The ACLU: Hard at Work in Wartime

In a press release yesterday about another lawsuit they’ve filed, the ACLU contends that the government is misusing Section 411 of the Patriot Act in order to keep people out of the country for their political views.  Here’s an excerpt:

News reports suggest the government invoked Section 411 in 2004 to deny admission to Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss intellectual who is widely regarded as a leading scholar of the Muslim world. As a result, Ramadan was forced to resign his teaching position at the University of Notre Dame. Ramadan was previously granted a U.S. visa in 2002 to carry out his lecture tour, which included a presentation sponsored by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.

“The government should not be barring scholars from the country simply because it disagrees with what they have to say,” said Jameel Jaffer, an ACLU staff attorney. “The government’s abuse of immigration laws skews and impoverishes political debate in the United States and deprives citizens of information that they need in order to make informed decisions about government policy.”

Daniel Pipes pointed out in a 2004 piece, this “Swiss intellectual” has referred to the 9/11 attacks and Bali and Madrid bombings as “interventions.”  Okay, that’s standard rhetoric for a radical and doesn’t plumb the depths of idiocy like Ward Churchill’s “little Eichmanns” comment, but Pipes also notes:

And here are other reasons, dug up by Jean-Charles Brisard, a former French intelligence officer doing work for some of the 9/11 families, as reported in Le Parisien::

  • Intelligence agencies suspect that Mr. Ramadan (along with his brother Hani) coordinated a meeting at the Hôtel Penta in Geneva for Ayman al-Zawahiri, deputy head of Al-Qaeda, and Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheikh, now in a Minnesota prison.
  • Mr. Ramadan’s address appears in a register of Al Taqwa Bank, an organization the State Department accuses of supporting Islamist terrorism.

Gosh, I don’t remember the ACLU mentioning any of that.  Maybe they just forgot.