rasputin ( 5106 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @06:05PM (#5664782) Homepage
    Actually, John Ashcroft was the primary author of the USA PATRIOT act, it passed congress, most representatives not bothering to read it...

    According to Peter DeFazio (Representative from Oregon), the vast majority of the Congress wasn't even allowed to read it prior to the vote. DeFazio had to demand a copy in so he would know what was in it before the "debate".

    I don't have a reference for the interview in which he said this - it was on the radio. However, here's a link [] to an article describing his stance on the bill.

  • by Ex-MislTech ( 557759 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @06:13PM (#5664864)
    There are 30,000 middle eastern men in the
    US who have had their Visa's expire .

    Some have been rounded up, most have not .

    Out of 30,000 how many do think might be
    of questionable association ???

    1% ???

    If so that would be 300 people, not just one .

    I tend to think that ALOT more than 1% have
    hate for america but work here to send money
    back to their country of origin .

    Some support terrorists, some do not, I have
    no idea how many, and guess what neither do you ?

    This visa worker may or may not be guilty,
    but they are not going to give a non-citizen
    the rights of a citizen .

    They came across a piece of information that
    made them want to take this step, they may
    be wrong, they may be right .

    You have zero proof in either direction .

    You are just showing your liberal bias .

    Bush does spew rhetoric, and Ashcroft is a loon .

    I still support their desire to round up the
    scab labor here that is funding hate in the
    middle east .

    I am willing to bet we do not even catch
    half of them .

  • Re:Possibly true... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HeghmoH ( 13204 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @06:22PM (#5664953) Homepage Journal
    Actually, he's the head of the executive branch of the government.

    That means he's in charge of the Justice Department, which is doing bad things both in acting on existing laws in bad ways (Padilla and others) and in proposing bad laws (Patriot Act and sequel).

    And as head of the aforementioned executive branch it is exactly his job to enforce/operate within those laws enacted by the legislative branch and not contested by the judicial branch. So any problems with the laws really lie with the legislature. If there are bad loopholes then the legislature needs to amend them. It is not up to the executive branch to do that kind of thing at all. That's why the police arrest bums for digging in dumpsters for cans on the charge of collecting garbage without a license and why the judge throws out the case.

    The President has a very large role in making and passing laws. Congress very often acts on recommendation from the President or from the Executive Branch (like the Justice Department) when deciding what to make into law. And failing that, the President has veto powers, but you didn't see Bush vetoing the steaming pile known as Patriot.

    Your statements about the responsibilities of the executive branch are right except when it comes to the President. He has a unique role in that branch that involves his heavily in lawmaking as well.

    It's absolutely true that we should be after Congress for this stuff too, but Bush is certainly a legitimate target.
  • by Restil ( 31903 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @06:38PM (#5665106) Homepage
    I'm certain that the outrage over this case is well justified. And based on my 5 minutes of exposure to this case, I'm sure that he's not intentionally guilty of anything. Things like this happen, sad though it might seem. Innocent people have been unfairly locked up before, and if he IS cleared and the reasons for doing this to him were found to be unreasonable, then he should be well compensated for the intrusion into his life.

    But please stop comparing innocent people with Kevin Mitnick. Yes, I'll agree, there were issues regarding his 5+ years of confinement, but he really brough it upon himself. Here's a few hints for people trying to avoid the Kevin Mitnick treatment:

    1. Obey the law.
    2. If you neglect to follow rule #1, revisit it after you get caught.
    3. If you again neglect to follow rule #1, and don't choose to pay attention to rule #2, REALLY pay attention to it the next time you get caught.
    4. If you once again neglect to follow rule #1, and rules #2 and #3 didn't sink in, now would be a good time for a serious attitude change.
    5. If you continue to break the law, despite many instances in your life that would imply that this is a bad idea, and a warrant is issued for your arrest, turn yourself in.
    6. If you're being pursued by the police, STOP RUNNING.
    7. If you continue to run and a place you're living at gets raided, that's a clue that they're on to you.
    8. When the police knock on your door with a warrant, ANSWER IT.

