In New Haven, Connecticut, the long-awaited trial of a former US Navy signalman Hassan Abu-Jihaad is about to begin.
Abu-Jihaad [photo], formerly known as Paul R. Hall, is accused of providing material support to terrorists while serving aboard the USS Benfold.
The defense describes the government's case as weak -- and that's a charitable description indeed. The case rests on supposedly classified information allegedly found on a computer (or a disk) belonging to Babar Ahmad, who is currently detained in the UK, accused of assisting terrorists and awaiting a decision about possible extradition to the US.
Federal prosecutors admit there is "no forensic footprint" tying the defendant -- whose chosen name means "Father Of The Holy War" -- to the supposedly classified information found on Babar Ahmad's computer. But that doesn't matter, because this is the war on terror. And normal rules don't apply. Our "security" agencies must get their man -- guilty or no, evidence or no.
This is how they do it:
 Entrap a potential informer:
Burned! Meet William Chrisman, FBI Entrapment Specialist
Chrisman [photo] is also known as "Jameel Chrisman" or "Jamaal Chrisman". And he's bad news.
 Get legal permission to use irrelevant evidence, illegally obtained:
Government Tries To Introduce New Evidence Against 'Father Of The Holy War'
 Convince a judge it would be all right to convict this defendant without any actual evidence, because he's so sneaky, and so scary-looking.
Convictions Without Evidence: Federal Prosecutors Try To Establish Dangerous Precedent In Weak Anti-Terror Case
 It's all part of a plan to market terror and counter-terror at all levels of our rapidly militarizing society.
Bogus Terror: Feds Wage War Against The Rule Of Law
 And -- of course -- the plan is approved at the highest levels:
False Witness: Director Of National Intelligence Lies To Senate Committee
eighth in a series