Wednesday December 4, 2013
An Innocent Man Remains in America's Gulag TodaySiraj Davis Salem-News.com
Salem-News reopens case, and the facts we have discovered are more than disturbing as an outlier of justice, they are disgusting and uncivilized.
(EAST JERUSALEM / BOSTON) - I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead. ~ William Loyd Garrison
There are sad moments etched within the history of many profound nations where the innocent amongst its citizens becomes the victim of uncontrollable political circumstances surrounding them. They may find themselves or loved ones incarcerated, deported out of a country, tortured, etc. These are the tragic tribulations humankind suffer in the world of unfortunate complex politics that we live amidst.
As a result of the War on Terrorism immediately following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centers, we have such poignant stories as above where the paranoia, fear, and hate of mass hysteria in search of an ideology implanted within an unseen enemy have caused the commonplace American to forget the salient principles in which the world has admired all of us for centuries.
The War on Terrorism has created a breeding ground wherein racists, political pundits, religious zealots, and more have been the catalysts of impregnating the general American mind with detrimental emotions and thoughts that challenge those founding principles while simultaneously causing or participating in acts of injustice upon innocent Samaritans.
The aforementioned exploitative and enthralling antagonists would have never ascertained such proliferating popularity in the media or in positions of employment and authority, had such tragedy not struck the shores of Lady Liberty. The question which America must answer in the future is when will we annex America back from those cretins?
The case of Ziyad Yaghi, a Jordanian derived Palestinian American, is a true litmus test of the declaration we Americans made in the birth of a dream others in the world have been aspiring to achieve with us throughout millennia. That dream is a world of peace wherein the pursuit of happiness, the equal value of life, and the privileges of liberty may touch the lives of each and every human creation of God. The world wishes not to admit they are foolish in sharing our dreams by witnessing hypocrisy from this dream's progenitor. They don't want to submit to the overwhelming power of ignorance within the halls of the American government today.
The foundation of America is sound and hopefully will endure, and therein lays everyone's hopes that minor damages can be reversed or attenuated. However, the acts of a few imbeciles threaten those pillars today. This is the path America and the West has been traveling after the contretemps of 9-11.
There are auguries or terrible signs of an uncomfortable future or trembles from the ravages of the pillars of America's values which we all are witnessing. Those auguries are present in her floundering economy, volatile society, confusing and corrupt politics, the belief of the world audience to the implausibility of American and Western media, and more which perceptive minds warned would proliferate before the War on Terrorism, yet these ominous exhortations were and are still not heeded. Ziyad Yaghi is a victim, not only because he is innocent of the charges against him, but because our silence allowed it.
Ziyad Yaghi was arrested in July of 2009 with six others for conspiracy to commit terrorism abroad and consequently stood trial in New Bern, North Carolina. The US government claimed that he traveled to Jordan to engage in a scheme of terrorism. They also claim that he participated in a single paintball trip in order to train to be a terrorist.
After a media frenzy which would best be described as modern Yellow Journalism, he was found guilty on the most specious and dubious of evidence. Consequently, he received 31 years in solitary confinement while others accused with him, with far more evidence against them, received lighter sentences.
Ziyad Yaghi refused to violate the principle of Islam that demands a Muslim to not lie and so he remained silent when the FBI demanded he testify against the leading suspect in this case, a person Ziyad barely knew.
Salem-News and team have reopened the case to an independent and discreet investigation. The facts we have discovered are more than disturbing as an outlier of justice, they are disgusting and uncivilized. We are absolutely sure this young man is innocent of the charges levied against him, yet a court in North Carolina, somehow, judged him guilty.
Award-winning journalist Tim King, who has spent thousands of hours researching and writing about false convictions, is the founder of Salem-News. He said:
THE FOLLOWING IS HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS' INDICTMENT OF THE INJUSTICE BY THE US GOVERNMENT AGAINST ZIYAD YAGHI:
*NOTE* (The following results from Skype interviews with those intimately involved with the case, media articles, and court documents.)
1) Out of 750 hours of tape recordings by informants of the FBI, Ziyad Yaghi was on none of them.
2) The gentleman who had the most proof against him, the ringleader named Daniel Boyd (as the media portrayed him), turned state's evidence during the trial and agreed to cooperate with the FBI in a plea bargain.
During the trial and following this agreement, he testified in front of everyone that Ziyad Yaghi had no knowledge of any plot to commit terrorism.
3) Ziyad Yaghi stated he traveled to Jordan to get married. The US government refused to believe this motive, yet his narrative has been verified by the former potential bride in Jordan via interview.
Ziyad's story does check out.
4) Although Ziyad Yaghi's Facebook profile is set to private, a vigilante racist web blog titled the Jawa Report posted screenshots and photos of Ziyad Yaghi's Facebook account. The Jawa Report has a long history of working alongside media establishments and the US government in arresting and prosecuting suspected terrorists. The YouTube account of The Jawa Report indicates the author has an antipathy toward all Muslims, Palestinians, the Occupy Movement, and anyone that challenges the US and Israeli government status quos and foreign policies.
