View Full Version : we are doomed !!!!

10-25-2001, 10:32 AM
Linquists [sic!] Needed


Opening Date: 6/23/2000

This position will remain open until filled.

REQUIREMENT: Candidates who possess a dual citizenship with the United

States and another country must be willing to renounce their citizenship

with the foreign country.


'Who Is This Kafka That People Keep Mentioning?'

By DEBORAH SONTAG, The NYT, Oct. 21, 2001

Then the [FBI] agents pointed to the passenger list of the flight that

crashed into the Pentagon, to Nawaf and Salem Alhazmi (an alternate

rendering of the name). "We have reason to believe that these are your

brothers," they said. Hazmi wanted to laugh from nervous relief. "These

are not my brothers' names," he said. "Al-Hazmi is common like the Smith

name in Saudi Arabia." ... He said he told them: 1. Check the pages and

pages in Saudi phone books and you will see that al-Hazmi is a very common

name. ... "At the end I said to myself, These guys are clueless," Hazmi

said later. "How can they figure out who is behind this thing? I would

suggest that Americans don't rely on the F.B.I. I say, God must protect

America instead."

ref.: http://nyt.com/2001/10/21/magazine/21MUSLIM.html

So, after chasing John F. Smith's "bro'", Peter C. Smith, the FBI needs

Arabic, Farsi, and Pashto speaking "linquists". And they need 'em bad.

Since 6/23/2000 to be exact. That's more than a year back, and the

position is still open. But, if you qualify, n' happen to have another

citizenship beside the US one, they want you to give it up. All this for a

$27-$38/hour contract job and a chance for a "Dr. Sakharov existence" (ye

know, the one in which, due to past access to state secrets/classified

documents, you become a "threat to national security" thanks to potential

for divulgence [of those secrets], the famous "you can't do this or that

'caz you know 'state secrets' existence".). N' they wonder why they can't

fill their "linquist" job. "God" save America indeed! /images/frown.gif

And these are the guys who are supposed to solve a crime [i.e., one that

already happened]; as for the ones who are supposed to prevent one (CIA,

NSA, BND, British snobs, French arrogants, etc.), God, save us again, and

save us big time, and send us a big buch of ruggby players, for if all

these fuckers combined didn't have a friggin' clue about a, at least

19-member strong conspiracy (n' I say at least, for I think that "the

brain" and a 5th crew -- as in the two towers+ Pentagon+White

House+Capitol -- are still out there), ask yerself, what are their chances

to break into one made up of 5-6 bin Laden bros... Not many.

I think that it's time to give free (airplane) tickets to a bunch of

ruggby players on each flight. ;-)

(NOTE: Answers to this posting will be monitored mainly on the

"soc.culture.romanian" newsgroup.)

--=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=* =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

Stephen Dancs http://come.to/sdancs http://s.dancs.de

bv561@ncf.ca Fax: +1 (240) 250-1108

http://www.ncf.ca/~bv561/ Voicemail: +1 (718) 404-3906 x 7036


'Who Is This Kafka That People Keep Mentioning?'

By DEBORAH SONTAG, The NYT, Oct. 21, 2001


More than 600 people have been detained in the wake of Sept. 11. At least

one spent 13 days behind bars, guilty of nothing more than coincidence.

Dr. Al Bader al-Hazmi was not asleep when the F.B.I. came knocking before

dawn on the morning after the World Trade Center attack. An early riser

anyway, he had suffered a fitful night in his San Antonio town house,

dreaming of a man jumping from a twin tower engulfed in flames. In the

dream, the man expected Hazmi to catch him, and the doctor was running and

running with his arms outstretched. Shaking off the dream, Hazmi got up,

prayed and then stretched out on his bed to study gastroenterology for a

coming medical exam. Becoming board certified as a radiologist is the sole

purpose of the 31-year-old Saudi citizen's stay in America.

The federal agents did not break down the door or pound on it or even ring

the bell. Standing in the dark on a suburban path in a condo community

called the Villas at North Gate, they simply knocked. Hazmi answered,

wearing the thin blue caftan that serves as his nightshirt. "F.B.I.," an

agent said. Holding a gun by his side, the agent ordered the doctor, a

wisp of a man with soulful eyes and an almost unsettling serenity about

him, to sit on his green-and-red-plaid couch. "I made a quick calculation

to be pleasant and calm," he said later. "Anyone who attends a mosque had

to be prepared for a few questions."

