It is astounding, and indicative of just how much the public discourse has degenerated, that this is even an issue. Mohamud used the word "jihad," but prosecutors have to ask if they can please characterize his motives and goals accurately, at his trial.
"'Terrorist,' 'violent jihad' among words prosecutors want to use in Portland terrorism trial," by Nigel Duara for the Associated Press, November 7:
|PORTLAND, Ore. — Prosecutors want to call an Oregon man a terrorist while referring to violent jihad and martyrdom, words his defense attorneys have asked a federal judge to forbid.|
Federal prosecutors preparing for the January trial of Mohamed Mohamud said in a motion filed Tuesday that the court should let them use the terms because they accurately characterize Mohamud's "conduct and the nature of his case."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Knight notes in the motion that Mohamud himself allegedly used the terms "terrorism" and "jihad" when speaking with undercover agents, though records of such conversations have not yet been made public.
Knight also seeks to refer to Mohamud's occasional dispatches for the jihadist magazine "Jihad Recollections," reports that Mohamud's attorneys say are protected speech done while Mohamud, 21, was a minor.
Mohamud is accused of conspiring with men he believed were Islamic radicals to detonate a car bomb near a 2010 Portland Christmas tree-lighting ceremony. The bomb was a fake provided by the government and the men were undercover agents.
Defense attorneys Steve Sady and Steve Wax argued in a motion that such words will "blur and dilute the specific elements of the offense and distort the facts of the case."...
Distort the facts? That's what Sady and Wax are trying to do, not anyone else. But their obfuscation is accepted practice and prescribed wisdom, so they will probably win the day.