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What was that about habeas corpus again?

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Friends Plea for Release of Arab-American

Looks like there are some problems with this American citizen being able to get his civil rights.

What’s going on here?

“The government won’t give any details publicly about the case, including when a grand jury will convene or when Hawash will appear. His attorneys can’t discuss the matter because of a federal gag order. His wife, Lisa, won’t talk about it because she fears repercussions.”

Some people are getting together to do something

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About Murphy

  • Shannon Love

    Habeas corpus does not apply to Hawash. A writ of habeas corpus is an order from the Judiciary to the Executive ordering it to produce a person before the court and explain why the Executive holds them.

    Hawash is being held under the power of the Judiciary as a material witness. By common and formal law, a court can hold a person virtually indefinitely without trail if the detention furthers another case. For example, there have been several cases of people spending months or years in prison after courts held them in contempt for refusing to testify or revel sources.

    The gag order also comes from the court.

  • Scott

    Ah, yes, Shannon, this is technically correct. However, is Hawash in fact refusing to testify or is the government holding him as a material witness as a way around the habeas corpus rules. I believe this has been done before in the last few years, but in non-terrorist investigation contexts.

  • Rob

    This is the downside of 9/11. I ghope this case, and any others like it get resoved both more quickly and more openly.

  • russell harris

    Hawash, yet another towel head in dire straights…

    Well good!

  • Pete


    That is one of the biggest loads of blatantly racist crap I’ve ever read. If you can’t comment intelligently on something, don’t bother. Yeah, it’s your right to post whatever you want, but why would you want to broadcast to the whole world that you’re a moron?

  • Eric Olsen

    I have no idea what the answer is here Murphy but it’s critical that you brought it up. Thanks vey much.

  • Shannon Love

    The general public does not know why the court is holding Hawash but his lawyer and family does. This case does not represent a departure from long standing Judicial practices.

    People evince such concern about this case only because it is linked to terrorism and think it represents the sudden erosion of civil rights. It doesn’t. If Hawash was a held as a witness in a drug, mob or corporate corruption case, no one would have said anything. Unless some new evidence comes to light, I think this is much ado about nothing.

  • It isn’t much ado about nothing.

    Just former corporate executives don’t speak up about abuses in other kinds of cases, doesn’t mean people don’t.

    But I’m glad former Intel VP Steven McGeady and others are organizing around this case. According to them, Hawash hasn’t even been questions so he can’t be witholding information.

    He is not going to flee. He could be released and interviewed whenever the government actually has questions.

    Unfortunately there have been many cases of people being denied their liberty for no good reason. There was just a story Sunday on 60 Minutes on several disturbing cases including a man held for seven months it seems because he bought an airplane ticket at the same Kinko’s terminal one of the 9/11 terrorists did. And another who was held for 10 months and then deported to Jordan without telling his family (his wife is a US citizen as are his three sons).

  • MB

    Noone should be surprised that the FISA courts are being used in terrorist cases. I studied the FISA system extensively when it was set up and used during the Clinton administration, primarily against militias. I wrote several civil rights attorneys and they explained that I was a conspiracy theorist for questioning the government. At that time, only a few dozen cases had been heard. My how the tune changes when the shoe is on the other foot!

  • Lisbeth

    There’s something worth chewing on: