Former Republican Lawmaker Charged With Promoting Terrorism

OK, it's very tempting: a Midwest man (Mark Deli Siljander of Michigan) who formerly served in Congress (as a Republican) and as a delegate to the United Nations has been charged with 42 - count 'em - charges of funding and promoting terrorism. The righteous Republican tag makes me want to exploit this story for all it's worth.

But here's why I won't.

First, there's that strange notion of "innocent until proven guilty" that was hard hit even BEFORE the Bushies rode into office on a surplus of rigged electronic voting and almost completely eliminated now. But even that is not the only reason here I won't take the bait.

Siljander has been charged for his efforts with the Islamic American Relief Agency which the feds claim funnels money to groups that have actually threated America and its war of empire in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. However, we've seen a BUNCH of such charges that, even when the feds DO manage to win in court, seem to be built on unsubstantiated so-called evidence. Outside the U.S., many courts throughout the very civilized world have, often using info "developed" by the Bushies, have failed to render guilty verdicts because of the speciousness of the charges and the evidence the cases are built upon.

As the Christian Science Monitor so WISELY opined soon after September 11th, 2001 when they decided to stop using the term "terrorist" to identify everyone the Bushies do not like, "one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter." This government is waging war on money going to every Muslim cause that isn't directed at keeping the Bushies and American corporations in charge of the oil in Iraq and the huge oil pipeline planned to cross Afghanistan OR to promote the war Bush WANTS to have in Iran.

At the exact same time, this government turns a blind eye to fund raising for others who also might be construed as religious fascists; for example, it's fine if you donate huge sums of money to some of the seriously rightwing "let's get rid of these Muslims and anyone else of not-our-kind-of-Semite" groups in Israel. (Palestinians and others are also Semites, btw, which makes any criticism of the most rightwing of the Israeli government's actions as "anti-Semitic" just because some of us want a fairness way beyond odd.) And Israel is just one example of the terrorists our government IS willing to support while condemning a select group of others.

Knowing how many charges have been brought by the highly politicized judicial system under Bush for reasons that have nothing to do with actual justice, I'm sorry but I don't think anything they do stands up to the smell test.

IF Siljander's group and Siljander himself actually are terrorists, then I have no problem with them being charged and prosecuted. But persecution just for being Muslim - to this Christian, me - just stinks. STOP ALL TERRORIST FUNDING and then apply the rules, or stop bringing charges only against CERTAIN parties. We still support, for example, many programs that help keep any Saudi but the Saud royal family in extreme poverty in ways most of the rest of the world sees as terrorism against the Saudi people but God forbid an Islamic charity does anything to feed and educate those poor.