More New York Republicans Providing Material Support to Terrorists

Speaking of material support for terrorism, David Cole uses the recent trip by Rudy Giuliani and others to suck up to the Mujaheddin-e Khalq (MEK) as an opportunity to explain the idiocy of the Holder versus Humanitarian Law Project SCOTUS verdict.

DID former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Tom Ridge, a former homeland security secretary, and Frances Townsend, a former national security adviser, all commit a federal crime last month in Paris when they spoke in support of the Mujahedeen Khalq at a conference organized by the Iranian opposition group’s advocates? Free speech, right? Not necessarily.

The problem is that the United States government has labeled the Mujahedeen Khalq a “foreign terrorist organization,” making it a crime to provide it, directly or indirectly, with any material support. And, according to the Justice Department under Mr. Mukasey himself, as well as under the current attorney general, Eric Holder, material support includes not only cash and other tangible aid, but also speech coordinated with a “foreign terrorist organization” for its benefit. It is therefore a felony, the government has argued, to file an amicus brief on behalf of a “terrorist” group, to engage in public advocacy to challenge a group’s “terrorist” designation or even to encourage peaceful avenues for redress of grievances.

[snip]

But in June, the Supreme Court ruled against us, stating that all such speech could be prohibited, because it might indirectly support the group’s terrorist activity. Chief Justice John Roberts reasoned that a terrorist group might use human rights advocacy training to file harassing claims, that it might use peacemaking assistance as a cover while re-arming itself, and that such speech could contribute to the group’s “legitimacy,” and thus increase its ability to obtain support elsewhere that could be turned to terrorist ends.

Cole goes on to note the hypocrisy of the government, which has given exceptions for humanitarian purposes to corporations seeking to sell cigarettes, even while arguing NGOs cannot provide food and water.

Mind you, I’m actually with Cole: Rudy and Mukasey and Fran Fragos Townsend and Tom Ridge ought to be able to go make speeches sucking up to Iran’s version of Ahmad Chalabi (oops! I forgot that Chalabi was Iran’s!), a bunch of liars who have invented intelligence to try to justify war with Iran. That’s what Republicans do, after all: promote hucksters who can justify the next war.

But it’s really time for either some consistency in the way the government pursues its war on terror violent extremism, or an admission that the war on terror has disintegrated into a war on those who oppose US empire. The government is still investigating a bunch of peace activists for material support. And yet four prominent Republicans can offer the same kind of material support as the peace activists–but this time in service of war or US hegemony or oil–with no similar consequences?

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JimWhiteGNV RT @CharlieCrist: Rick Scott's cuts to Bright Futures scholarships had drastic consequences: http://t.co/5bYSP9YDdj http://t.co/as9lFcVrSe
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bmaz @OBEYshiba @jilliancyork Snowlady! But, yeah, bout right.
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JimWhiteGNV More like Disunited Kingdom, amiright?
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emptywheel How come our NatSec types invoke the Jesuits so often?
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emptywheel @Atrios Me neither. I assume it's because I say "fuck" too often which would be really embarrassing if journos knew.
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emptywheel "That's not too expensive" Ryan Crocker tells Congresswoman raising needs of her poor AL constituents.
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bmaz DOJ's Marshall Miller was born last night. After he fell off the turnip truck. http://t.co/ku8H2WSiTz Hey @TheJusticeDept yer idiots.
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emptywheel @Atrios Clapper's gonna have to retire to a sinecure soon and he's gotta find a way to demand same fees Keith Alexander is. @froomkin
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JimWhiteGNV RT @djmincey11: A Must See For Animal Lovers: https://t.co/iEXppBsmsS #LMAO #LadyFarmer
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emptywheel Anyone find it curious that there are 3 briefings selling the IS war the day after the House already funded that war? #DemocracyInAction
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bmaz Literally the dumbest plan thing ever-----> "Justice Department Urges Banks to Implicate Employees" http://t.co/otthE9Tcjs
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bmaz @OBEYshiba @jilliancyork Probably say "hey fluffball, get back to your ice floe".
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