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Siddiqui Convicted Of Attempted Murder

Buried in the ‘NY/Region’ section of a tear-stained New York Times:

Pakistani protesters rally to condemn a guilty verdict against accused al-Qaida associate Aafia Siddiqui in Karachi, Pakistan on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010.

Pakistani Scientist Found Guilty of Shootings


February 3, 2010

A Pakistani neuroscientist was convicted on Wednesday of trying to kill American military officers while she was in custody in Afghanistan, capping a trial that drew notice for its terrorist implications as well as its theatrics.

It didn’t draw much notice from The Times.

A jury in United States District Court in Manhattan found the scientist, Aafia Siddiqui, guilty of all seven counts against her, including attempted murder, after three days of deliberations. She faces life in prison when she is sentenced in May.

The verdict puts a final mark on one of the more twisted yet fascinating trials of a terror suspect, whose back story has attracted the attention of human rights groups as well as federal prosecutors.

In the course of the 14-day trial, Ms. Siddiqui was ejected numerous times for her outbursts, two jurors were removed from the case and one observer was arrested. There were suggestions of “secret prisons,” and machine guns were waved around as evidence.

In other words, it was a circus. Let’s have more of them.

And after jurors delivered their verdict, Ms. Siddiqui was heard from again. As the jurors began leaving the courtroom, Ms. Siddiqui, her face mostly covered in a cream-colored scarf, turned in her chair to face them. Holding her right index finger in the air, she said: “This is a verdict coming from Israel and not from America. That’s where the anger belongs.”

And surely we must provide additional public platforms for other terrorists to give the world their insights.

Her competency — first to stand trial, and then to take the stand — has been a major point of contention in the case.

But after Judge Berman allowed Ms. Siddiqui to testify last week, she claimed that assertions that she had fired a weapon at officers was “the biggest lie.”

The weapon was never in her hands, said Ms. Siddiqui, who explained that she was merely trying to escape from the station because she feared being tortured…

Defense lawyers argued that an absence of bullets, casings or residue from the M4 suggested it had not been shot. They used a video to show that two holes in a wall supposedly caused by the M4 had been there before July 18.

They also pointed out inconsistencies in the testimony from the nine government witnesses, who at times gave conflicting accounts of how many people were in the room, where they were sitting or standing and how many shots were fired.

Ms. Siddiqui’s lawyers said they had not decided whether to appeal. They suggested that prosecutors had played to New Yorkers’ anxieties about terror attacks.

“This is not a just and right verdict,” Elaine Sharp, one of Ms. Siddiqui’s lawyers, said outside the courtroom. “In my opinion this was based on fear but not fact.” …

One of the most sensational parts of Ms. Siddiqui’s testimony was her claim of being held in a secret prison.

Ms. Siddiqui and her children, according to Ms. Sharp, were taken at gunpoint by forces backed by the United States in 2003 while traveling in Karachi, Pakistan.

Ms. Sharp said these events, and a traumatic subsequent detention, could explain Ms. Siddiqui’s outbursts.

She added that her client was not anti-Semitic but pro-Palestinian. And she sent a message through reporters, some of whom were from Pakistan: “Dr. Siddiqui wants you all to know that she doesn’t want there to be violent protests or violent reprisals in Pakistan over this verdict.”

Notice that even after the jury has spoken, the bulk of the New York Times article is devoted to arguing that she is still innocent.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, February 4th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Siddiqui Convicted Of Attempted Murder”

  1. canary says:

    Nevadan politicians blast Obama for his Vegas vacations, yet tells Americans not to waste their money going to Vegas.

    AP: Obama responds to ire over 2nd anti-Vegas remark
    By Oskar Garcia 02 03 2010

    LAS VEGAS – …After sparking a firestorm of criticism from Nevada’s elected officials for suggesting that people saving money for college shouldn’t blow it in Las Vegas,…

    It was the second time since taking office that Obama singled out Las Vegas as a potential example of spending excessively.

    “I was making the simple point that families use vacation dollars, not college tuition money, to have fun,” Obama said, according to the letter released by Reid’s office. …

    Obama said he always enjoys his visits to Las Vegas.

    A White House spokesman referred to Obama’s letter to Reid and said the administration had no further comment.

    Perception and reputation are sensitive issues for Sin City as it struggles to find footing amid a two-year meltdown of foreclosures, bankruptcies and unemployment. Tourism is the Silver State’s backbone, and several lawmakers said they were shocked that Obama singled out Las Vegas again after commenting last February that bailed-out banks shouldn’t go to Las Vegas using taxpayer money.

    …Obama said. “You don’t blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college….”

    …a flurry of reaction in the Silver State, which supported Obama in the 2008 election. Nevada had an unemployment rate of 13 percent in December.

    Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said during a hastily called news conference that Obama is no friend to Las Vegas and would not be welcomed here if he visits.

    “I’ll do everything I can to give him the boot,” Goodman said. “This president is a real slow learner.”

    “Enough is enough!” Democratic Congresswoman Shelley Berkley said in a statement. “President Obama needs to stop picking on Las Vegas and he needs to let Americans decide for themselves how and where to spend their hard-earned vacation dollars.”

    Reid, one of Obama’s closest allies, issued a statement headlined “Reid to Obama: ‘Lay off Las Vegas'” and was unusually blunt in his reaction.

    “The President needs to lay off Las Vegas and stop making it the poster child for where people shouldn’t be spending their money,” Reid said. “I would much rather tourists and business travelers spend their money in Las Vegas than spend it overseas.”

    Sen. John Ensign, a Republican, complained….”Once again he has threatened the struggling economy of Las Vegas,” ..

    Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons and Rep. Dean Heller, both Republicans, and Democratic Rep. Dina Titus also disparaged the president’s remarks, while Republican candidates hoping to unseat Reid this year called for an apology.

    One year ago, Obama commented during a town hall meeting in Elkhart, Ind., that corporations shouldn’t use federal bailout money for trips to Las Vegas, the Super Bowl or corporate jets. …the comment hurt the city as companies canceled meetings in Las Vegas and rescheduled them elsewhere. ..February 2009

    Obama later said during a May 2009 trip to Nellis Air Force Base outside of Las Vegas that

    it was nice to get out of Washington and
    “there’s nothing like a quick trip to Vegas in the middle of the week.”

    Goodman said he thought Obama had a “psychological hang-up” of using Las Vegas as an example….

    “…” Goodman said. “Sometimes when he’s not using his monitors and reading what he says, he doesn’t think. ….because he’s been here, he knows Las Vegas is a great place.”


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