We believe that the Jawa Report was the conduit for what many suspected the US government was doing with Virginian Brandon Raub's Facebook account, the former Iraqi War veteran who was arrested by the US government for inflammatory yet patriotic Facebook posts, which is we believe the Jawa Report was spying on Facebook accounts like Ziyad Yaghi's on behest or in corroboration with the US government.
5) At the bail hearing , Judge William Webb expressed his disbelief at the evidence by the North Carolina prosecution stating that code words such as "going to the beach" and "ordering pizza" does not translate into intentions to commit terrorism.
Furthermore, the honorable William Webb also publicly commented his disapproval as to the prosecution's introduction of testimony and evidence without allowing the defense to cross-examine or thoroughly investigate the sources of this information. The prosecution withheld evidence and access to informants alleging security reasons of National Defense as to the need for this secrecy.
Moreover, three informants for the FBI were paid $200,000 and given green cards to testify despite overstaying their visas. In the underprivileged areas across America, one could purchase such participation for a lesser cost.
It is exigent to reiterate the evidence above concerned the other defendants, nothing of any significant value as evidence was introduced against Ziyad Yaghi by the prosecution.
6) There was no physical evidence of guns, ammunition, or anything of significant and incontrovertible value to augment the accusations against Ziyad Yaghi. All of the ammunition and weapons were found only at the ringleader, Daniel Boyd's house. Most of the evidence the legal machinery of North Carolina touted within the court room was related to Daniel Boyd, yet applied to all of the defendants because the crux of the North Carolina government's accusations was an unproven relationship between Ziyad and others with Boyd. The prosecution of North Carolina dissembled to the public that Boyd was the ringleader who was indoctrinating the rest, whom the prosecution described as mindless and naive recruits who did not have the prudence to forsee the implications of their future actions.
Nevertheless, Daniel Boyd received 15 years while Ziyad Yaghi received 31 years. Ziyad Yaghi stated that he knew Daniel Boyd for less than twenty four hours while others screamed they did not know their fellow defendants at all.
7) The North Carolina court refused to allow the defense to call many of its witnesses, citing the necessity of time constraints for the purpose of reducing the amount of time allocated for the case. The prosecution also called to the stand supposed expert witnesses who testified on their knowledge of Islamic and Arabic terms, while later admitting they could neither speak nor read Arabic.
Through a quick glance at the indictments, the terms "Shahid" (witness) and "Shaheed" (martyr), "Jihad", and "Fard Ayn" were incorrectly defined and applied. How important is this premise? One litigant, not Ziyad, stated in the court room that the North Carolina government recorded him saying the Arabic word for "witness" but they translated and used the incorrect translation of "martyr" against him.
Furthermore, the elderly jury comprised of non-Muslims or Arabs who were unfamiliar with the massive amount of Islamic and Arabic terms introduced and explained by the prosecution. One juror was caught sleeping during the trial.
8) Another suspect ignored in the media, Bajram Asllani , has been currently residing in Kosovo near to UN and Kosovo police buildings. The US government continues to demand extradition so he may stand trial with the those individuals mentioned in this article, yet the European Community who has larger authority over the most important cases pertaining to Kosovo have refused this request and have determined insufficient evidence is provided by the US government against this man.
If the European courts have publicly declared a lack of evidence to aver a conspiracy, why have Ziyad Yaghi and others been found culpable based on the same evidence?
9) It is reported from an independent investigator's tape recordings that one of the party involved in the court proceedings made remarks of anti-Islamic sentiments at a party or formal gathering after the sentencing, suggesting a biased stance against Islam during the court proceedings.
Moreover, throughout the entire court process, many witnesses testified that the State of North Carolina placed Islam on trial rather than the defendants. The prosecution used videos and pictures of terrorist groups to show the jury with once again, no evidence to prove a connection between those certain groups and the accused.
The prosecution claimed that they thwarted efforts by the defendants in committing terrorism abroad and their primary proof was that the accused had "the ideology" (as several officials on the prosecution's side was quoted) to commit the acts. The ideology which the prosecution augmented with evidence was Facebook anti-war posts ripped out of context, videos of Al Qaeda in other nations, and incorrect translations of Arabic words and symbols which were again taken out of context.
During the concluding arguments, the prosecution held up a picture of Ziyad Yaghi to the jury after showing videos and pictures of AL Qaeda, while repeating several times slowly verbatim, "US government versus Ziyad Yaghi," in order to leave a lasting impression of us (Americans) against Ziyad (the terrorist).
10) The US government made the absurd and unfairly applied assumption that Ziyad Yaghi's single trip with a few of the other defendants to play paintball, was in fact a military training exercise.
11) The narrative of the FBI in regards to this case is severely questionable. At first, the FBI claimed that the defendants Daniel Boyd and a few others except Ziyad, were intending to target a military base at Quantico, Virginia. Then the story changed to the final version that they intended to attack others abroad.
Worse, the defendants including Ziyad Yaghi, were all found guilty despite the fact that the specific target, date and time, and location were not provided by the prosecution. In other words, in an action that replicates the movie "Minority Report" starring Tom Cruise, Ziyad and others were found guilty for no acts of terrorism or violence, but only by the claim of the North Carolina prosecution that the defendants would have committed the acts.
