You are hereBlogs / Stephen Lendman's blog / Aafia Siddiqui Sentenced: A Grievous Miscarriage of Justice

Aafia Siddiqui Sentenced: A Grievous Miscarriage of Justice


By Stephen Lendman - Posted on 23 September 2010

Aafia Siddiqui Sentenced: A Grievous Miscarriage of Justice - by Stephen Lendman

On September 23 in federal court, US District Court Judge Richard Berman sentenced political prisoner Aafia Siddiqui to 86 years in prison. Outrage most accurately expresses this gross miscarriage of justice, compounding what she's already endured following her March 30, 2003 abduction, imprisonment, torture, prosecution, and conviction on bogus charges.

Earlier articles explained her case in detail, accessed through the following links:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2008/12/abduction-secret-detention-torture...

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/02/aafia-siddiqui-victimized-by-ameri...

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/03/aafia-siddiqui-victimized-by-ameri...

In modern times, she's one of American depravity's most aggrieved victims, now given a virtual life sentence for a crime she didn't and couldn't have committed, explained in the above articles.

In recent months, she's been in New York's Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in maximum security solitary confinement, during her trial, conviction and September 23 sentencing. Importantly, her life was effectively destroyed by years of horrific tortures, repeated rapings, and other abuses in Bagram Prison at America's Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.

Addressing the court, said said "I'm not paranoid. I'm not mentally ill. I don't agree with" anyone saying so, though it's hard imagining why not after years of horrific brutalization. A Pakistani/American scientist, years of torture and abuse destroyed her persona, yet somehow she survived and endured more stress from prosecution, a travesty of a trial, conviction and sentencing.

Reporting on the court's decision, the BBC repeated government lies, including her possessing bomb making instructions to blow up New York landmarks - "evidence that she was a potentially dangerous terrorist." Yet her indictment was on totally different charges - preposterous ones accusing her of the following:

In the presence of two FBI agents, two Army interpreters, and three US Army officers, this frail 110 pound woman allegedly assaulted three of them, seized one of their rifles, opened fire at close range, hit no one, yet she alone was severely wounded.

At trial, no credible evidence was presented. The charges were concocted and bogus. None accused her of plotting to blow up New York or any other landmarks or facilities.

Yet proceedings were carefully orchestrated. Witnesses were enlisted, pressured, coerced, and/or bribed to cooperate. Jurors were then intimidated to convict, her attorney Elaine Whitfield Sharp, saying their verdict was "based on fear, not fact." No evidence was presented except claims government prosecutors invented to convict.

The International Tribune also highlighted today's proceedings, headlining "Dr. Aafia sentenced to 86 years imprisonment," saying:

It was on seven counts "for allegedly firing at US troops in Afghanistan." After the announcement, protests erupted across Pakistan. In Karachi, civil society and political party workers rallied "in front of the Karachi Press Club....ask(ing) the federal government" to intervene on her behalf.

Jamaat-e-Islami, PASBAN, Defense of Human Rights, and other civil society members marched toward the US Embassy, expressing outrage and demanding she be released "as a goodwill gesture."

"Advisor to Sindh Chief Minister Ms. Sharmila Farooqui asked the United States to release (her) on humanitarian (grounds) as a goodwill gesture to Pakistan....Now is the time for the US to show goodness and pardon a Pakistani woman who is innocent."

Farooqui said Aafia was wrongly abducted, then handed over to US authorities. She's "an innocent woman," outrageously treated, convicted and sentenced.

Explaining further she said:

"In Islam and Pakistan, handing over a woman to foreign countries is a sin, but it is a pity that an innocent woman was mercilessly given in(to the) hands of the (previous) US" government.

She also urged international human rights organizations to actively pursue her release.

A Final Comment

At issue is 9/11 truth, the subsequent bogus "war on terror" based on a lie, America's war on Islam that followed against Iraq, Afghanistan, and Muslim Americans, victimized for political advantage. Aafia is perhaps its most aggrieved living victim, her persona destroyed and life ended by a virtual life sentence unless clemency or world pressure saves her.

Her case should incite everyone's moral outrage. It also reveals America's true face, its rogue agenda, targeting Muslims for their faith and ethnicity, making us all equally vulnerable.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

"Pakistan erupts after US jailing of 'daughter of the nation' Aafia Siddiqui"

by Declan Walsh in Karachi, Guardian, UK, Sept. 24th, 2010

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m70094

Thousands take to the streets to protest as scientist convicted of attempting to kill US soldiers gets 86 years

Pakistan's prime minister hailed a scientist convicted of attempting to kill American soldiers as the "daughter of the nation" today, and vowed to redouble efforts to secure her return to Pakistan.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets after a New York court sentenced Aafia Siddiqui, a US-educated neuroscientist and mother of three, to 86 years in jail.

Police fired teargas and scuffled with protesters surging towards the heavily fortified US consulate in her hometown, Karachi.

(snip)

But Siddiqui's case has attracted deep support from across the political spectrum.

