War on Terror
Or on charity
Whatever. It's all the same to Bush:
The Bush administration's "war on terror" paraded a feather in its tattered cap with the Holy Land Foundation convictions delivered last week. Most observers accurately characterised this legal charade as a witch hunt, using Muslims and Arabs, specifically Palestinians, as its targets. In doing so the administration shamelessly abuses to advance its failed security measures and pro-Israel policy initiatives that systematically punishes Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank.
Five leaders from the once highly-respected charity group Holy Land Foundation, which gave nearly $12m to non-violent, Palestinian institutions to build hospitals and feed the poor, were convicted on 108 charges of supporting terrorism by funneling money to Hamas. A US official proudly declared: "Today's verdicts are important milestones in America's efforts against financiers of terrorism." However, Linda Moreno, a defence lawyer for one of the HLF leaders, said she disagreed, and told me: "This was a political, 'win at all costs' prosecution."
Indeed, the Bush administration suffered a humiliation in 2007 when its first prosecution against HLF ended in a mistrial, with the jurors deadlocked over the major counts. A juror from the 2007 trial said the government "kept showing us blown-up buses and they kept showing us little kids in bomb belts reenacting Hamas leaders … it had nothing to do with the actual charges. It had nothing to do with the defendants."