• Michaelf

    Editor’s note: Here’s a link to the Reuters piece on the verdict.

    What’s your reaction? Is the right man behind bars? Or is this a blow against freedom of speech?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/JZYXA6MND32UZSI2REPCLRSVWE 74suited

    “This is America, we can say anything.’”

    you cant shout fire in a crowded theater, nor can you ask people to kill GIs.

    how moronic are these people! I thought a Phd required intelligence.

    • Michael May

      True, there is a limit to freedom of speech. According to a landmark Supreme Court decision, speech is protected “except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”

      Search for the documents that Mehanna translated, like the 39 Ways of Jihad. It’s quite debatable to say that it would produce imminent lawless action. These were not training manuals. They also were not written by Mehanna himself, which is significant as well.

      Here’s some interesting legal analysis of the case: http://www.citmedialaw.org/blog/2011/tarek-mehanna-and-freedom-thought-we-hate

      This case ventures into legal grey areas. Very likely to be taken up by a higher court.

      • Juror169

        did he translate or did he advocate? since I dont have video of trial or transcript , I do not know , but it seems the jury did

        • Nora

          I was in the courtroom almost every single day, even the jury didn’t get the transcript when they asked for them. Also 39 ways of jihad is 90% from the koran!

          • Michael May

            In reply to Juror169, it’s not against the law to advocate for an unpopular group, even a terrorist group. But the “material support for terrorism” law makes it a crime if you do a service in coordination with a terrorist group, in this case translating. The Supreme Court even applied it to a humanitarian nonprofit who was teaching the Tamil Tigers how to put down their arms. It’s a very controversial law that seems to trump the right to free speech . . .

            And Nora, you make a good point. Mohamed Bahe (who is quoted in story) told me that “39 Ways” was not an Al Queda document . . . he said that for Al Queda, there’s only one way of jihad — flying planes in buildings and other terrorist acts. You can find links to “39 Ways” easily on the internet, it does discuss martyrdom but also many other forms of Jihad that don’t involve killing. It does depend on how you interpret it . . .

  • Outsideus

    Poor guy hasn’t done anything except express his opinions in chat rooms and on some forums. There’s no mention of evidence of him doing anything wrong in Yemen either.
    Its all just mere conjecture.
    He’s been locked for what the prosecution thinks he might do. What happened to the rule of law that says you’re innocent until proven guilty? Is this the type of democracy America is exporting to the rest of the world?
    Its disgusting. I am pleased I don’t live in the land of no justice.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/JZYXA6MND32UZSI2REPCLRSVWE 74suited

      you are full of BS , he translated calls for violence and posted them .

      in support of AQ

      now the law states support of AQ recruiting is a crime even if no one is recruited.

      like planning to sell drugs even if sell NONE!

  • Freibergdale

    This entire story of Tarek Mehanna deserves national attention. I don’t know what to think. I don’t fully trust the Federal prosecutors, but I am reluctant to say that we must always wait until a terrorist does something terrible before we stop him. Yet, where is the middle ground? Either we permit people to speak freely about unpopular ideas or we don’t. Is the law itself deeply flawed? Was the jury permitted to be manipulated by faulty judicial rulings? Or is Mehanna just what who the prosecutors say? Our civil liberties are in jeopardy here, but so is our physical safety.
    Barney Freiberg-Dale

  • Latitude News

    Here’s a thoughtful contribution to the debate around Mehanna’s conviction from lawyer and civil libertarian Wendy Kaminer writing in the Atlantic. Her piece looks at the track record of civilian versus military courts in terror cases.

    Here’s an extract: “Civil libertarians still favor civilian prosecutions, because they’re public and afford defendants some due process: If Tarek Mehanna was wrongly prosecuted and convicted, he was, at least, convicted by fellow citizens and well-represented by counsel, who will file an appeal.

    But anti-libertarians, who assume that all suspected terrorists are actual terrorists and focus on outcomes, not fair processes, should also favor civilian trials, given their record in terrorism cases and the legitimacy they confer on convictions. The tendency of civilian terror trials to end in convictions and lengthy sentences is not lost on detainees, one lawyer for Guantanamo detainees told me; given the choice, his clients would prefer to be tried before military commissions.”

    well worth reading at

  • Anonymous

    The guy is Muslim so he MUST be guilty, ask anyone in the “Judeo-Christian Civilization” that feels so tremendously threatened by us “Muzlems”.

    Raymond Ibrahim has written an entire book which is a translation ot the Al-Qaeda Manifesto, he goes around the nation making presentations to the public, to the military, to the FBI and to other “Security” agencies; he is lauded as an “expert on terrorism, Islam and Mulsims”…all being the same of course.

    Raymond Ibrahim is a Christian who hates Islam and Muslims but couches his hate in a very civilized, intellectual manner, so he is everybody’s hero.

    Tarek Mehanna was naive enough to believe his “free speech” would not get him into trouble but he has obviously forgotten that “Free Speech” belongs to those in power, not to the target du jour, the Muslims.

    This is not the first time the Federal prosecutors have successfully dreamed up a “strong case” against a Muslim and won, nor, sadly, will it be the last.

    Muslims had better wake up and get involved in the politics of this country or, we will all feel the jackboots of the authorities on our collective necks.