Phrases like "you look like a plucker," uttered by defendant Adham Hassoun during a 1996 conversation, could be considered mere joking, said Kavanaugh.
The FBI secretly recorded more than 300,000 conversations involving all the three defendants: Hassoun, Kifah Jayyousi and Jose Padilla
Lawyers for the defendants are trying to debunk government assertions that the defendants and others spoke in code about sending arms and other supplies to jihadists abroad.
In another conversation recorded by the FBI, Hassoun is heard making derogatory remarks about the Lebanese armed militant group Hezbollah, referring to it as "the part of the devil."
Hezbollah is considered by the Lebanese government and the State Department to be a terrorist organization.
Kavanaugh, however, noted that Hassoun's supposed disdain for Hezbollah -- a Shiite Muslim group -- was rooted in historical difference between Muslim sects, as Hassoun and his fellow defendants are Sunnis.