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Defense Argues Palestinian Organizer’s Indictment Was Product of Illegal FBI Investigation

By: Friday August 29, 2014 6:46 am

Rasmea Odeh

A motion to dismiss an indictment against Palestinian American Rasmea Odeh for allegedly committing immigration fraud argues Odeh’s indictment was the “product of an illegal investigation into the First Amendment activities of the Arab-American Action Network (AAAN),” a community group based in Chicago.

Rasmea Odeh is an organizer in Chicago. She has been a naturalized citizen in the US since 1995. But, on October 22, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security suddenly had her arrested.

The federal government accused Odeh of neglecting to disclose on naturalization forms that she had been imprisoned by Israelis in Palestine for decades for terrorism-related offenses. She now faces up to ten years in prison if convicted and immediate deportation after her release.

When Odeh was charged, this website covered how her indictment was possibly a result of an FBI investigation into twenty-six activists, who were subpoenaed by a federal grand jury and targeted by the FBI in 2010. Some of those activists had their homes raided and property seized.

Now, Odeh’s defense attorneys—Michael Deutsch, Jim Fennerty and William Goodman—have made the connection and are arguing Odeh would not have been indicted if the government had not been targeting individuals for their First Amendment-protected activities.

A motion [PDF] filed on August 13 argues the indictment was “intended to suppress the work of the defendant in support of the Arab community of Chicago.” It requests that the indictment be “quashed as politically motivated and based on the selective use of the criminal law to target protected political work.”

The defense asks the judge for “discovery of communication between the US Attorney’s Office in Chicago and Detroit” on the decision to indict Odeh, as well as an evidentiary hearing on claims made in the motion. Attorneys believe the evidence will prove allegations and support a dismissal of the indictment.

In January 2010, the FBI and the US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois launched an investigation into AAAN, including Odeh and Hatem Abudayyeh, one of the people who had their homes raided by the FBI in September 2010.

Members of AAAN were allegedly placed under surveillance by the FBI and, the motion adds, “as a result of this investigation the defendant was targeted by the Northern District of Illinois.”


The Roundup

By: Friday August 29, 2014 5:45 am

We’re close to the end of the week. How are you?

International Politics


- Amy Goodman: “The Guns of August“; On the importance of World War I for today

- The legacy of Iraq War will be considered good for certain private actors in the future

- Pew: 39 percent of Americans believe the U.S. is doing too much in the world compared to 31 percent who say too little

- The UN Security Council met for an emergency meeting after NATO claimed Russia had a second front in Ukraine

- President Obama: The violence in Ukraine is Russia’s doing

Middle East

- Rebels in Syria captured 43 UN peacekeepers , the UN confirmed this

- Iraqi security forces and volunteers took back some towns captured by the Islamic State

- Meanwhile, more than 150 Syrian government soldiers kidnapped by IS were murdered

Asia and Oceania

- The army in Pakistan announced it will be a mediator between the Pakistani government and opposition groups


- The UN Security Council passed a resolution that threatens the use of sanctions for anyone affecting the stability of Libya

I dunno…maybe men should be more intelligent?

By: Friday August 29, 2014 1:30 am


The former president of The George Washington University on Tuesday joined the chorus of individuals telling college women to simply drink less in order to avoid sexual assault.

During a discussion of Greek life at U.S. colleges on The Diane Rehm Show, Dr. Stephen Joel Trachtenberg weighed in on the issue of sexual assault, Jezebel noted on Wednesday.

Trachtenberg tried to hedge his remarks on drinking and rape by first noting that sexual assault victims should not be blamed, but he still asserted that women really need to learn to drink less.

Double ugh.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) thinks his state should reform its liquor laws. That way, he argued, women would have an easier job making dinner.

But don’t drink any of that liquor ladies…that liquor is for dudes, enabling their sexual assaults…just water for you, as to stave them off.

Oh and…

USA!   USA!   USA!

Late Night: Jon Stewart on Race (& Ferguson in the Media)

By: Thursday August 28, 2014 8:00 pm

Jon Stewart returned from a brief hiatus with a brilliant take down of the racially charged Ferguson coverage in the media, primarily on FOX News.

Not that they are the only offenders.

Obama Opened Floodgates for Offshore Fracking in Recent Gulf of Mexico Lease

By: Thursday August 28, 2014 6:25 pm

In little-noticed news arising out of a recent Gulf of Mexico offshore oil and gas lease held by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the floodgates have opened for Gulf offshore hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).

With 21.6 million acres auctioned off by the Obama Administration and 433,822 acres receiving bids, some press accounts have declared BP America — of 2010 Gulf of Mexico offshore oil spill infamy — a big winner of the auction. If true, fracking and the oil and gas services companies who perform it like Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Schlumberger came in a close second.

Prepare to Bomb More Brown People: A New Bogeyman “Worse than Hitler!”

By: Thursday August 28, 2014 4:52 pm

There’s a new bogeyman in the middle east. It is a terrible monster of great proportions, a barbaric, sectarian, unrepentant butchery machine. Its name is ISIS and like the previous bogeymen (Saddam, Ahmadinejad, Gaddaffi, Osama bin Laden, Assad and Putin) it is like (or worse than) Hitler. You would think by now government propagandists would get worried that trotting out the Hitler meme so frequently would cause “Hitler fatigue.” Nonetheless, now that the terrible threat has been identified by a news media eager for action and ratings, there is a growing push for America to jump in and start killing brown people again.

Over Easy News

By: Thursday August 28, 2014 3:44 pm

An uneasy truce allowed Gaza residents to venture out onto battered streets to acquired supplies needed for their existence, as an Egyptian-brokered peace continued for an undefined period.

John Kerry Makes a Deal

By: Thursday August 28, 2014 2:33 pm

Barry! Barr -er Mr. President, I got Congress out in the parking lot looking at the new SUVs. I’m pushing the missile strikes on the Syrian government hard, but just a few little ones, and then ka-blam we get em with the whole package deal, 800 vehicles plus fuel and maintenance, a little shock, a little awe, a little razzmatazz, and we reel em right in.

Iowa Senate Race Is a Dead Heat

By: Thursday August 28, 2014 1:41 pm

At this moment the most competitive Senate race in the country is in Iowa. The open senate seat created by the retirement of Tom Harkin (D) is a dead heat according to two new polls of the state.

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