In what appears to be a press release, a group known as Hungry for Justice, a coalition of U.S Muslim Brotherhood and allied organizations, continues its assault on the federal prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) in connection with terrorism financing. The first premise of the attack is the claim that the presumption of innocence was violated because of the government’s earlier designation of HLF as a terrorist organization although it is not clear what this has to do with the prosecution itself. The second criticism is that the government ” has also crossed unprecedented lines in what is considered admissible evidence” citing transcripts provided by military intelligence and from so-called “warrantless wiretaps.” In this case, it would seem that the court itself is in the best position to consider the admissibility of evidence. Finally, and perhaps most egregiously, the statement accuses the government of “relying heavily on guilt by association” and proceeds to make an invidious comparison:
Throughout the indictment, the government references family ties between HLF members and members of Hamas, the Palestinian political party that the U.S. has designated a terrorist organization. Even so, most people would be in trouble if they were held accountable for the decisions their relatives make. After all, President Bush’s own grandfather had his assets frozen in 1942 for doing business with Nazi Germany under the Trading with the Enemy Act, but the Jewish population is not demanding reparations from the President for his family’™s miscalculated judgments.
As earlier posts have noted, Brotherhood groups in the U.S. have had both institutional ties to HLF as well having supported the organization and have been making such accusations from the outset of the prosecution. It would appear that the grounds are being laid for strategies to cover either outcome of the trial. In the event of a guilty verdict, the U.S. Brotherhood can say that the prosecution was unfair while a verdict of innocence could result in an “I told you so” strategy.