August 11, 2003

Mike Hawash, and Ian Clarke leaving America

Just after I wrote about Mike Hawash, and thought about "the heat I would have taken back then, if I'd have said that I thought he was in fact guilty", comes the following item from Cory Doctorow at (via Greplaw story):

Ian Clarke has decided -- in the wake of Mike Hawash being railroaded into copping a "terrorism" plea for donating money to the wrong nonprofit -- that he must leave the US. I share his frustration and his anxiety. Sure, we're both white, educated technical immigrants, and thus relatively well-insulated from the excesses of the US's new immigration scapegoating, but every time I hear a story about a fellow immigrant to the US being terrorized by the immigration system, I get my own case of horrors.

[Ian Clarke does the FreeNet Project, an anti-censorship system]

Oh lord. I have to remind myself: Keep my mouth shut! Remember: Success == SIMPLE, POPULAR, DEMAGOGUERY. While not everyone arrested is guilty as charged, neither is everyone charged an innocent victim of abuse of power. I always worry about becoming a right-winger in my old age, and I sound like a cranky conservative to myself (in reacting to "railroaded"??? "donating money to the wrong nonprofit"???). I can just see how much flaming I'd get if I went around posting that Hawash is guilty, and this is not an instance of government abuse of power (especially if I had done that before his plea).

Maybe I'd convince some people. And maybe I'd get myself trashed from (and golly gee, I could post a comment to defend myself). It's not worth it.

Maybe I'll try to talk to Ian Clarke privately, to convince him that things are not nearly as bad as he might fear - at least along the lines of being arrested for terrorist activities. We're on reasonable terms, and he's publicly said some supportive things against Michael Sims domain-hijacking Censorware Project. Or maybe I'll just skip it all, as another I-can't-win situation.

Update 9/2 : For more information, see Ian Clarke GrepLaw interview, and leaving America follow-up

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in journo , politics | on August 11, 2003 11:57 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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