Hamid Hayat stays in

A federal appeals court has upheld the 2006 conviction of a Hamid Hayat, a Pakistani Stockton man convicted of providing material support to terrorists and lying to authorities.

Hayat’s case caused deep misgivings. A paid FBI informant taped him for months. During that time, Hayat didn’t do anything illegal. But he bragged he’d been trained at a terrorist camp in Pakistan.

Under interrogation, however, his description of the camp was so fantastic a reasonable person might conclude he was making it up.

This month marks 10 years since America made one of its biggest mistakes and launched the Iraq war over weapons of mass destruction that did not exist. When you ask yourself, how could we have been so wrong? The answer is clear: fear. 9/11 worked. It terrorised us into a heightened sense of danger. We over-reacted.

Did local authorities make the same mistake with Hayat? The appeals court ruling was split, with one judge dissenting. But the majority found no legal reason to strike down Hayat’s conviction. People who see the world in black and white are now free to consider Hayat a terrorist and feel no qualms about his imprisonment. People who see the gray areas will always wonder if he was railroaded in an era of fear.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.
  • Blog Author

    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
  • Categories

  • Archives

  • RSS Related Content