Almost immediately, Hazmi formed the impression that the agents were

fishing. They threw out a name that had not yet been made public: Mohamed

Atta, the Egyptian-born suspected ringleader of the attacks. The doctor

told them that the name meant nothing to him. Then the agents pointed to

the passenger list of the flight that crashed into the Pentagon, to Nawaf

and Salem Alhazmi (an alternate rendering of the name). "We have reason to

believe that these are your brothers," they said. Hazmi wanted to laugh

from nervous relief. "These are not my brothers' names," he said.

"Al-Hazmi is common like the Smith name in Saudi Arabia."

Pushing his glasses up his nose, the doctor summoned the nerve to say that

he would answer no further questions without a lawyer. A short time later,

schooled in his rights by American television, he also asked to see a

search warrant. Then, not knowing what else to do, he opened his

gastroenterology text and studied while the American government searched

his belongings. Some five hours after they arrived, the agents let him

make a quick call to Saudi Aramco, the giant oil company that is

sponsoring his medical residency. Saudi Aramco's in-house counsel, knowing

Hazmi's character and background, told him not to worry. In turn, Hazmi

told his terrified wife that the family would go out to breakfast after

the agents realized that they had stumbled into the life of a simple

medical resident with three young children who were, thankfully, he said

later, sleeping unusually late.

At the end of six hours, however, the agents asked Hazmi to step outside,

where the morning breeze held the pungent aroma of his wife's mint plants.

"Give us your back, your hands," the agents told him. "You are under

arrest." When he asked, "What is my guilt?" they answered that he would

find out in due time. He was not allowed to change out of his nightshirt

before they whisked him away, leaving behind other agents with his stunned

wife. Entsar al-Hazmi, who barely speaks English, did what she usually

does when there are guests in her home: she prepared food. The agents

turned down her melted cheese sandwiches and sweet tea.

"Bader, where are you going?" The doctor's wife's words echoed in his

head. He didn't know; over the next 12 days, in fact, he would be

transported many times, and no one would ever give him an itinerary. In

the back of a government car, his head lowered, he was puzzling over what

he had just been told: that his five-year visa, set to expire next June,

had been summarily revoked and his Saudi passport confiscated. Therefore,

he was undocumented. "Who is this Kafka that people keep mentioning?" he

would ask me later, after his release.

Hazmi spent 13 days in custody, mostly in New York City, where he was

flown in shackles on a government plane and greeted by an armada of agents

with guns pointing. In the chilly cell where he was kept in solitary

confinement, Hazmi was unaware that he had been publicly identified as a

material witness to the horrific attack and later misidentified by the

media as a key suspect. Afterward, too, he didn't realize that when the

United States attorney's office in Manhattan finally cleared him of any

link to the attack, it issued a statement that came as close as the

government ever does to making a public apology.

The government is fortunate that Hazmi was the apparent innocent drawn

into its web at such a charged moment. Another person -- an American, say

-- might have made a federal case out of such an experience, which was not

only harrowing but has tainted Hazmi's name in a way that will be

difficult to erase. Hazmi, a man of faith, has chosen to be high-minded

about what he endured and to leave the larger questions raised by the

government's methods to Americans.

"I'm committed not to complain about what I went through," Hazmi said

recently, stretched out on his couch in a pinstriped caftan and bare feet.

"Given the seriousness of the larger situation, it would be improper. I

keep thinking about the man in my dream who jumped from the tower and

about the families who want to recover at least a hand of their loved ones

so they can put them with dignity into the grave. What I went through was

not fun. But in another country, I might be in jail for four years and

nobody would know."

Until September, Al Bader Al-Hazmi's life story had been unremarkable. He

came from a village, Sabya al-Jedidah, in southwest Saudi Arabia. He was

the child of illiterate parents. He aspired to a career in medicine,

making his way to and through medical school. He secured his first job as

a primary-care physician for Saudi Aramco. The oil company agreed to

sponsor him for a five-year radiology residency in Texas on the condition

that he return afterward to work in a Saudi clinic.

