She was also an Obamacare navigator – where lying and fraud are key success factors.
DETROIT – Rasmieh Odeh, a Palestinian woman who conceived of and led a deadly 1969 Jerusalem bombing plot that killed two civilians, has had her citizenship revoked and will serve 18 months in an American prison for naturalization fraud. Prosecutors had asked for her to serve five to seven years. Her defense maintains even her 18-month sentence in prison is “unjust.”
At Thursday’s sentencing hearing, both the courtroom and media overflow rooms were filled to capacity with over a hundred supporters from the larger Arab American community attending the hearing. Her support base anxiously tweeted a rolling commentary on the verbatim transcript of court proceedings being relayed to them online. “Just f..k the US justice system.” “The appellate judge(s) better be wiser than this douchebag” #RasmiehOdeh.
Odeh never would have been allowed into the United States, and never would have been naturalized as an American citizen, had immigration officials known about the 10 years she spent in Israeli prisons for helping bomb a Jerusalem supermarket, killing two Hebrew University students. But Odeh, 67, failed to disclose that history, checking “no” on her immigration and naturalization applications to questions that asked if she had ever been arrested, convicted or imprisoned.
Those false answers allowed her to live an idyllic life in America for 20 years. Her lies ultimately caught up with her, and the prosecutors, to their credit, initiated an investigation and prosecution that resulted in her conviction on one count of naturalization fraud last November.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism exposed Odeh’s terrorist history and spin strategy in a five-part video series, “Spinning a Terrorist Into a Victim.”
U.S. District Judge Gershwin A. Drain said Thursday that Odeh’s case was about “lying under oath” but had been “politicized” to make the Palestinian-Israeli conflict the “rallying point to engender sympathy.”
Regular naturalization fraud guidelines, in this case, recommend that Odeh serve 15-21 months in prison, but prosecutors urged Judge Drain to go far beyond those guidelines due to the nature of the crime she hid from authorities. A sentence of five to seven years fits the crime, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel argued, saying the original guideline range would fail to deter other terrorists who might consider seeking entry into the United States by failing to disclose their terrorist backgrounds.
Judge Drain cited the prosecution’s deterrence argument saying he wanted to “impose a sentence that will make people think twice before lying under oath to enter the country.” He chided Odeh saying, “you don’t have respect for the law.” He added that “people are watching this case” and he wanted to set a precedent that “promotes respect for the law.”
Judge Drain also said that Odeh not only committed perjury in how she filled out the application, claiming she thought it only applied to her time in the U.S., he also pointed out that she testified about her alleged “torture” and Israeli conviction despite repeated instructions by the court not to do so. For these actions, he not only revoked her citizenship, he sentenced her to 18 months in prison – still far below a prison term of five to seven years that the prosecution requested.
Read it all via IPT News.
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