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Terrorism Defendant Argues Free Speech Defense

Opening statements began Thursday in the trial of a Massachusetts man accused, among other things, of distributing propaganda for al-Qaida on his blog. Prosecutors say 29-year-old Tarek Mehanna became an online operative for al-Qaida after he was unable to get into a terrorist training camp in Yemen. The defense says Mehanna, who is an American, was just exercising his right to free speech. While that kind of defense is unusual in terrorism trials, there is a 2004 case in Idaho that suggests a First Amendment defense could be a winning strategy.
NPR

In Boston Terrorism Trial, A Free Speech Defense

Opening statements are expected to begin Thursday in a terrorism trial involving a Massachusetts man accused of trying to promote al-Qaida's agenda in a blog. But Tarek Mehanna's attorneys contend he was just exercising his First Amendment rights.
NPR

As It Turns 10, Patriot Act Remains Controversial

President George W. Bush signed the act into law 10 years ago. But in the years since, civil liberties groups have raised concerns about whether the Patriot Act goes too far by scooping up too much data and violating people's rights to privacy.
NPR

First Black Marines Receive Highest Civilian Honor

Nearly 70 years ago, the Marines became the last branch of the American military to accept blacks into their ranks. The first to serve at the segregated Marine base at Montford Point in North Carolina are relatively little known, compared to their fellow trail blazers in the Army's Buffalo Soldiers and the Air Force's Tuskegee Airmen — until now. Congress voted Tuesday to recognize the Montford Point Marines with the Congressional Gold Medal. Historian Melton McLaurin joins Michele Norris to discuss the black servicemen of the Montford Point Marines.
NPR

Cold War Bomb To Be Dismantled

The last B53 bomb is supposed to be dismantled Tuesday. Michele Norris speaks with Hans Kristensen from the Federation of American Scientists about the historical climate surrounding the B53 bomb.
NPR

Big Fight Brewing In Senate Over Defense Policy Bill

The Obama administration opposes a bipartisan Senate compromise — to the frustration of some of its usual allies. The White House says provisions in the defense bill would tie its hands when it comes to handling some terrorism cases.

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