Iran Sentences Ex-Marine to Death

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Trader666, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. Iran Sentences Ex-Marine to Death
    Court Convicts American of Spying for CIA, Despite U.S. Denials, Allowing 20 Days for Appeal Amid Rising Tensions

    BEIRUT—Iran's Revolutionary Court sentenced a 28-year-old American and former Marine to death on charges of spying for the Central Intelligence Agency, adding another point of conflict to heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran.

    Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, who was born in Arizona to Iranian parents and raised in Michigan, is the first American to be sentenced to death in the Islamic Republic of Iran, according to Iranian human-rights groups.

    The Obama administration denied Mr. Hekmati worked for the CIA and criticized Tehran for what it called a pattern of arresting innocent people for political reasons. Iran had spurned earlier calls by the State Department to allow Mr. Hekmati consular access through the Swiss Embassy, which handles U.S. diplomatic interests in Iran.

    Among the charges against Mr. Hekmati was moharebe, or being an enemy of God, the highest crime in Islamic law and one that carries the death penalty in countries where Shariah law is practiced. Mr. Hekmati, who holds an Iranian passport, was tried as an Iranian citizen.

    Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency quoted Mr. Hekmati confessing to the court of working for the CIA. It wasn't clear whether the quotes attributed to Mr. Hekmati were accurate or, if accurate, made under duress. The hearing was held behind closed doors.

    Mr. Hekmati's court-appointed lawyer, Mohamad Hussein Yazdi Samadi, reached by phone in Tehran, confirmed the reports of the sentence. Mr. Samadi has 20 days to appeal the verdict to Iran's Supreme Court.

    Even if the death sentence is overturned, the verdict signals a hardening by Iran toward the West. In particular, in recent weeks, Tehran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil-transit route from the Persian Gulf, in retaliation for moves by the U.S. and European Union to tighten sanctions intended to force Iran to abandon its nuclear program.

    Diplomats on Monday confirmed a report that Iran has begun uranium enrichment at an underground bunker, reported the Associated Press, basing their assessment on an inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    The Iranian government often also uses detainees for leverage with the West, U.S. officials said.

    Iran in September released two American hikers it charged with espionage, after holding them for over two years and releasing a third hiker a year earlier. Mr. Hekmati was arrested in mid-September, two weeks after he arrived in Iran.

    "The Iranian regime has a history of falsely accusing people of being spies, of eliciting forced confessions and of holding innocent Americans for political reasons," said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

    A U.S. official said that "securing the freedom and safety of this young man is the top concern of the U.S. government."

    Mr. Hekmati is a decorated former Marine sergeant who trained at Camp Pendleton, studied at the defense language school in Monterey, and served in the Marines from 2001 to 2005, the Pentagon said. He served in Iraq with the 1st Marine division from April to September 2004, the Pentagon said.

    After his discharge, Mr. Hekmati worked briefly for an aerospace contractor, then worked as a civilian government employee.

    Mr. Hekmati worked for BAE Systems from March to August 2010 as a research manager, said company spokesman Brian Roehrkasse.

    In August 2010, he left the company to work as a civilian government employee, Mr. Roehrkasse said.

    Mr. Hekmati's family denied he worked for the CIA or engaged in any acts of "fighting against God" as the court found. They said his visit to Iran in August was his first, to visit his grandmothers and his ancestral homeland.

    A statement by the family on Monday said they were "shocked and terrified" by the death sentence. "Amir is not a criminal. His very life is being exploited for political gain," the statement said.

    Mr. Hekmati's case has followed a typical Iranian pattern of handling political detainees, said Iranian rights groups: arrest, solitary confinement, coerced confession and a predetermined trial.

    From the time of his arrest Mr. Hekmati was kept without communication until December, when he appeared in a televised confession that his family said was coerced.

    Coinciding with the announcement of the sentence, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Venezuela on Monday, kicking off a tour of Latin America with a meeting with President Hugo Chávez.

    In calling on some of his country's few friends, Mr. Ahmadinejad appears to be trying to show Iranians that Iran still has supporters and can rely on allies to help it ease the impact of sanctions, analysts said.

    "The Iranians now see this as a way to show that not all the world is against them," said Eric Farnsworth, a vice president at the Council of the Americas.
  2. Prayers for the former active duty Marine (no such thing as an ex Marine).

    Here's the problem:

    "The Iranian regime has a history of falsely accusing people of being spies, of eliciting forced confessions and of holding innocent Americans for political reasons," said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

    This can be said about America, all you have to do is change "spies" to "terrorists". We make no bones about indefinitely detaining even our own citizens without charge or trial. We have our own gulag called GITMO, and we have black sites all over the world where we "render" people for "enhanced interrogations". Simply stated, we've lost the moral high ground in this regard.

