Two weeks ago a man named Mike Hawash was arrested by the FBI as he arrived at work; at the same time a team of agents raided his house (while his wife and kids slept) and seized computer equipment and personal files. For these two weeks he’s been locked in solitary confinement in a federal facility, with only limited access to his family and lawyers.
Oh, and he hasn’t been charged with a crime.
Friends and associates say the only reason they can fathom for this is that three years ago Mike donated $10,000 to a charitable organization called the Global Relief Foundation. It’s a Muslim group that funds the construction of mosques and schools in the U.S. and medical facilities in the West Bank (Hawash was born in the West Bank but is a U.S. citizen).
While it’s hard to know whether Hawash was doing something more sinister, I find it alarming that he’s been held for two weeks as a “material witness” to terrorist activities but no charges have been made. (Note, for the record, that last year the GRF charity was accused of “links to terrorist organizations”– a charge it has denied– but even so that was years after the donation in question was made.)
What the heck is happening around here? How far will the government go in this mythical war on terrorism, and how much will the public watch in silence?