At the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, he stood

out only because, for more than four years, he prayed several times a day

and because, nearsighted, he always sat in the front row during lectures.

Otherwise, said Dr. Gerald D. Dodd III, the chairman of the radiology

department, "he was simply a competent resident who did his job. I enjoyed

working with him."

When the doctor's low-profile existence changed overnight, it stunned his

friends, colleagues and adopted Texas town. Like the early-morning train

that barrels though San Antonio with its horn blaring, word of Hazmi's

arrest traveled quickly through the city's small but growing Muslim


Marwan Yadak said that he was vacationing in Jordan, but a friend reached

him there within hours. Yadak said that his heart quickened: "I said to my

wife, 'If they take someone like Bader away, we're all in trouble in


Abdulla Mohammad, who speaks English with a drawl and drives a pickup

truck, said, "We had to ask ourselves, 'Could he have a concealed

identity?"' But, Mohammad said: "I was imagining Bader, who is the

original 97-pound weakling, flashing a box cutter and trying to get

passengers on a plane to take him seriously. If a stewardess would sit on

him, she'd kill him."

Dodd said that the university took the official position that it would not

change its positive assessment of Hazmi until the federal authorities made

a further determination. But, he said, there were daily leaks in the media

citing supposedly mounting evidence against Hazmi, referring to him as

"Dr. Terror," "the Terrorists' Money Man," "A Man Unknown: Healing

Physician or Foreign Terrorist?"

"Every day, I'd come in, and the support staff would say, 'Did you hear

what he did?"' Dodd said. "With multiple different accusations coming out,

it wears down people's ability to keep an open mind. And it makes it that

much more difficult to make the leap of faith to ever consider him


Hazmi was oblivious to the reverberations of his arrest. On his first

night in custody, he shared a holding cell with three Mexicans. "What you

doing here, man?" one of them asked him. Hazmi explained. "Wow!" the

Mexican man said. "They think you're behind the attack on America!" Then

the man offered some advice: "You're innocent. Don't worry about those

I.N.S. guys. They send us away all the time. And we just come right back."

Hazmi spent his second night in the county jail, alone and missing the

Mexicans. A guard handed him a short, thin robe, said Merry Christmas and

locked him in a cell that felt refrigerated. He tossed and turned on a

bare mattress on the floor, trying to cover himself with a blanket the

size of a hand towel. He was scared, he said, "but only of the unknown."

The next morning, when a guard tightened metal shackles on his thin

ankles, Hazmi's stomach clenched. But it was after a somber group of

officers loaded him onto an airplane that he finally began to realize the

gravity of his situation. There were two other suspects aboard, who had

been found with box cutters on a train bound for San Antonio. The three

men acknowledged each other only with a courtesy greeting, salaam aleikum.

The plane made a stop in Minnesota to pick up Zacarias Moussaoui, a

Frenchman of Moroccan descent. Moussaoui, who later emerged as a serious

suspect, was not trembling like the rest of them. He was the only one bold

enough to ask where they were going. "New York City," an agent answered.

The suspect to the doctor's left was sobbing, and Hazmi also began to cry

softly. Moussaoui urged calm. "We're all innocent," he said, and joked

about whether the agents would try to save them if the plane crashed. "Oh,

don't worry," an agent said. "We'll take care of you."

A fully armed convoy sped Hazmi and the others to the Metropolitan

Correction Center in Lower Manhattan, near the World Trade Center rescue

site. "Zero tolerance!" a prison official shouted as they entered, the

doctor said. For three days, he did nothing but sleep and pray, reciting

Koran verses from memory. "I willed everything else from my mind," he


On his seventh day in custody, Hazmi was transferred to a Brooklyn prison

where, he said, emotions were charged. He could walk only clumsily with

his legs shackled, but the guards, one at each elbow, moved him so fast

that he was tripping and dragging to keep up. "It was not comfortable,"

Hazmi said. "But I believed they could not help it if they really thought

I was guilty in that terrible crime."

