Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Stumblebums on trial

I don't think the story about the so-called "Liberty City Seven" getting a mistrial, for a second time, before a federal judge in Miami has gotten the attention it deserves. It highlights the way the government has gone after supposed domestic terrorists, and the minuscule results for all the time and attention devoted to them.

These guys were a bunch of stumblebums who were foolish enough to declare themselves Muslims who wanted to do something nasty to some U.S. landmark. But they had no money, no training, no weapons and no prayer. But the FBI infiltrated them, offered them access to money and weapons, urged them to say more and more radical things, then, when they thought they had enough on tape for a trial, arrested them. They were never a serious threat, but they were played up as one.

That's been the pattern. It may be that there are serious anti-American plotters in this country, but so far none of those arrested with great publicity and solemn pronouncements about how our brave, intrepid law enforcement heroes are protecting us from "evil ones" who were about to do us great harm has qualified. They have all been amateur stumblebums, from those guys in Lackawanna to the ones in Lodi to the Fort Dix Six. Could the government be scamming us to garner (and justify) bigger budgets and more extensive powers?

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