Some jingoistic Americans here like to boast that all Americans have a deep knowledge of history.
So who remembers the "Los Angeles Eight" case of about 30 years ago?
"... in 1987 when eight Palestinians were arrested in Los Angeles. They were charged
under an antiquated anti-communism law called the McCarran-Walter Act that accused
them of "supporting an organization that advocated world communism" for their possible
association with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. According to the
ACLU, the eight were "prosecuted for ideas, beliefs and thoughts of a magazine for
which none have been writers or editors.”"
"Judge Throws Out Charges in “Los Angeles Eight” Case"
--(23 October 2007)
"The Case of the L.A. 8: U.S. Drops 20-Year Effort to Deport Arab Americans for Supporting Palestinian National Rights"
--Amy Goodman (2 November 2007)
"MARC VAN DER HOUT: The [US] government lost the case probably six times totally in
the course of the 20 years. Each time, they went to Congress to change the law and
tried to get the decisions overruled from the courts. Finally, they had to prove their case
last year in a related case, Aiad Barakat, one of the individuals who was applying for citizenship.
They tried to deny him citizenship on the same grounds: providing material support to the PFLP.
The government had nothing. They couldn’t prove their case. I think finally they realized,
when they had to come up with evidence, they could come up with nothing. And saner
minds prevailed finally after 20 — over 20 years, and they decided to drop the case."
"MICHEL SHEHADEH: ... we had six sets of charges throughout, because, as Marc has outlined,
we were charged under the McCarran-Walter Act, then under the 1990 Immigration Act,
then under the 1996 Antiterrorism Act, then under the PATRIOT Act, and also under the
Real ID Act. So, we were charged retroactively also for things allegedly that were done
way before the law was established. And the toll on our lives was really huge, because,
can you imagine 21 years living with uncertainty, stigmatized?"