McCain’s Folly: Suspected Terrorists Suing United States
By: Jim Kouri, CPP
With US Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and John Warner leading the charge to prevent defining what is and is not torture, as was requested by President George W. Bush — besides the danger to Americans and their property — look for the American Civil Liberties Union and other left-wing organizations to initiate lawsuits against individual intelligence and law enforcement officers, as well as the US government (US taxpayers).
Senator McCain is stubbornly refusing to define the term “torture” leaving US interrogators wondering what techniques they are permitted to use in order to extract information from terrorists. He speaks of moral highground, but doesn’t mention that his sanctimonious “moral highground”, although playing well in the newsrooms of the New York Times, may cost some Americans their lives because interrogators weren’t aggressive enough in getting information that proves valuable in thwarting attacks on the US.
When Janet Reno deployed federal law enforcement agencies to Waco, Texas to arrest the Branch Davidian leader David Koresh, one the the tactics used was to constantly blast loud music 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Eventually, men, women and children died from a brutal attack by their own countrymen. And, except for a few Republican lawmakers, the GOP and Democrat senators and congressmen displayed no outrage. And Senator John McCain was among those who remained silent.
But when dealing with foreign terrorists and insurgents, a day doesn’t go by when there isn’t some lawmaker who’s outraged over the treatment of terrorists on the battlefield or in detention centers such as Guantanamo Bay. It almost makes one wish the US government would treat its own citizens as well as they wish to treat our enemies.
Lawsuits filed by suspected terrorists or associates against the United States government are already piling up in anticipation of McCain and his cohorts succeeding in their quest to give terrorists legal standing in US courts and to prevent US interrogators from gathering intelligence.
For example, an Islamic man, who was detained by US agents without criminal charges being file and then was deported to Egypt, recently testified for a deposition in New York in a lawsuit against the US government. He claims he was unlawfully imprisoned and abused.
At least that was the story as reported by the mainstream news media, a group that can always be counted on to use the least amount of intelligence. The truth is Mr. Ebrahim did commit a crime by staying in the United States illegally. His visa expired yet he remained in the US illegally.
Yasser Ebrahim is one of several Muslim men who are being allowed to return to New York City to participate in the civil suit under strict conditions including confinement to their hotel rooms for the duration of their stay, in spite of continued suspicions that they are terrorist associates.
The suspects-turned-litigants, whom US counterterrorism agents were unable to break, claim they were subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment in a Brooklyn, NY detention center, including beatings, solitary confinement, verbal abuse and a lack of access to their families and lawyers.
Ebrahim’s attorneys said the men are being deposed in a class action suit against the government over the treatment of more than 1,200 Muslim and South Asian men rounded up right after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Many of them were either in the country without authorization or remained in the US on expired visas.
”I was being hated by everyone around me wanting revenge for September 11,” Ebrahim said. He acknowledged being in the country illegally but claims he did nothing else illegal.
One intelligence analyst told this writer that the allegation must be considered in the context of the facts. Fact: On September 11, 2001 there were multiple terrorist attacks perpetrated against the United States. Fact: The nineteen attackers all were Middle Eastern males, some in the country illegally and classified as visa overstays. Fact: Yasser Ebrahim is a Middle Eastern male who was residing in the United States illegally. Fact: Mr. Ebrahim was believed to be uncooperative with interrogators who wished to deter or thwart other attacks during the uncertain days following the worst attack on US soil in history. Fact: The alleged number of those detained is about 1,200 Islamic men; there are millions of Muslims in the US, many of them on visas, some of them on expired visas.
The Center for Constitutional Rights — a left-wing legal group handling the case — said the conditions for the plaintiffs to return to the United States during the civil litigation include a prohibition on their speaking to any person outside the case and that they restrict their activities staying in their hotel rooms and traveling to and from the federal courthouse in New York City.
Ebrahim’s brother Hany Ibrahim was also due to arrive in New York, CCR legal director Bill Goodman said, and the other two would arrive at some point in the future
Goodman told Reuters that the restrictions on the four men were highly unusual in a civil case and a sign of what he called government “paranoia over Muslim and Middle Eastern men.” However, US officials believe that these men are still considered suspicious in spite of the unsuccessful interrogations conducted over several months.
Their case names former Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller, immigration officials and prison officers among the defendants. The suit seeks compensation and punitive damages.
A report by Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General found that some New York City corrections officers slammed detainees against the wall, twisted their arms and hands in painful ways, stepped on their leg restraint chains and punished them by keeping them restrained for long periods of time. However, there was no mention of federal agents and interrogators mistreating the suspects. There also appears to be no connection between the alleged incidents of mistreatment and the complaints being filed by Ebrahim.
A federal law enforcement executive claims that the plaintiffs’ attorneys from the Center for Constitutional Rights have a hidden agenda: revealing top secret information to the public and to the world within the pretext of a lawsuit. With leaders such as McCain spearheading legislation that would provide defendents access to classified documents, the CCR will indeed have access to US secrets.
“First we had generals running wars. Then we had politicians running wars. Now we have glorified ambulance chasers trying to run this war — and they’re succeeding,” he said.
The US Department of Justice said they would not comment on the case or the terms of the restricted movements of the plaintiffs.
Another Muslim, Mohamed Abdel Wahab Yakoub, a.k.a. Mohamed Wardi, a 61-year-old native of Egypt and a resident of Maryland, actually did plead guilty in the Eastern District of Virginia to one count of smuggling Middle Eastern aliens into the United States while working at the Saudi Arabian embassy. Yakoub is facing a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years when he is sentenced by Judge Brinkema later in 2006. Yakoub is also facing deportation to Egypt following his sentencing.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents first arrested Yakoub, who was fired by the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in late 2002, at Dulles International Airport on February 14, 2005, upon his arrival on a flight from Cairo, Egypt. Joint Terrorism Task Force agents in Washington, DC had been investigating Yakoub and his alleged human smuggling scheme for more than a year.
Yakoub is expected to also claim abuse while being held in custody and interrogated as to the identities of the Muslim men he smuggled into the US. And this is only the beginning, thanks to Senator John McCain.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for TheConservativeVoice.Com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.us
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.