August 14, 2006

Terrorists Anyone?

Anybody with an Arab or
African American name will do.

For the last few days the lead story across much of the world has been the foiling of an alleged terrorist plot to bring down ten trans-Atlantic jets bound for the United States departing from London. The alleged plot involved mixing a peroxide-like substance with a liquid explosive aboard the plane and detonating it with a cell phone. Clearly, if this was a real plot, the British authorities deserve heaps of both credit and praise. However, few details have been released so far, so it seems a bit too early to tell whether or not this was really "the real deal" as promised by the British government.

Not to be left out in the cold here in the U.S., where we have an administration that has survived so far by literally feeding off the corpses of 9/11 victims and the fear of terrorism, Michigan authorities have arrested three young men with Arab-sounding names and alleged a terrorist plot to blow up the Mackinac Bridge.

Buying Cell Phones While Arab
The three are being held on charges of "providing material support for terrorism and obtaining information of a vulnerable target for the purposes of terrorism." As ominously reported on CNN,"the men each had a Texas driver's license and said they had traveled to Michigan to buy the phones, which they were planning to resell for profit in the Lone Star state."

Why buying and selling cell phones for a profit, holding a Texas driver's license, or having a map of a bridge in your car would be a crime has so far not been explained. The men allegedly aroused suspicions at a Caro Wal-Mart, where they purchased 80 prepaid wireless "TracFones" with cash. It is important to note that the alleged British plot had been in the news for days proceeding the Michigan arrests.

The Slime is going out on a limb and is suggesting that the Michigan arrests may be a result of Middle American paranoia and anti-Arab sentiment, which interpreted innocent and perfectly legal behavior as criminal activities and terrorism. The families of the three men insist that they are not terrorists. According to the Associated Press, the wife of one of the men contends that they were buying the phones to sell to a man in Dallas for a profit of about $5 per phone, and that they were in Michigan because so many people in the Dallas area are doing the same thing that the phones are often sold out.

August 16 UPDATE: Prosectors Drop Case

As this blog predicted two days ago, and as reported on the Court TV website, "prosecutors have dropped terrorism charges Tuesday against two Michigan men who were arrested after buying large numbers of cell phones, saying they couldn't prove a terrorism link. The dismissal, in a one-page court document, came the day after Washington County Prosecutor James Schneider said he didn't have enough evidence to present the felony charges to a grand jury."

The Usual Suspects
In the midst of all the sensational stories of how British intelligence foiled a terrorist plot worse than 9/11, the Bush administration trotted out the usual Homeland Security suspects (including the head of the agency, Michael Chertoff of Hurricane Katrina fame) in an attempt to absorb some of the credit, even though U.S. intelligence had absolutely nothing to so with cracking this alleged case. Bush also made a speech in which he rambled on about being at war with Islamic fascists, apparently forgetting about the fascists in his own administration and inner circle.

The Michigan case brings to mind the arrests of seven African Americans from Miami in June on charges that they planned on blowing up the Sears Tower in Chicago. The men were members of a small local religious sect called the "Seas of David." The charges emerged after a police undercover agent infiltrated the group. Some members reportedly were so poor they did not own a pair of shoes. It has yet to be revealed whose original idea -- the police agent's or a group member's -- it was to blow up the Sears Tower, if indeed such discussions ever took place.

However, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to note that the case smells a a lot like one involving "pro-active governmental entrapment." By this we mean that it was the government, in the form of a police agent, which originated the plots to begin with, and under a promise to deliver $50,000 in cash to the group may have illicited some allegedly incriminating statements. The arrests came before any alleged materials were purchased and before any concrete planning took place, raising suspicions that the alleged terrorist plots were mainly smoke and mirrors and hot air, as the group had no apparent means to carry out the alleged plots.

Both the Michigan and Miami cases are indicative of just how desperate the present government is to portray itself as a protector of the people against the terrorist threat, and to justify the billions being wasted on the bureaucratic Homeland Security measures that in reality will not protect us from the next real terrorist attack -- witness nature's "terrorist" assaults on us last year and the government's pathetic response.

We have met the enemy, and he is us
On a more individual and personal note, there is every reason to believe that both local and federal authorities have police operatives out in the field who are hard and work attempting to entrap innocent citizens into making statements that they may later be prosecuted for. Without suggesting that one should live in fear or forego criticism of this administration's systemic criminal conduct, it would be wise to avoid making certain types of inflamatory statements, even if one believes them to be just a figure of speech and/or not something to be taken literally. Such as "I'd like to kill that SOB," or "I'd like to blow that place up," etc.

Blog Sources:

Three Face Terrorism Charges

Families Insist Suspects not Terrorists