Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Supporters Continue Hogwash About Hawash

Today’s WSJ has a great piece about Maher “Mike” Hawash, an Intel consultant charged yesterday with conspiracy to levy war against the U.S. and conspiracy to provide support to al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The Portland area resident was arrested by FBI agents on March 20 and held as a material witness until yesterday’s charges were filed.

Hawash, a Muslim Palestinian, (shocking) had been living a normal life in the Portland area with his American wife (good decision) and three children. He was a well-respected software developer and even wrote a book on advanced video graphics.

Everything was fairly normal until the death of his father in 2001. At that time, Hawash started to reexamine his Muslim religion and began to take it much more seriously. According to the story in the WSJ, he stopped drinking alcohol, grew an Osama beard and made a pilgrimage to Mecca.

Oh, yeah and he also transferred title of his house to his wife, paid off the mortgage and headed to Western China to try to make it to Afghanistan and join the Taliban. That’s all. Him and the other Muslims in this ragtag collection Portland losers never actually were able to join the Taliban, but the little excursion was not lost on the U.S. government.

His wife claims that he went to China to “look for business opportunities”. But the FBI says he made no calls to China before his trip. It doesn’t say if he made any calls to the Mid East.

Most of Hawash’s ex-coworkers do not believe he would be capable of such crimes and have started a Free 'Mike' Hawash web site and fund. It’s really quite laughable. All the angry 60’s rhetoric of the radical left is on display: calling the defendants “The Portland 6”, paranoid delusions about the government rounding up Muslims willy-nilly, exhorting feeling people to do something.

What is amazing is the anti-Americanism that has to exist (if even latently) in the hearts of these supporters. They sincerely want us to believe that the U.S. government, always under the closest of scrutiny from every type of civil rights, human rights, animal rights, whatever group in the world is going to arrest some innocent, anonymous Muslim for the hell of it?

You can almost see the meetings in Ashcroft's office:

Ashcroft: We round up any them Pallystinyens this week?
FBI guy: Sure did. We done got us one out Portland way, some kinna computer guy or somethin'
Ashcroft: Good. Good
FBI guy: Yeah, we aint got nothin' to charge him with yet. Maybe you could think of somethin'?
Ashcroft: Oh I'll think of somethin'

In the original incarnation of the site, they asked that Hawash either be charged or set free. Now that he has been charged, they say that the case is weak and the idea that he would try to join the Taliban was absurd because “Mike's concerns were for his family in America, his family in Palestine, and for his faith.”

To which I say, exactly. His faith. The faith of peace and justice. The faith that convinced him that as a man, it was his duty to fight the invading satan in Afghanistan.

The WSJ piece ends with a great quote from a transcript of a conversation recorded by a confidential FBI source with one of the other defendants in the case, Jeffrey Leon Battle.

In it, Mr. Battle said a “Palestinian who was married to a white woman...left with us to go fight.”

That's probably just a coincidence don't you think?

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