Her plight taps into deep anti-American hostility in a country where a recent survey found that just 17% of Pakistanis view Washington favourably.

(snip)

In an effort to quell criticism of the government's failure to secure Siddiqui's repatriation from the US, prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani told parliament today he had appealed to the US to release Siddiqui in order to "improve its image" in Pakistan.

"We all are united, and we want the daughter of the nation to come back to Pakistan," he said. The government spent $2m hiring defence lawyers for Siddiqui; today Gilani said he was willing to negotiate an extradition treaty with the US to facilitate her early return.

In the trial Siddiqui, a diminutive 38-year-old, was accused of snatching a gun from an American soldier in an Afghan jail cell in July 2008 and opening fire.

Although she hit nobody, she herself was shot in the stomach by an American officer and, a month later, flown to America to face trial.

Many Pakistanis believed she could not receive a fair hearing – she was tried near the site of the World Trade Centre attacks – but she weakened her defence with frequent intemperate outbursts against the US government and speeches against Jewish conspiracies that caused her to be ejected from court several times.

Her case was also weakened by the Taliban leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, who issued a statement of support.

She was found guilty in February. But the trial, which concentrated on the events in Afghanistan, did little to illuminate the wider mysteries of Siddiqui's story.

In March 2003 she disappeared from Karachi with her three children, one of whom was six months old, and only resurfaced in July 2008 when she was arrested in Ghazni.

US prosecutors said she was carrying details of prominent American monuments, bomb-making notes and a small amount of cyanide.

Siddiqui's supporters insist she spent the missing five years at the US detention centre in Bagram, north of Kabul, and her youngest child may have died. US officials deny she was in their custody.

In 2003 US officials accused her of belonging to al-Qaida and being married to Ammar al Baluchi, a nephew of the 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammad. Siddiqui's relatives deny this is true.

The case is likely to remain on the agenda between Pakistan and the US. Yvonne Ridley, a journalist and campaigner for Siddiqui, said supporters would step up pressure through a campaign of civil disobedience.

"It will involve blocking Nato supply lines into Afghanistan," she said. "This is not going to go away."

It's "nice" that the Pakistani PM has called her the "daughter of the nation", but has the PM'ship there spoken out against the U.S. holding her, before, or only speaking out now that the Pakistani population is very angry and loud about the U.S. convicting her? If the PM hasn't spoken before to demand her return to Pakistan, then he's just covering his ass, politically, and Pakistanis should see through this masquerade.

Update: Actually, the first of Stephen Lendman's prior articles that he provides a link for in the above piece is of Dec. 15th, 2008 and says the following happened on August 12th, 2008 and, I suppose anyway, it reflects what the then Pakistani PM, if the present one wasn't PM at the time, wanted.

Quote: "-- August 12: the Washington Pakistani embassy formally requests that Aafia be repatriated to Pakistan".

Re. Declan Walsh about the Taliban spokesman:

Quote: Her case was also weakened by the Taliban leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, who issued a statement of support".

That is surely nonsense. The U.S. would not have treated her any better if Hakimullah Mehsud had stayed silent. Read Stephen Lendman's article about how she has been treated since 2003 and it'll become strongly clear that the Taliban leader's words of support for her definitely would not cause the U.S. to be any hellbent worse than it was before. And I just read his Dec. 15th, 2008 article, the first of the three linked in his above article. It's absolutely clear that the Taliban leader stating his support for her definitely couldn't "weaken" Aafia Siddiqui's case at all!

Some journalists are definitely and clearly not analysts. And this one writing for the Guardian UK seems to be an idiot.

Questioning her treatment by the U.S.:

Perhaps the U.S. war-making and profiteering elites are doing this to her in order to try to drive more anger in Islam against the U.S. with the "hope" that some of these Muslims will commit acts the U.S. elites will then claim justify continuation of war on Afghanistan and northern Pakistan, or greater expansion or escalation of the war.

I don't see how else these hellbent elites could gain from treating this innocent woman the way they have always been doing with or to her. Or maybe they're doing it just for the psychopathic, sadistic pleasure that they derive from their hellbent ways against other people. But, the war leadership definitely does strategize a lot even if it is in hellishly poor, stupid, and treasonous ways.

Otoh, now that I've read through nearly half of Stephen Lendman's Dec. 15th, 2008 article (the first linked in his above one), it seems the U.S. war elites may have been doing this to her all along because of perceiving her as a real threat to them in the U.S., politically; because if her activism and Islamic teaching in the U.S. had become widely known and greatly appreciated, as should've happened, then many more Americans might've joined the anti-war, pro-peace movement, more numerously and more strongly. Or it's what the war elites may have had for strategic reason of doing to her what they have done and continue to do.

It's clear that the U.S. troops and/or officers who raped her or wittingly allowed her to be raped and brutally treated surely derived sadistic pleasure from this, and the war elites probably also did, since they definitely wanted to silence her once and for all without necessarily killing her; but this was not done without a strategic reason for it and the above one seems highly most probable when reading about her GREAT work or activism in the U.S.

