Wednesday, May 09, 2007

as suspected. . .

The case against the suspects is suspect:

[T]he criminal complaint that details the plot describes an effort that was alternately ambitious and clumsy, with the men at turns declaring themselves eager to sacrifice their lives in the name of Allah and worrying about getting arrested or deported for buying weapons or possessing a map of a military base.

And lookie here: The US Attorney that is bringing this case against the Fort Dix Six (it does have such a nice ring) is none other than Chris Christie, the former Bush “pioneer” who issued a string of squirrelly subpoenas last year against Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ). In what is now an all too familiar story, Christie used his position to attempt to exert influence on an election. Christie’s investigation seemed at the time to dovetail very conveniently with the themes raised by the campaign of Republican challenger Tom Kean, Jr. With Kean’s loss last November, the always-silly investigation of Menendez seems to have taken a backseat to the GWOT ™.

I would also like to point out something else: Assuming there is something to this “terror plot” (a big assumption, I know), let us all take note of how this “plot” was uncovered.

The authorities first caught up with the men in January 2006, when personnel at a video store alerted the authorities after the suspects requested that he transfer onto a DVD a videotape of the group shouting about jihad as they fired assault weapons at a range in the Pocono Mountains.

Got that? A video store employee dropped a dime on these guys. That was followed up with good, old-fashioned human surveillance and the recruiting of an informant. There were no high-tech, extralegal, NSA electronic intercepts, no FISA warrants, no National Security Letters—there were absolutely none of the newfangled constitution trampling tools or Patriot Act hooey that the Bush Administration claims it absolutely must have to win this new “war.” None of that was needed here. . . it has yet to be shown how any of it is needed anywhere.

Of course, all of that secret surveillance could come in handy when doing opposition research for the next election cycle. . . and we’ve got about seven-dozen United States Attorneys in position to run with the “evidence.”

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