Friday, September 24, 2010

Updates: Radio Analysis//Blog Dialogues//Possible Consequences of Aafia Siddiqui Sentencing

Dr. Aafia as a student Photo from family used freely
on internet - SEE items added on the weekend just below this quote...

"The power of mass media is itself its limitation: the news of tomorrow is bound to wipe out the news of today. Therefore with the passage of time, the world opinion viewing Aafia as a victim is likely to prevail over the perception created by the American media. For US, the consequences could be disastrous in the long-term because nobody can say how its legal system is likely to be judged once the world opinion about Aafia prevails over the American media version."

Find this quote and a striking article by an historian and award-winning biographer here as well as on the blogsite "About Aafia" / The Republic of Rumi website and blog where you can also view excellent items by young Pakistanis

Stephen Lendman LIVE Saturday and Sunday from 12- 1 PM ET for a report on Dr. Aafia Siddiqui's Sentencing and Case for more information GO here

See Lendman's extensive reports on Dr. Aafia's case on above site and many other places

RECAP sentencing and early reaction GO here

I found this cogent quote from a blog Comment:

This system and those who go along with it without protest is diabolical and rabid.This is not America, it is Amerika, and they are not Ameicans, but Amerikans.A difference of day and night.“Those who believe in absurdities are capable of atrocities.”–Goethe Comment by hybridrogue1 | September 23, 2010 under posting at

Various Conversations

UPDATED - Here are some of the best blog Comments/Conversations - some added Saturday:

SEE many comments to Andy Worthington's actual site andyworthington dot co dot uk and scroll down to his most recent article on Aafia beginning with word "Barbaric..." The COMMENTS under that are MUCH clearer and informed than the comments on those to his same article at Huff Post.

See Thursday's press release after the sentencing by cageprisoners' editor here

NYTimes blogs & comments (which include items from knowledgeable on this case, such as Yvonne Ridley, and those friendly toward Pakistan and those who are not. And even this one by a former US military investigator who throws up his hands, in a figure of speech, due to what he virtually calls the stupidity of this sentencing:

From Yvonne Ridley
London, UK
September 24th, 2010
1:51 pm
If the official narrative is to be believed then a 90lb woman, who was in a frail state, managed to overpower and seize the gun of a US soldier becoming the first ever person in US custody ever to take a gun from a soldier since the 9/11 launched War on Terror.

The prosecution said she was firearms trained - how on earth did she manage to miss 12 soldiers in a tiny cell ... I've taken a film crew in that cell and you can't swing a cat.

Not only that where were the shell casings, the explosive discharge, the spent ammunition, the fingerprints ... we've all seen CSI. There was no scientific evidence to back up the case.

The only independent witness was an Afghan translator who is now the proud owner of a green card and living with his entire family in New York. God bless America!
This is going to backfire on the US very badly - the reputation of a once great country which was the envy of the world for its freedoms and liberties has been reduced to this nonsense.

We have credible eye witness accounts, on film, of former detainees who saw Dr Aafia Siddiqui beaten and abused in Bagram Prison, Afghanistan during her five year kidnap, rendition and torture from 2003-2008.

I blame the FBI agent who didn't know the difference between nuclear scientist and what Dr Aafia is ... a neuro scientist, doh!
Comment by Yvonne Ridley, film-maker and journalist.

Nikos Retsos
Chicago, IL
September 24th, 2010
11:18 am
The 86 years in prison sentence is quite preposterous, as is the "Al Qaeda Lady" appellation the U.S. authorities have coined for her. And, actually, that sentence is quite anti-American. After "Guantanamo, Abu Graib, and the news last week that American soldiers in Afghanistan were killing Afghan civilians "for sport," now our judicial system has swatted Siddiqui, a "fly" Pakistani hater of Americans, with a sledgehammer! Worse yet, we are making headlines with it as if "justice was done," and claiming the "high morale ground. But is it?

