Thursday, June 17, 2004

 

Paintball Jihad

Sentences came down yesterday for three of the men involved in the "Virginia jihad network" - life in prison for one, 85 years for another, and 8 years for the third. Man, if these guys had actually fought with the Taliban against the US they'd be better off; John Walker Lindh only got 20 years. Oh wait, he was white and his name was John Walker (not Masoud Khan, Seifullah Chapman, or Hammad Abdur-Raheem).
U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said the sentences were "draconian," but she had no choice but to impose them under federal law.

"We have murderers who get far less time," she said. "I've sent al-Qaeda members planning attacks on these shores to less time. This is sticking in my craw. Law and justice at times need to be in tune."

Chapman's attorney, John Zwerling, called the sentence "the greatest miscarriage of justice of any case I've been involved in" in 34 years of practice.
Honestly, to me the craziest part is that Abdur-Raheem got 8 years though he "never traveled to Pakistan but was convicted for his role training other conspirators in military tactics in 2000 and 2001 in paintball games." I'm sorry, but this is too weird for me.

On a more positive note, I saw the documentary film "Control Room" last night, which was absolutely fantastic. From the Washington Post:
The unlikely stars of Noujaim's film are now adapting to life with celebrity. Ibrahim has been recognized in a restaurant in Manhattan. Khader, when told that his remarks have been singled out by critics as among the movie's high points, responds in kind: "When somebody tells you that you are famous in the Arab world, you say, 'Where do I cash it?' " And Rushing has been silenced by the Marine Corps, which says he has been reassigned and won't be allowed to take questions about his role in "Control Room."

His wife, Paige Rushing, says that he is angry and disappointed and that after 14 years in the corps, he is now planning to leave. Of all the characters in Noujaim's film, he was the one who evolved and grew most, never wavering in his basic views but willing to listen.

"He feels he has something of consequence to say," says Paige Rushing. "This was a personal experience for him, and he feels that his opinion is relevant. He would love to share it." The Marine Corps says only that he is no longer working for CentCom and will not be allowed to speak.

Rushing's candor in the film led him to say things that may be deemed controversial, including a comparison of Fox News and al-Jazeera as simply two viewpoints at opposite ends of the same spectrum. What he does after the Marines is open, but, in the film, he said he might look into another controversial subject, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

"I don't think Americans are getting good information about it," he said. "I really don't."
As you can see, it's not shocking that Rushing was silenced by the Marine Corps, just disappointing.

Comments:
First they came for the _________.
 
exactly - raquetballers watch out (or are we focusing on outdoor sports first)!
 
The greatest outdoor sport is war, of course. As for the sentences given these men, Leonie Brinkeman is to be commended for speaking out and condemned for following the law. And she's a judge. Such are the times we live in, no?
 
Wow - you're blog is full of good info. It's getting hard to find blogs with useful content and people talking about Paintball these days. I have just started my Latest Paintball News blog and would really appreciate you coming by - thanks again
 
Nice blog with interesting topics. I have a website that offers alot of controversial topics here. Just go to the links page and look for "Video Reviews"
 
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i was just browsing through the blog world searching for the keyword posters and it brought me to your site. You have a great site however it is not exactly what i was looking for. Good luck on your site. sincerely, antonio.
 
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