"Having his photo taken with Islamic extremists could reasonably be interpreted as an endorsement, which, based on past cases, could be seen as providing “material support” for terrorism. Presumably that isn’t what Sen. McCain intended. But the law’s application is not based on intent. To be fair to the rest of us, the Justice Department should investigate. The alternative would be for Senator McCain to launch a legislative effort to restrict the application of the law to what most people would reasonably consider to be aiding terrorists. Make it clear that what is prohibited is actually underwriting terrorism, not engaging in activities that might be seen as vaguely assisting a group that might have acted in some ways that might be construed as terrorism." Bandow at Cato
I have been an expert witness in several federal cases involving national security in which the issue was whether or not the defendant had provided "material support" to terrorism. Often there was some underlying other matter involvnig payment of taxes or charitable donations, but the establishment of "material support" in a verdict meant that the sentence imposed would be several times as long as would otherwise have been the case.
Senator McCain clearly associated with known terorists in Syria and by implication endorsed their cause. pl