    Mitnick presented himself as a flight risk. He dug himself a deep hole by constantly attacking 3 letter corporations with deep pockets. They didn't accumulate 10's of thousands of pages of evidence on him because he was a habitual jaywalker. In the end he got a token restitution. Even if the assessed damages weren't accurate, he probably DID cause damage far in excess of what the court required him to pay, considering time spent by system administrators cleaning up after him.

    Federal cases also take a long time to prepare. He waived his own right to a speedy trial. That was a mistake. The FBI was kinda busy at the time what with this little incident in OKC. Spare them years of effort and force them to come up with something quickly, they'd probably offer a plea deal that would have been much better than what he ended up with.

    Please don't use Kevin Mitnick as a comparison, there IS no comparison. There are plenty of perfectly innocent posterboys you can pick up as a reference. Don't sully Mr. Hawash's name further by comparing him to a criminal.

  • Re:Half the story. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 04, 2003 @06:40PM (#5665130)
    I've known the man for almost ten years, as a neighbor, close friend, and coworker. He is without doubt the least likely person I know to have ever been involved in ANY activity of this nature.

    Wish I could say more, but even this is probably a bad idea. I just wanted to let you know that while you may not know Maher, a LOT of people who do are reading this right now.

    Sorry I have to do this anonymously, but none of us feel particularly safe right now...
  • And another thing... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Graspee_Leemoor ( 302316 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @07:06PM (#5665367) Homepage Journal

    Now it seems that the government can lock you up for looking like you might have a bit of a temperature:

    "apprehension, detention or conditional release of individuals to prevent the introduction, transmission or spread of suspected communicable diseases."

    This is in connection with SARS, which has been added to the list of diseases. It is good that they can force quarantine on people who have deadly diseases, but think about the potential for abuse, especially with regard to ethnicity- claiming that anyone who looks vagually oriental must have recently been to Hong Kong or Singapore and therefore MAY have SARS.


  • by radish ( 98371 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @07:07PM (#5665370) Homepage
    The US could do well to learn some lessons from our (the UK's) failures (and occasional successes) in dealing with the IRA and associated terriorists. Interment was an awful thing, but even that was more open than this, which sounds more like something out of South America (or for that matter, Minority Report) than the supposed "Land of the Free".
  • Re:Possibly true... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BurritoWarrior ( 90481 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @07:17PM (#5665442)
    Only on Slashdot would this tripe get modded up.

    You're first link is someone lambasting the Democrats for being obstructionists. Not George Bush pruging (i.e., killing) anyone.

    Your second link is about someone getting interrogated having a bright light shone on their face and equating that to TORTURE. What happens in other countries where terrorists are arrested you need to address with the respective governments. Sorry, we don't torture people here, and shining a light doesn't count. Try having your skin peeled off you, then come back and explain again how a bright light in your face is torture.

    Your third link about "gassing civilians" is about environmentalists claiming the administration isn't doing enough to protect the environment. You want to equate that to being gassed to death by the government? rofl.

    Your final link is about reclassification of certain documents by the government. Lord knows that has NEVER happened before. It is a CONSPIRACY I tell you by the evil evil Repuplicans!

    Please get a grip on reality before you try to equate having a light shone on your face with your balls being crushed in a vice. Or some alleged environmental transgressions with having poison gas lobbed on you and your family. Christ, I thought I had seen everything on this site.

  • Re:Possibly true... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by GMontag ( 42283 ) <.moc.gatnomyug. .ta. .gatnomg.> on Friday April 04, 2003 @07:37PM (#5665582) Homepage Journal
    Mind you, the guy could be as crooked as a 3 dollar bill, but holding without charging is usually a sign of prosecutorial incompetence.

    As I probably detest the practice as much as you, I have to say that the story above says he is being held as a "material witness". This procedure is quite ancient in US law.