Hazmi finally saw a court-appointed lawyer on that seventh day,

immediately asking the man about his overriding concern: "Will I be out in

time for the board exam?" The lawyer told him that the exam was the least

of his worries. He then read him the affidavit, which is sealed by the

court, detailing the government's suspicions of Hazmi. The doctor exhaled.

He heard nothing he couldn't explain. He asked the court-appointed lawyer

to contact the Saudi government, which had hired a private lawyer for him

-- Sean O'Shea, a well-connected Manhattan attorney and former federal


On the tenth day, the two finally met and talked through a screen. O'Shea

told him that the government's case was pitifully thin, Hazmi said, and

that he wouldn't sleep until he got him out of prison. "Sean was my man --

I loved Sean," Hazmi said, although he is perplexed at the idea that

O'Shea secured his release. As the doctor sees it, O'Shea was essentially

a legal adviser to his real defender. "God saved me," he said.

When Hazmi returned to his tiny cell after that visit, a guard slid a tray

through the window. "He brought me a Koran like it was breakfast," the

doctor said. The book fell open to a verse about the righteousness of

patience and forgiveness. Hazmi willed himself to be righteous.

It wasn't until the 12th day that Hazmi finally got to answer the

government's suspicions. At about 5 p.m., he said, he and O'Shea sat down

with "two F.B.I. agents named Mark and Martin" and reacted item by item to

the government's points.

He said he told them: 1. Check the pages and pages in Saudi phone books

and you will see that al-Hazmi is a very common name. 2. Lots of Saudis

obtain American visas in Jiddah, where he did, most of whom are not

hijackers. 3. He had indeed wired $10,000 from Saudi Arabia to another

Saudi doctor in Texas in 1997 -- so that he could buy furniture and a car

when he moved to America. 4. His recent trips to Boston and Washington --

cities connected to the hijackings -- were to attend medical courses. 5.

The five plane tickets to California that he had purchased on Travelocity

-- which the hijackers also allegedly used -- for "people with Saudi

names" were for him, his wife and his three children. He had planned to go

to San Diego in late September for a course in muscular and skeletal

radiology. 6. The two calls that he had received in the last couple of

years from a bin Laden were from an Abdullah bin Laden who directed the

Northern Virginia office of a world assembly of Muslim youth.

"At the end I said to myself, These guys are clueless," Hazmi said later.

"How can they figure out who is behind this thing? I would suggest that

Americans don't rely on the F.B.I. I say, God must protect America


Not long after the meeting ended, his lawyer told him that he would be

released the next day. On that day, waiting to be processed, he was

shuffled from one locked room to another and left by himself for hours, he

said. At one point, an official in a suit and tie came in, stood behind

him and asked him his name. When he didn't respond quickly enough, he

said, the man kicked him in his back. That is the only abusive incident

that Hazmi claims. It particularly irked him, he said, because "they knew

I was innocent by then, no?"

O'Shea and his investigator both wrapped Hazmi in bear hugs when he was

finally freed. The F.B.I. secured him a room at the Southgate Tower Hotel

in Midtown Manhattan, where he was checked in under an agent's name. The

doctor called his family and friends. He prostrated himself before God on

the hotel carpet. He took a long shower, his second in 13 days. He went

shopping for clothes with O'Shea's investigator because he had been

released in prison garb. And the next morning, he took a Delta flight back

to San Antonio. This time he was escorted by F.B.I. agents as a courtesy.

Rene Salinas, spokesman for the F.B.I. in San Antonio, characterized Hazmi

throughout as "very professional, very polite and at no time hostile." He

also suggested that Hazmi might have spared himself a good part of his

ordeal. "We backed off when he requested an attorney," he said. "As soon

as he lawyered up, we couldn't ask him to clear up our questions, and then

the system took over and he was off to New York."

At the Islamic center of San Antonio, two American flags nearly obscure

the English-Arab sign for the mosque. Following the World Trade Center

attack and Hazmi's arrest, the center has been bustling. At first, it was

busy because local Muslims were seeking refuge there from some of the

uglier voices in Texas. Then, it was because of all the parties for Hazmi.

On a warm evening in late September, five days after the doctor's return

to Texas, his buddies cooked him lamb and rice on a gas stove behind the

mosque, and they all enjoyed a feast at picnic tables under the stars.

