Terrorist Khan and The Clown Judge
Were the actions of an ISIS terrorist the actions of simply an immature youth’s exuberance – a “stupid thing” – which should have received the mercy from Judge Hughes? Or was it a major error?
Prosecutors have appealed Judge Hughes’ sentence, arguing that the sentence imposed potentially have national security implications: there are more than 150 Moslem-Americans fighting for ISIS in Syria. One-hundred more have been arrested before they were able to physically join the terrorist organization.
U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick of the Southern District of Texas, argued as much in a brief filed with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals last month, that “The district court’s error was not harmless. Indeed, the magnitude of its error was enormous.”
“The sentence,” the brief explained “… did not reflect the gravity of Khan’s conduct and would not sufficiently deter others from taking the first step along the path to radicalization. The sentence also results in unwarranted disparity with sentences of similarly situated defendants who have received far more serious sentences.”
A counter-brief by Khan and his attorney, David Adler, is expected sometime in the coming weeks.
Five years ago, the FBI learned that a (then) 19-year old citizen had joined a terror group affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) while temporarily living with an uncle in Australia.
Asher Khan used Facebook to lavish praise on Jizb ut-Tahrir and stated that he joined the group so that he could die in service to Allah. He not only communicated this to his readers at Facebook, he also served as active recruiter for ISIS. Over the long-distance Internet, Khan recruited a high-school friend to join ISIS as well.
His friend was named Sixto Ramiro Garcia, who he had met at their Houston mosque. Khan arranged to meet Sixto in Turkey; there, a guide would take them into Syria where they could achieve glory for the moon-god.
Khan and Garcia boarded planes; Khan from Australia, and Garcia from Houston. But the FBI concocted a ruse to convince Khan to return to the United States. Khan’s mother told him that she was dying in a hospital; he needed to come home.
He flew to Texas instead of Turkey and having arrived, wired his panicked friend in Turkey $300 and arranged through the internet to put Garcia in contact with the ISIS guide. Sixto was killed a few months later, which, quite frankly, is a likely result of joining a terrorist group.
Khan, now in Texas, kept recruiting for ISIS —an activity that continued until his arrest by federal authorities in May 2015. Khan was charged in federal court with violations of 18 USC 2339(a)(b), providing material support to terrorist organizations. Notably, 2339(b) requires a longer prison sentence because, as in this case, “material support” resulted in the death of another person (Sixto Garcia).
In 2015, Federal prosecutors wanted Khan to remain behind bars awaiting trial, arguing that Khan is a threat to national security. Judge Lynn Nettleton Hughes decided to impose house-arrest, instead. Hughes then assailed prosecutors asking whether the government would have detained someone during the Cold War for joining the Community Party of East Germany. It was a rhetorical question.
Nevertheless, East German Communists never threw a five-year-old child off a second-floor mezzanine at the Mall of America, either. That aside, it was only after his bond hearing that Khan claimed to be a “changed man.” He’s now a 24-year old engineering student at the University of Houston, which given Khan’s previous line of work, shouldn’t bring us a sense that all is well in the world.
Judge Hughes considered the facts of this case from the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas. He sentenced Khan to 18-months in prison. Prosecutors were asking for fifteen years. Hughes, a Reagan appointee, scoffed at the arguments set forth by the prosecutors and expressed sympathy for Khan, a convicted terrorist.
The argument that Khan had anything to do with Garcia’s death is specious, he said. “Given the right breaks, most young people —if you can get their attention and give them some guidance— will quit doing that particular stupid thing.” Hughes dismissed out of hand the evidence presented by prosecutors that Khan continued to proselytize for ISIS after he returned to Texas.
What are these implications? Oh, I don’t know. Do we really want 150 combat-tested terrorists returning to the United States with their hatred of the American Republic and anyone connected with it? Maybe what we need are stiff consequences for treasonous behavior. Perhaps our judges ought to be able to make a distinction between that and stealing bb’s from a local toy store.
And there is another issue. Khan told Judge Hughes he’d learned his lesson —easily said. The fact is that terrorists, having committed themselves to that course, do not change their ways over time. They don’t “age out” of their lust for barbarism. Judge Hughes has access to this material, and he has no further to look than the tribunals at Guantanamo Bay.
Whether the 5th US Court of Appeals will increase Khan’s sentence is yet to be seen —but you know, that may not matter quite as much as the number of chowder heads at work within our federal government who, every single day, impose a clear and present danger to the Republic.
Neither does one require all of the details; no, they only need to take a cursory look around. Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein, Robert Mueller & Company, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Paige, Candice Will, Lynn Hughes … and too many others to mention. One can even forget the characters; look instead at the number and scope of challenges to justice and sovereignty: an unprecedented number of illegal invasions along our southern border, a congress that refuses to act in the interests of the American people, and a media that aids and abets America’s enemies.
We don’t just need Donald Trump; we need another 49 just like him. No one man can keep pace with the unrelenting power of this anti-American tidal wave that every second of every single day assaults our values and —worse, common sense.
Well, I suppose that when you think about it, common sense isn’t all that common in American today —not even on the federal bench.
Thanks to WhatFingerNews for the coverage! A great site for all the news.