The above detailed facts augmented by the vocal opposition by two judges should be enough to convince the perceptive of thought and kind hearted to drop all charges against Ziyad Yaghi, to the average human of intellect and absent of heart, it should at least appear to be a grave injustice if this case were not reopened for a second trial.
SISTER LAILA YAGHI STATES IN REGARD TO HER SON'S CASE:
It is undeniable that some within the US government, purposely and maliciously prosecuted innocent defendants to further the financial funding and American domestic support of the War on Terrorism and also to jumpstart their own careers, by manipulating and exaggerating insignificant and small facts, while concealing others, in order to persecute a group of innocent Muslim Americans.
And in consequence of this action, indirectly and simultaneously and unknowingly conspired with the Islamophobic and anti-Islamic sentiments of a few involved in the due course of the prosecution of this case. We feel the correct and just course of action, in consideration of the facts above, is the re-opening of this matter to an unbiased arbitrator with a true representative jury of peers for the defendants, and with a larger audience - the international media.
Counter-terrorism pundit, Evan Kohlmann once stated, with no question as to the veracity of this specific claim, that the best arsenal of those who oppose the United States is the instruments of propaganda we ourselves supply in cases such as torture at Abu Ghraib, the burning of Qurans and releasing of anti-Islamic films despite no reciprocation of such barefaced debacles by the Muslim population of the world, the opposition to the building of a mosque at Ground Zero to symbolize America's will to accept its Muslim American constituents and the desire for future peace on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and more. We can include Ziyad Yaghi's case and other cases of preemptive prosecution to the stack of verbal RPGs, Kalashnikovs, or WMDs that Kohlmann speaks about.
If speaking truth against injustice, an important proverb of Islam, is considered terrorism, then we the people of the world should ask an important query. May we continue to breathe, live, and think within our own discretion and religion and non-violent principles or shall we submit those inalienable rights given by God to the US government in order to avoid the stigmatization of the neologism "terrorist?" Or are omnipotence, power, and life still in the sole possession of the US government and when shall such rights be transferred back to God?
This open-letter is inflammatory and pugilistic because it refuses to pull any punches. Why? A comparison of this case's precedent in history to the articles of the US constitution and Universal Declaration of Human Rights has revealed that there were gross violations of its tenets found in the Ziyad Yaghi case. If the US government persists to allow this anathema to its principles to rest unabridged, then beating hearts and feeling souls within the world, terrorist or non-terrorist humans around the world, described as such divisions or categories of people according to the Zoroaster type Manichean mentality of overgrown children in exorbitant suits who want of playing GI JOE, will be filled with heartache and fear to this glaring example of inhumanity. In regards to the question of which is more important, nationalism or humanity, it is set upon the shoulders of the US government to decide in this case soon. Ziyad Yaghi is not the only human waiting for a response to the elicitation in this article.
If anyone in the audience agrees, please feel FREE to hit the like button on this article.
Salem-News will continue to cover this story while others raise funds for the Ziyad Yaghi legal fund. Some in the international media have already been notified and stand poised with Salem News as this case is still continuing to develop and will do so until this nasty and huge transgression and quandary is corrected, for the freedom of this young innocent man.
Please donate to the legal funds of this kind mother who is struggling to have another fight against the US government for her innocent son's freedom.
And please sign this petition to ask Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois to reopen this case:
Visit Laila Yaghi's blog
ثمة ذكريات محزنة محفورة عميقا في تاريخ العديد من الدول حيث الأبرياء من بينهم مواطنيها أصبحو ضحية للظروف السياسية المحيطة بهم التي لم يعد يمكن السيطرة عليها. قد وجدوا أنفسهم أو ذويهم مسجونين، وبعيدين عن موطنهم، ومعذبين، الخ .هذه هي المحن و المعاناه المأساوية البشرية التي يعانون منها بسبب العالم السياسي المعقد المؤسف بذلك أننا نعيش وسطه .
Taiyo "Siraj" Davis
Originally from Yamaguchi-shi, Yamaguchi, Japan, the voice of East Jerusalem resident Taiyo "Siraj" Davis, is one of great strength and dedication.
Siraj's background is diverse and well suited for the human rights advocacy he has become known for worldwide. His professional life includes working as an ESL English/Japanese instructor at American Language Center, and as a World/US History teacher at the Modern American School. Siraj has an MA History and is a published author.
He has held positions with Amnesty International, American Families United, Clemson University Asian Student Association; and he is the Founder and President of Collective Consciousness.
Regarding his role with Salem-News.com, Siraj said: "I occasionally provide articles for this great Newspaper that is a voice for the oppressed despite the media bias against Palestine. He sees our organization as hope for the truth being told to the people so that justice and peace may become closer to a reality.
"This paper is one of a few agencies who have listened to their conscience instead of their pockets. This is an example of heroism and character. It is with a modicum of doubt that Salem News will become something huge for the future because of their stance."
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