"Welcome Home Brother" banners in English and Arabic draped the center's

facade. Most of the men were in jeans or slouchy khakis, but Hazmi wore a

button-down shirt and pleated slacks, his thin frame enveloped in fabric.

His 8-year-old daughter, Ebtehal, was tucked under his left arm, her

wire-rim glasses askew.

"Did you pray for me while I was away?" he asked her in English. She

nodded. "How many times?" he continued, with a light, teasing tone. "Six,"

the girl said, then amending, "no, actually, morning and night, morning

and night." Her father again: "What did you say to Allah?" Ebtehal: "I

forget." She paused, adding, "I wanted to break the cop's window." The

doctor asked her why, saying it was not the fault of the police. "Right,"

Ebtehal said, "it was George Bush's fault."

The next morning, I visited the doctor's home. Ebtehal answered the door

munching on a cheese tortilla and led me upstairs to her Mickey Mouse

bedspread. She and her 6-year-old sister, Afnan, showed off new baby

dolls, which they had picked out the day before at Toys "R" Us, "when

Baba" -- that means Papa in Arabic -- said we could have anything we

wanted 'cause he missed us."

I was coughing, and Hazmi insisted on bringing me Robitussin gel tablets.

Over the next two hours, his wife served: coffee laced with cardamom,

sweet tea, two large pieces of white cake with chocolate and pink

frosting, cheese toast, figs, jelly candies, a banana and an orange. The

food piled up on a gold tray-table, and every once in a while Entsar Hazmi

shook her head and motioned with fingers to her mouth.

Hazmi eyed his schoolbooks while we talked, eager to get back to them. His

easy manner, poise and magnanimity were at first disconcerting, given the

details of his story. But eventually, it felt soothing, even uplifting, to

hear him say: "The American justice system is not perfect, but it is

pretty good. I am whole, I am intact and the whole matter is behind me."

Others see the doctor's experience as ominous, or at the least, a

cautionary tale. William Harrell, executive director of the American Civil

Liberties Union in Texas, said that "what this man endured should send a

shiver down the spine of anybody who respects democracy." Abdulla

Mohammad, the doctor's Texan friend who grew up in Kuwait, said, "What

happened to Bader makes those of us Arabs and Muslims who are American

think, Are we living in a country as dirty as the ones we ran from?"

Following Sept. 11, the government has availed itself of its fullest power

to detain and arrest individuals, and it inevitably walks a fine line

between using and abusing that power. Few Americans would suggest that the

government should not be aggressive in arresting and prosecuting those

behind the Sept. 11 attacks and in preventing future ones. But since the

government's huge investigation is operating within a shroud of secrecy,

it is impossible to know what kind of aggressiveness is at work and

whether it violates any of the legal principles, like individual rights

and due process, that Americans hold dear.

In a nearly four-week period, more than 600 people were taken into

custody, and it is presumed that the overwhelming majority are immigrants

and foreign nationals. Unlike Hazmi, most of them haven't had the ill

fortune to be trapped in the national spotlight at the time of their

arrest. But most haven't enjoyed the good fortune, either, to have the

Saudi Embassy behind them. Hazmi's experience raises troubling questions:

How many other detainees have been swept into this investigation without

cause? Where and under what conditions are they being held? Who will

intercede with the government on their behalf?

"The doctor's experience should give all Americans pause," Harrell had

said. When I related this comment to the doctor, he shrugged and then

said, "I agree."

Meanwhile, eager to bring her husband's tale to a close, Entsar had

fetched a boombox. She put on a tape of Saudi Arabian music. Her daughters

changed into pink taffeta party dresses and began tapping their feet and

whirling. And Entsar, who had seemed so burdened just minutes before, put

her hand over her mouth and ululated as if at a wedding. Two-year-old

Abdulrahman started running in circles. Al Bader al-Hazmi clapped and


In the background, a television news channel was on, muted. There was a

close-up of a Koran, then an image of the first tower crumbling, then a

shot of Hazmi.

"Baba!" Abdulrahman said.

Deborah Sontag is a staff writer for the magazine.