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Monday, January 29, 2007

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January 29, 2007

Hon. Roberto Gonzales
Attorney General
U. S. Department of
Washington, DC 20530

Re: Hostage taking of Sami Al-Arian by USDOJ

Dear General Gonzales:

I am a Republican candidate for the United States Senate and I am very proud to run on the Republican ticket. Nevertheless, I believe the policy of DOJ towards the Palestinian national movement is self-destructive and counterproductive to the foreign policy interests of the United States.

I am therefore writing to ask that you direct that Sami Al-Arian, who is essentially a hostage and political prisoner of DOJ, be freed forthwith. I would prefer that he be allowed to remain and live in the United States with his family.

1. The Palestinian national movement and DOJ

Regrettably, due to supporters of Israel within the United States, DOJ has been used as a bludgeon to criminalize and destroy the Palestinian national movement ("PNM") here at home. The results are evident to anyone: Palestinian nationalism is stronger today than at any time in the past. The United States' Middle East standing has never been lower. Israel has never been more endangered. To quote Pogo, "We have met the enemy, and he is us." America has steadfastly been its own worst enemy in the Middle East.

Criminal prosecution is an entirely inappropriate vehicle for supporting Israel. In Palestine, Israelis are not the victims; they are aggressors who have carried on a brutal occupation for forty years.

And yes, as a result of the occupation and Israeli state terrorism, Palestinians have responded in kind. Members of both sides are killing each other, although Israelis have killed many more Palestinians than vice versa. I guess some Israelis in their military junta of a government think that if they commit enough atrocities the Arab population will give up and go away. That’s what a racist Israeli government official proposed on his recent visit to Washington.

I don't expect either side to leave.

I fail to see why the United States should subscribe to, endorse or otherwise aid and abet in this Israeli insanity. If Israleis really wanted peace they would free prisoners, open borders and take risks for peace, not claim they are trying to avoid risks for peace.

Peace is a risky process and making peace will be a difficult business, as we are painfully learning in Iraq.

2. DOJ's prosecution fiasco in Tampa

During the Al-Arian trial I wrote columns predicting Sami would be found not guilty, and stating that he was, and is, "my friend." I have not met Sami but he was a guest on my talk radio show Andy Martin's America (not currently on the air). The Al-Arian trial was a political circus and even in "conservative" Tampa the prosecution backfired and embarrassed DOJ at home and the United States abroad.

Using every dirty trick in the book, as overzealous prosecutors have been known to do, DOJ was unable to convict Al-Arian, and then made a deal to release him at a defined date. DOJ has now broken its promise. Using civil contempt as a tool to harass people and to avoid agreements entered into in good faith besmirches DOJ.

3. The real war against terror

Almost every American supports the war against terror, and realizes that we do have violent psychopaths who want to do us harm. I was in New York on 9/11/01 and I know the consequences. We should focus on our real enemies, such as Al Qaeda, and not seek to demonize our natural allies, such as the Palestinians.

I have reported from and analyzed the Middle East for 37 years and before me my British family roots in the region go back over 100 years. In short, I have some basis to express informed opinions.

It is a mockery of international intelligence for Secretary of State Rice to flit around saying she wants to "discuss" peace when the parameters of Palestinian/Israeli peace have always been known. In 2000, I advocated the Andy Martin Peace Plan," which can be retrieved from PRNewswire. If only President Bush would read and listen.

Moreover it is apodictic that "peace" will not automatically and immediately lead to "peace" and nonviolence. Radial rejectionists on both sides will seek to sabotage efforts towards peace that are supported by the vast majority for Palestinians and Israelis. So any peace process must recognize that violence will endure, even after peace. That is why former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's demands that violence end before he would discuss peace were a sham and charade.

4. Why multiply failures with more failures?

DOJ failed in prosecuting Sami Al-Arian, and you have failed to win the worldwide battle for public opinion. The world knows that Israelis occupy Palestinians, not vice versa. It is U. S. cluster bomb units, paid for with American tax dollars, that were used to massacre innocent Lebanese last year. And it was ridiculous when Condi Rice went to Lebanon to express crocodile tears for what our Israeli puppets had done. America has a positive role to play in the Middle East. But in seeking to brand the PNM as a criminal organization the United States detracts from that role. DOJ's approach has not succeeded and it will not succeed.

5. Offer to serve as a hostage in Al-Arian's place

If you want to hostage, so that militant pro-Israelis will be able to pretend that they are accomplishing something by corrupting the administration of justice I offer to stand/sit in Mr. Al-Arian's cell. Throughout history, down to the recent freedom of Nelson Mandela, criminalization of national independence movements has failed abysmally. So I offer to sit in Sami's stead as a hostage to the PNM. My incarceration would be as useless as his, and my unjust imprisonment as a hostage to pro-Israel prosecutors would be just as much of an embarrassment to the United States. But at least it would be clear that DOJ is corrupting the grand jury process and engaging in political theater, not legitimate prosecution.

If you love your country, as I know you do, and as I do, it is time to end the insanity of criminalizing the PNM, and to free Palestinians being held both by Israel and the United States. Welcome, don’t imprison, them.

In time, Israelis will discover or admit that "peace" is a two-sided exchange, not a one-sided demand for capitulation by the opposition.

We can and should work for peace in the Middle East. You could strike a strong blow for peace by apologizing to Mr. Al-Arian and inviting him to remain in the United States. I think the risk is well worth it. Ironically, it has been my experience that most Israelis would be able to make peace with Palestinians if only the extremist outsiders stopped goading on militant elements inside the region. You have the power to free Sami. Just do it.

Please feel free to call if you have any questions.

Respectfully submitted,




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