    As for the accuracy of the charge, it is difficult to determine. That he went to Monterey means he was probably working in some sort of translator capacity (possible Interrogator Translator). His language would have been highly sought after by the 02's and the USMC generally won't send you to that school unless that is the capacity you are going to work in.

    The repeated non descript "government contractor" role makes it seem plausible that he may have been working in conjunction with this agency or that one. Then again, Iran might have baseline info on him (ridiculously easy to obtain), have seen the DLI and put two and two together. Supposedly he confessed but if you are tortured you will eventually confess to anything to get it to stop.

    Iran made a big deal out of releasing those hikers a few months back but this seems different. They seem to be pretty confident in what they have and that does not bode well for this young Marine.
  3. pspr


    What would Ronald Reagan do? I don't think the Iranians would be going through with the execution if Reagan were President.
  4. Oh great, that's just fuckin great. I swear the heads of state of the world are all on the take to some higher organization somewhere.

    So now they have sentenced a Marine to death. Do you seriously think we will let this go?

    Well, it begins.
  5. It would be an effective rallying cry. More than likely, they will keep him as a bargaining chip. The threat of death was just to get everyone's attention. Now they get to show how magnanimous they are. Friggin politics.
  6. If Mahmoud as any shred of political common sense, that is exactly what we will do. If that Marine dies, well.......
  7. Yes, prayers for him but no, the same CAN'T be said about America (honestly at least). Not even close.

    Look at how we're treating that scumbag Baxam. Who's "indefinitely detaining" him "without charge or trial"?

    Are you aware of this?

    Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004)
    Though no single opinion of the Court commanded a majority, eight of the nine justices of the Court agreed that the Executive Branch does not have the power to hold indefinitely a U.S. citizen without basic due process protections enforceable through judicial review.

    Or this pertaining to our prisoners?

    Boumediene v. Bush (2008)
    On June 12, 2008, Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion for the 5-4 majority holding that the prisoners had a right to the habeas corpus under the United States Constitution and that the MCA was an unconstitutional suspension of that right...the Supreme Court held that fundamental rights afforded by the Constitution extend to the Guantanamo detainees as well.
  8. José Padilla (born October 18, 1970), also known as Abdullah al-Muhajir or Muhajir Abdullah, is a United States citizen convicted of aiding terrorists.
    Padilla was arrested in Chicago on May 8, 2002 on suspicion of plotting a radiological bomb ("dirty bomb") attack. He was detained as a material witness until June 9, 2002, when President George W. Bush designated him an enemy combatant and, arguing that he was thereby not entitled to trial in civilian courts, had him transferred to a military prison. Padilla was held for three and a half years as an "enemy combatant" until, after pressure from civil liberties groups, the charge was dropped and his case was moved to a civilian court.
    On January 3, 2006, Padilla was transferred to a Miami, Florida, jail to face criminal conspiracy charges. On August 16, 2007, a federal jury found him guilty of conspiring to kill people in an overseas jihad and to fund and support overseas terrorism. Government officials had claimed Padilla was suspected of planning to build and explode a "dirty bomb" in the United States, but he was never charged with this crime, nor convicted on such a charge.
    On January 22, 2008, Padilla was sentenced by Judge Marcia G. Cooke of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida to 17 years and four months in prison. His mother, Estela Ortega Lebron was relieved but announced that they would appeal the judgment: "You have to understand that the government was asking for 30 years to life sentence in prison. We have a chance to appeal, and in the appeal we're gonna do better."[1]é_Padilla_(prisoner)

    So here we have a case where a US citizen was held for years as an enemy combatant...yet we brought no case against him. Then, after pressure from civil rights groups, we transferred him to a civilian court and got him convicted of providing material support. Keep in mind, he was initially detained for plotting to blow up a dirty bomb but for some reason it took 6 years to find a charge that would stick.

    This is what I speak of Trader666 when I say we are just like Iran in this regard. Also, the recent passage of the NDAA codifies the authority which Bush used to label Padilla an enemy combatant. There are numerous examples of us torturing people so I won't even bother to list them.
  9. Do you really think you can simply ignore how we're treating Baxam despite all the hysterics about the "tyranny" and "totalitarianism" the NDAA would "assure" AND the Supreme Court info I posted in the reply you quoted and continue to pretend your phony equivalence between the United States and Iran is valid, based on Padilla? :p
  10. BEIRUT—Iran's Revolutionary Court sentenced a 28-year-old American and former Marine to death on charges of spying for the Central Intelligence Agency, adding another point of conflict to heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran.


    Jesse Jackson should arrange a coaltin to free the Marine.

    Imagiahead can hold the Marine till Obama loses the election.
    #10     Jan 10, 2012