Saturday, May 12, 2007

Can You Scare Me Now?

Response to posters in a discussion on a Cal Alumni listserv regarding the merits of the Fort Dix case and other DOJ credibility issues. Messy writing ahead. . .

Nancy (see quote below), this is true, and really helps make my point. It's not that people aren't truly trying to figure out ways to "hurt us"--they are and they will sadly and regrettably probably succeed some day, and we need to accept and prepare for that before it happens again or we will freak out and give up what remains of our civil liberties next time. We just can't expect to be protected from every plot, especially after all our military adventurism in the middle east.

That our current administration has so manipulated the facts in many cases for PR purposes means that, at least for me, every similar announcement provokes suspicion rather than relief. The timing of the announcement and its possible similarity to the Florida case, that Ann Coulter's ex-boyfriend and FBI Agent intervened in an investigation into a serious felony voter-fraud charge against her (just dismissed without a real investigation), the past grandiose claims that "terrorists" have been thwarted (remember the so-called Brooklyn Bridge terrorist?)--these kinds of manipulations unfortunately cast doubt on all law enforcement activities, even legitimate ones. I have no idea whether these Albanians (Albanians are typically pro-American Muslims because of our intervention in Kosovo, by the way) are real terrorists in training or more hapless PR puppets.

Please understand that I attended a local session conducted by the DOJ intended to put us at ease about the Patriot Act when Ashcroft was AG. Noticing some disturbing passive voice on a
poster with a clause stating that the act would only come into play if "it has been determined" that someone is a terrorist, I asked the regional attorney flat out "Who determines?" I was expecting to hear some reference to some court or legal proceeding, but he just said, "The Attorney General determines."

Our modus operandi as a country since 2001 seems to have been "Can you scare me now?"

So, Albert must go and the senate must confirm someone who can restore fed cred.

> it doesn't mean there aren't idiots
>who want to hurt us, as a country we've botched things so badly, we make
>great targets.

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