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A few weeks ago Avila wrote an interesting diary on the Aafia Siddiqui case.

To briefly summarize, Dr. Siddiqui is a Pakistan native, trained in the U.S., accused of shooting at FBI agents in Afghanistan, with rumors of ties to Al-Qaeda. There are also allegations by human rights organizations that she was tortured and kept in a CIA black site. Read Avila's diary for more details.

Anyway, the jury selection has begun. Her recent actions imply that psychiatrists who claimed she has been faking mental illness are wrong, and that it's genuine. At least, I can't imagine why she'd think a round of Jew-bashing could possibly help her out at her trial.  

Yesterday she apparently demanded that potential jurors be genetically tested for potential bias. No joke.

"If they have a Zionist or Israeli background ... they are all mad at me," Siddiqui claimed Wednesday.

"I have a feeling everyone here is them -- subject to genetic testing ... They should be excluded if you want to be fair," she added.

Now, science, to my knowledge, has not found a 'Zionist' gene, though I suppose they may have found genetic influences on nationalism. While, with the exception of Ethiopian Jews and to a much lesser extent, Bedouins, Israelis of all 'ethnicities' do have very similar genetic backgrounds, one can't really come to any conclusion other than that she apparently specifically doesn't want Jews as jurors.

Dr. Siddiqui continued her outbursts today, when the subject of 9/11 came up

"I have nothing to do with 9/11," she said when a potential juror who cited her personal experience on Sept. 11 was dismissed.
Meanwhile, as Berman quizzed the jury pool on whether their 9/11 experiences would influence their deliberations, Siddiqui piped up from the defense table.

"The next question will be on anti-Semitism, Israel was behind 9/11. That's not anti-Semitic," she said before being escorted out.

Berman later said that anyone who disrupts proceedings will be removed, but that Siddiqui has a right to be present for her trial and would be allowed to return

This is weird for so many reasons. First of all, Al-Qaeda has not particularly targeted Jews or Israel except in their broadcasted messages; they've only targeted the United States and European countries with their attacks.

Second of all, I have to assume the Hon. Judge Berman is Jewish.

Third of all, it hardly makes sense that, if she's interested in not being convicted, she'd make such comments. After all, she's an alumnus of Brandeis University, and her professor there, Robert Sekuler, is probably Jewish as well. Why would you torch a potential mitigating factor like that?

Anyone else have any thoughts?

Originally posted to DemocraticLuntz on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 08:34 PM PST.

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