First, as a former army investigating officer, this question comes to mind: Why a loaded rifle was left next to a hostile person that was being investigated? Wasn't this "a set-up" to have the person grab the rifle and give interrogators a reason to charge her with "attempted murder?" Then, there is this question: She is married to a relative of a former Al Qaeda member, but does this make her "an Al Qaeda Lady?" If my daughter gets married with a gang member, does that make me "a gang-banger?" Does she hates Americans? Sure, who doesn't in Pakistan? Even
people who become instant millionaires cooperating in our war with us hate us, and they will stamp us in the back when they get a chance! They don't like us, but they like to make riches as our stooges. But they feel guilty as Pakistanis, and sinners as Muslims, and they will stamp us in the back to attain ablution with their faith!

A Few weeks ago, British prime minister David Cameron accused Pakistani officials for not being real friends, a.k.a. ally backstabbers! Sure they are. And if we do such stupids things as giving Siddique a sentence similar to that of the infamous Carlos "the Jackal" terrorist, for an "attempted murder charge" that looks suspicious, they will hate us more! I hope David Cameron call Obama and tell him to wise up. And I hope Obama can see the bigger picture on this case, that is, What is good for America, not what is good for headlines and for the prosecutor's resume!

Finally, the Inter Service Intelligence, also known as ISI, factor. It is the core of the Pakistani establishment. And we suspect that they hate us, and that actually work against us behind our backs in the war in Afghanistan. They sure do. And when we grab a distraught Pakistani woman, crown her with "the Al Qaeda Lady" label, and treat her like a 9/11 bomber, there is no doubt they will hate us more, because they are above all Pakistanis. And I have no doubt that, in their own way, they will avenge the injustice to Aafia Siddiqui. The Pakistani prime minister Mr. Gilani has already expressed his outrage in order to calm down the Pakistanis.

Let's not, therefore, celebrate the 86 years prison term for Siddique. We have just shot our selves in the foot, and I have no doubt the sentence will be reversed or thrown out. The sentence is highly detrimental to bigger American interests, and it may cost American lives in the long term. Smashing a fly with a sledgehammer may make us feel good now, but "justice," like every story, has always two sides! Nikos Retsos, retired professor

Find these two comments by Yvonne Ridley and the ex-military expert/professor here

I expect Al Jazeera will keep posting items related to this sentencing and case here

A bit of an unexpected title at least since so many titles on this case don't allow for any possibility of questioning: "U.S.-trained Pakistani scientist, gets 86 years in prison on questionable assault" here

Video: here

A little conclusion, let's follow up on the question: Does a Muslim or even anyone from a largely Muslim/Arabic/Pakistan/Palestinian/Yemen or North African community have a chance of a fair trial in the US? Hmmn...the beginning of an Op Ed...

Here's a conclusion I posted at ondelette's site before the sentencing (unedited yet heartfelt)

No matter how hopeless any support near of far may seem, we owe our children and legacy our own little “vote” for sanity and rights. This case more than most is in dire need of witnesses.

There were many expected and unexpected happenings before during outside and inside the courtroom during the trial. There has been some clarity and good reporting since, albeit all too little. Of course, we should never stop fighting for Aafia – whatever happens in that courtroom on Thursday – that someone who knows what will free her will come forth sooner rather than later.

We need to keep pressure up that there will be no further torture, intimidation and use of male staff inappropriately. Nor can our hearts allow us to stop fighting for her children as well.

Finally, we owe our own American, Pakistani-American and Pakistani children all the reassurance that we will never quit fighting for their protection for each day of their futures.

We must show them by our deeds as well as our words that we expect justice to prevail no matter how hopeless war criminals have made the same. We can’t let war crime or any other crime prevail – of all places in the courtroom and in the prisons.

We owe our two nations, America and Pakistan, the best possible legacy for rule of law and human rights we can achieve. We need each other to do so and we must NEVER give up.


1 comment:

Connie L. Nash said...

Some of the comments "get it" - the injustice and lack of rule of law/logic among other extremely questionable treatments of Dr. Aafia in the US. Some just don't.

I tho't for everyone who really cared to look deeper, there was plenty easily available to show the problems with the way Judge Richard Berman court was handled by the Judge, Prosecution and others. How obvious it was if you had been there.

At least read Dr. Aafia's brothers transcript and/or hear his audio on "Facts vs. Fiction" (See this one below and this site and also at the Muslims for Justice Coalition) and read more of the same on the family site
Free Aafia dot org.

Then read a well-done summary for each day at Cage Prisoners by an award-winning journalist Petra...

Keep coming back here for more