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Baseball Over 'Terrorism'?

By Mumia Abu-Jamal  Posted by Hans Bennett (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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Baseball Over 'Terrorism'?
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{col. writ. 12/13/07}
(c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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As the global news media salivated over charges of steroid use in professional baseball, what got lost in most of the sauce is the news emerging from the nation's chief Latin city: Miami.
There, 7 young Black men from Liberty City were either acquitted or received a hung jury in a case that ex-Attorney General Alberto 'Fredo' Gonzales described at the time as "homegrown terrorism."
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The 7, known as the Liberty City Seven, were charged with plotting to bomb the famed Sears Tower of Chicago, as part of a broader Al Qaeda terror plot.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Gregorie argued to jurors, "These defendants came together with the sole purpose of waging war in the United States." According to federal prosecutors, these 7 guys planned to destroy federal buildings, and even to poison salt shakers in restaurants.
One of the men's defense lawyers, Ana M. Jhones, told the jury that this was more a case of a con job than terrorism, and that her client, Narseal Batiste, wanted to coax a Yemeni man lining in Miami into giving him money.
The man, an FBI informant, held the keys to this alleged plot from the get - go. He bought and equipped the men with uniforms (which looked like jumpsuits in news photos) and boots. He also promised weapons and explosives, but delivered none.
Homegrown terrorism. indeed.
These were poor men, living in a poor, neglected side of town.
To say that they has a beef with the well to do society around them is kind of like calling pig pork -- it's obvious -- but 'homegrown terrorism?'
It might be more apt to call it 'hyped up terrorism", for this was a classic case of government entrapment.
Poor men, without resources, can't wage war on cockroaches.
They claimed membership in the Black religious group known as the Moorish Science Temple, a community founded in 1913 by a man who came to be called Noble Drew Ali, in Newark, New Jersey. The MST spread up and down the East Coast, took root in several southern cities, but really took off in Chicago, which featured it's largest community.
Some have looked at the MST as a kind of Muslim vector through which Al Qaeda used its call to jihad to entice the men.
That only makes sense if one knew nothing about the Moorish Science Temple, which in belief and practice would be regarded by Mahhabis as anathema. For in the MST, followers read a Koran written, not by followers of the Arab prophet, Muhammad, but by Ali. It is a surprisingly slim, yet readable, philosophical and poetic work, that borrows more from Christian, Theosophical, and even Jewish influences than the Arabic.
That said, the jury took a while. But it is interesting that, in these post 9/11 times, a federal jury looked at the government's case, and most said, "Nah -- we'll pass."
In a time of the so-called War on Terror, isn't this case more important than guys bulking up for baseball games? Sport is, after all, entertainment.
What's more important- entertainment or war? The national, corporate media has answered that question, once again.
We shouldn't forget, the nation's premier sports channel is ESPN - which stands for Entertainment Sports Network.
What's that tell ya?
--(c) '07 maj
{Source: Goodhough, Abby, "Trial Starts for Men in Plot to Destroy Sears Tower," New York Times, Wed., Oct. 3, 2007, p.A16}


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Hans Bennett is a multi-media journalist mostly focusing on the movement to free Mumia Abu-Jamal and all political prisoners. An archive of his work is available at insubordination.blogspot.com and he is also co-founder of "Journalists for Mumia," (more...)

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