    I *think* The comparison, in the /. story to Kevin is misleading too, at least I do not remember him being heald at any time as a material witness.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 04, 2003 @07:44PM (#5665631)
    I'm reminded of the excellent play "A Man for All Seasons" by Robert Bolt

    Wife: Arrest him!
    More: For what?
    Wife: He's dangerous!
    Roper: For all we know he's a spy!
    Daughter: Father, that man's bad!
    More: There's no law against that!
    Roper: There is, God's law!
    More: Then let God arrest him!
    Wife: While you talk he's gone!
    More: And go he should, if he were the Devil himself, until he broke the law!
    Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
    More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
    Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
    More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?

    This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down (and you're just the man to do it!), do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?
    Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
  • Secret arrests (Score:5, Interesting)

    by einhverfr ( 238914 ) <> on Friday April 04, 2003 @08:58PM (#5666048) Homepage Journal
    I suppose the main differences between the US and Iraq at this point are:

    1: No torture (yet) is officially sanctioned in the US.

    2: Far fewer informants (20% of the Iraqi population is estimated to be a paid informant for a secret police agency).

    3: A more credible and much more independent judicial system where if you are disappeared, at least your lawyer can still file paperwork for you and try to get access to you.

    We still have much to be grateful for. But this is still scary anyway.
  • by dbc ( 135354 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @09:06PM (#5666078)
    1. The government has not accused him of a crime, he is being held as a material witness.

    2. While I don't know this guy directly, I did work at Intel and I did know of this guys work. And I *do* know some of his close friends, as in members of his wedding party, very well. We are shocked.

    This whole think stinks. He is a citizen. If they came for him, they can come for you or me. If they terrorized his wife and children, they can do it to yours and mine. Mike needs due process, he is not getting it.

    As far as I can tell, he made good-faith donations to the "wrong" charity. Now because he wanted to support good works in poor countries, he is held in solitary confinement, without charge.

    While we do not know the facts behind any alleged criminal activities that led to his detention, one fact that is abundantly clear, Mike is *not* getting due process. He is not getting the kind of treatment that any citizen of the US of A has a right to expect and demand.

    The last time I served on a jury, the defendant was a 2-time convicted felon up on child rape charges. That citizen got due process, the respect of the court, and an opportunity to defend himself. It sickens me to compare that case with the Mike Hawash case.

    For the sake of everthing good, this man needs due process.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 04, 2003 @09:14PM (#5666113) tml
  • by archnerd ( 450052 ) <nonce+slashdot@org.dfranke@us> on Friday April 04, 2003 @09:37PM (#5666222) Homepage
    If PATRIOT II passes, and you contribute to his legal defense fund and then he is found to be a part of a terrorist organization, you can lose your citizenship! Scary.
  • I know one thing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by theolein ( 316044 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @09:46PM (#5666266) Journal
    I am never ever going to visit the USA as long as these laws and that government is in place. I have no wish to go to jail.
  • by kubrick ( 27291 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @11:16PM (#5666621)
    This visa worker may or may not be guilty,
    but they are not going to give a non-citizen
    the rights of a citizen.

    Detention without charge or trial is not only against the Constitution, it violates the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights (articles 5, 9, 10 & 11, among others)

    Yes, that same document the US was waving around as justification a few days ago when they released their annual global human rights report.

    Hypocritical? You be the judge.

    (Two of my country's citizens are currently locked up in Guantanamo Bay "until the end of the war on terror", which could mean a life sentence, despite the fact that at least one of them has been assessed to have had no links or contact with Al-Qaeda. No, he hasn't been charged. (I haven't heard *anything* about the other one, he could be dead for all I know... a couple of Afghani captives have already died in US captivity after heavy beatings.)

  • by Alien Being ( 18488 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @11:55PM (#5666800)
    "your country has become a police state"

    Elections don't work anymore. Mass media and education are controlled largely by the party. The private militia, which is the basis for our country's internal security is nonexistant. Law enforcement at all levels tends to be pro-gov and anti-citizen. The UN is a joke. We're on a runaway freight train and people think it's an amusement park ride.

    It's time for the people of this country to wake up and demand that the U.S. administration reconcile their actions with what is written in the constitution. These bastards are traitors.

    I don't know how it will all turn out. The only thing I can say for sure is that dubya has made an anti-republican out of me.

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears