NCPCF                                Vol. VII-Issue No. 564

NEWS DIGEST         
Friday, December 22, 2017
“There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.” ~Montesquieu

 

IN THIS ISSUE

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Portraits of Injustice/Voices of Victims of Repression

Huffington Post (12/19): War Tore This Family Apart For A Decade. Now Trump Won’t Let Them Reunite. [Video: 2 min. 31 sec.]
Nasra Hasen never thought she would see her husband and two of her sons again after al-Shabab militants kidnapped them from a truck in Somalia 10 years ago.

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Pre-Crime Reports/Pre-emptive Prosecutions/Thought Crimes/Entrapment/Material Support
The Wall Street Journal (12/18): Jury Convicts Washington Metro Officer of Supporting Islamic State
Nicholas Young, 37 years old, is the first U.S. police officer to be convicted of supporting terrorism. He faces a maximum of 60 years in prison when sentenced on Feb 23, 2018. Mr. Young’s lawyers argued the police officer had been entrapped, saying the prosecution’s case rested mostly on stoking fear and loathing against him by presenting distasteful interests like a collection of Nazi memorabilia seized at his home.
 

Reuters (12/19): U.S. judge sentences man for ‘monstrous evil’ of beheading plot
A Massachusetts man, convicted of conspiring to support Islamic State militants in a 2015 plot to attack police and behead a conservative blogger wept on Tuesday as he asked forgiveness from a judge who sentenced him to 28 years in prison. U.S. District Judge William Young told David Wright, 28, that he had “embraced a monstrous evil” when he plotted with his uncle and a friend to travel to New York to attempt to behead conservative blogger Pamela Geller in an act of retribution for her having organized a “Draw Mohammed” contest. Wright testified during his trial that he had been living in a “fantasy world” when the group discussed plans including somehow hijacking a U.S. warship. He said he was stunned when Rahim attacked police. Associated Press (12/20): Judge Sentences 2nd Man In Beheading lot To 15 Years
Nicholas Rovinski has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after admitting to participating in a plot to behead a conservative blogger on behalf of the Islamic State group. He was sentenced one day after David Wright was sentenced to 28 years in prison in connection with the same plot that was never carried out. Rovinski testified against Wright after pleading guilty to conspiracy for his role in the plot to kill Pamela Geller, who organized a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, in 2015.

New York Post (12/20): Man gets 20 years for trying to fund Islamic State
A Virginia man who authorities say wanted to carry out a terrorist attack and tried to fund Islamic State group terrorists has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. The case against 27-year-old Lionel Williams began after authorities say he pledged allegiance to terrorists on Facebook.

Reuters (12/20): Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Kansas City 9/11 Memorial Bomb Plot
A Florida man faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty of trying to enlist a person to bomb a Kansas City, Missouri, memorial for first responders killed in the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, prosecutors said on Wednesday. Joshua Goldberg waived his right to an indictment and pleaded guilty to attempted malicious damage and destruction by an explosive of a building. Law enforcement became aware of Goldberg in 2015 when he used social media to encourage an attack on an exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in the Dallas suburb of Garland, Texas, prosecutors said. Shortly after that, Goldberg exchanged messages with a Federal Bureau of Investigation informant and presented the informant with instructions for making explosive devices.

Civil Freedoms Under Threat
 

Associated Press(12/19):  Senate GOP Aims for Short-Term Extension of Surveillance Law
Senate Republicans are aiming for a short-term extension of a soon-to-expire foreign intelligence collection program, a move that would appear to satisfy libertarian-leaning lawmakers demanding the contentious law be revised to protect the privacy of American citizens. Congressional Democrats and Republicans agree the law, which lapses on Dec. 31 without action, is invaluable in helping the U.S. track foreign spies, terrorists, weapons traffickers and cyber criminals. But a number of lawmakers and privacy advocates want greater protections for the communications of Americans that are picked up during the collection of the foreign intelligence.

 

Editorials/Opinions
 

In These Times (12/19): Why Trump’s Muslim Ban 3.0 Is So Dangerous
By positing Muslims as a threat to the safety and security of the United States — even when they’re the victims of a terrorist attack — Trump builds support for the idea that restricting Muslim rights will always be the solution. If the 4th and 9th Circuit courts deem the ban unconstitutional, Trump will almost certainly challenge the ruling. In the meantime, Muslims will continue to face the challenge of being at the forefront of court decisions and the court of public opinion.  What happens next will define the course of the legal system when it comes to Muslims in the Trump era of the War on Terror.Common Dreams (12/19): Trump’s Muslim Ban Repeats the Constitutional Travesty Committed Against Japanese-Americans in World War II
Chillingly, in Korematsu the Supreme Court explicitly overrode fundamental constitutional norms on the fraudulent word of the executive branch. The court noted that the incarceration of a group based on their race “is inconsistent with our basic governmental institutions. But when under conditions of modern warfare our shores are threatened by hostile forces, the power to protect must be commensurate with the threatened danger.” In his dissent, Justice Jackson noted, “[O]nce a judicial opinion rationalizes such an order [as Executive Order 9066] to show that it conforms to the Constitution, or rather rationalizes the Constitution to show that the Constitution sanctions such an order, the Court for all time has validated the principle of racial discrimination …. The principle then lies about like a loaded weapon ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of an urgent need.”
 

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