Analyzing the legal technique used to arrest Zazi

Interesting essay on HuffPo Denver about the arrest of Aurora-based Najibullah Zazi and his father from the pen of Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University. Levin acknowledges that the statute making it a felony to lie to an investigator -- the offense of which the Zazis have been accused -- has been on the books for a long time. However, he says it's been used much more frequently in the post-9/11 era, to the occasional discomfort of civil libertarians, who argue that "that this strategy often ensnares unsophisticated blowhards whose threat potential is minimal or overblown. The fact that the strategy is purposefully preventative in nature means that in many cases we'll never be able to conclusively prove how bad the threat actually was."

Read Levin's thoughts by clicking here.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts