Fri, Jul 25, 2008 at 9:06:43 am
As we’ve noted previously, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has been trying to get the government to remove them from the list of unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial, and they’ve hit on a novel method of arguing their case. They’re not denying ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood; they’re just claiming that the information is “out of date.”
In its latest filing before the federal district court in Dallas on behalf of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and its affiliate organization, the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) in the Hamas-terrorism financing case, the ACLU has made a noteworthy admission.
Rather than deny that there is copious evidence tying ISNA and NAIT to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the brief argues that such evidence is merely dated. In a curious footnote on page 7, the reply states:Assuming the authenticity of documents’ dates, the most recent documents to mention either ISNA or NAIT are dated 1991, Gov. Exhs. 3-3 and 3-85, but the majority of the documents are older. Almost all of the numerous exhibits that purport to show financial transactions and that contain any mention of ISNA or NAIT are dated 1988 and 1989 (there are two dated 1990), almost a decade before the majority of the overt acts the government alleges in support of its conspiracy charges against the HLF defendants.
So ISNA and NAIT are not saying that the documents tying their organizations to Hamas are “inauthentic,” but that the problem with the evidence is just that it is old. Then, even more curiously, the reply goes on to argue something that the government has not even alleged:Even if the “evidence” provided some basis for alleging criminality against petitioners, the government’s discussion of it shows the government utterly fails to grasp the singular weight and consequence that an official accusation of criminal conduct carries in our criminal justice system and in our society.
But, of course, the government has not charged ISNA or NAIT with criminal conduct, or the two groups would be indicted in their own right, rather than un-indicted co-conspirators who worked with the Holy Land for Relief and Development (HLF), the defendant and alleged Hamas-front. The reply brief then, as Shakespeare might write, “doth protest too much.”