"CIA used pirated, inaccurate software to target drone attacks: lawsuit"

by Daniel Tencer, Raw Story, Sept. 24th, 2010

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m70096

'They want to kill people with my software that doesn't work,' software exec tells court

The CIA used illegally pirated software to direct Predator drone attacks, despite apparently knowing the software was inaccurate, according to documents in an intellectual property lawsuit.

The lawsuit, working its way through a Massachusetts court, alleges that the CIA purchased a pirated and inaccurate version of a location analysis program, which may have incorrectly located targets by as much as 42 feet.

(snip)

Massachusetts-based Intelligent Integration Systems Inc., or IISI, has asked a judge to stop clients of IT firm Netezza from using software IISI says is pirated, reports The Register.

According to IISI, Netezza reverse-engineered a location analysis program called Geospatial and installed it on its own hardware, which it then sold to the CIA. Netezza had contracted IISI to build the software, but decided to create its own unauthorized version after the project suffered delays, the lawsuit alleges.

The CIA accepted the pirated software despite reportedly knowing it "produced locations inaccurate by up to 13 metres (42.6 feet)," reports The Register.

In a sworn deposition, IISI chief technical officer Richard Zimmerman said a Netezza executive pressured him to deliver the product before it was ready and told him it was their "patriotic duty" to build location software for CIA-operated drones.

Another Netezza executive reportedly asserted that the CIA would accept flawed software. "My reaction was one of stun, amazement that they want to kill people with my software that doesn't work," Zimmerman said.

According to court documents, Netezza delivered its reverse-engineered software to the CIA in 2009.

"The potential for a software malfunction to cause serious havoc with an unmanned aerial vehicle, such as a Predator Drone, is no longer a matter of pure theory," writes Bill Conroy at NarcoNews. "Last month a Navy drone entered the airspace of the nation’s Capitol after being out of control for a half hour due to what the Navy called a 'software issue.'

(snip)

The Register article, which is a two-page one, is the following.

"CIA used 'illegal, inaccurate code to target kill drones'
'They want to kill people with software that doesn't work'"

by Chris Williams, Sept. 24th, 2010

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/24/cia_netezza

Re. Daniel Tencer's article:

It strikes me as odd that he says that the CIA is trying to target Predator drones, since they're U.S. drones. Why would a criminal CIA and U.S. government use drones that they employ to kill or massacre people want to target U.S. drones?

Maybe the U.S. could target some of its drones in order to destroy them (some) so that the government (politicians) could then claim justification for ordering more of them and thereby contribute to MIC profits and, therefore, profits for MIC stock holders, who include many members of the body politic of the U.S. After all, there aren't but a handful of Al Qaeda to hunt down in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Bill Conroy's article:

It's linked in the above copy of Daniel Tencer's article and is the following piece.

"Legal Battle May Force CIA to Return Drone Code to Sender
Tech Firm Wants Faulty Pirated Software Taken Out of Circulation"

by Bill Conroy, Sept. 16th, 2010

http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/bill-conroy/2010/09/legal-batt...

At the end of that article readers will find, "A link to IISI’s memorandum of law in support of a motion for a temporary injunction" (a PDF at Narconews), plus links for two related Narcosphere/Narconews articles of last month.

He also provides a link for the source article about the USN drone that uncontrollably flew into the air space of the "Nation's Capitol". It's from The New York Times last month.

"Navy Drone Violated Washington Airspace"

By ELISABETH BUMILLER, August 25th, 2010

https://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/26/us/26drone.html

If for some reason https is a problem for any readers of this trying to load the NYT article, then changing it to http, removing the 's', should work. I use the HTTPS-Everywhere addon for Firefox from the EFF and the NYT is one of the many websites the addon automatically switches to https.

Rats, the drone only made it to around 40mi from DC.

It's an MQ-8B Fire Scout, or what the NYT more lengthily calls, "an MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing unmanned aerial vehicle". Wikipedia doesn't have a page for "MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing" vehicle, but the page for this at Wikipedia does call it the drone an "MQ-8B Fire Scout". The drone has vertical takeoff and landing capability, however, and it can carry arms; apparently some very serious ones.

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/MQ-8B_Fire_Scout

An excerpt from the NYT piece:

Still, the Aug. 2 incident resulted in the grounding of all six of the Navy’s Fire Scouts as well as an inquiry into what went wrong. The Navy is calling the problem a “software issue” that foiled the drone’s operators.

Or, as Cmdr. Danny Hernandez, a Navy spokesman, put it: “When they lose contact with the Fire Scout, there’s a program that’s supposed to have it immediately return to the airfield to land safely. That did not happen as planned.”

Informed Activist

Support WarIsACrime



Donate.








Tweet your Congress critters here.


Advertise on this site!




Facebook      Twitter





Our Stores:























Movie Memorabilia.



The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.