The Washington Postâ€™s Jerry Markon (‘Va. Jihad’ Case Hailed As Key in War on Terror, June 8, 2006) quoted chief Alexandria federal prosecutor Chuck Rosenberg as dismissing any suggestion of anti-Muslim bias in the highly criticized â€œPaintball 11â€ convictions because, he claims, the government does â€œnot prosecute people because they are Muslims or Catholics or Jews. We prosecute them because they have committed criminal acts that warrant prosecution.â€ This astonishing statement prompted me to send the honorable prosecutor an e-mail asking how many American citizens who violated the same law (the â€œNeutrality Actâ€) by going to Israel to fight against Arab countries against whom the United States has not declared war have been prosecuted? Other than the religious difference Mr. Rosenberg dismisses, the main difference between those scofflaws and the Paintball 11, it seems to me, is that the latter only talked about violating the act while the former actually did so. This seems to bolster rather than resolve the suspicion of religious bias.
Itâ€™s been weeks since I sent Mr. Rosenberg my e-mail and he has yet to respond to my e-mail or to my follow-up telephone call. While my own inclination is to suspect this is due to the fact that the inquired-after perpetrators are so rarely indicted, perhaps I sent my e-mailto the wrong federal prosecutorâ€™s office. Perhaps the prosecutor who made this remarkable statement lives in some alternative universe, one where violators of the neutrality act are prosecuted with the same fervor regardless of religion. Perhaps it is the same universe in which Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, where George Bush has fired those who leaked the Valerie Plameâ€™s identity, and Bill Clinton did not have sex with â€œthat woman.â€
Minaret of Freedom Institute