Monday, July 10, 2006

Bloglines - Fake Terrorism and Federal Largess

Another Day in the Empire

Fake Terrorism and Federal Largess

By Administrator on Uncategorized

Tim Dickinson writes on the National Affairs Daily blog over at Rolling Stone: “New information has come to light on the curious timing of yesterday’s [July 7] leak of the Holland Tunnel/PATH Train terror plot, and credible intelligence sources are casting doubt on the seriousness of the threat…. Begging the question, ‘Why did we just hear about this yesterday?’, ABC’s blog, The Blotter reports that the alleged ringleader Assem Hammoud, a.k.a. Amir Andalousi, has been in captivity for nearly three months…”

As noted here, Larisa Alexandrovna of Raw Story quoted “former CIA spook Philip Giraldi” as stating Assem Hammoud and crew are not “professionally trained terrorists” (in other words, they didn’t attend one of those ISI-CIA camps in Afghanistan or Pakistan) and “had no resources with which to carry out the operation they discussed,” that is to say the threat was little more than hot air, although neocons and neocon wannabes are taking Alexandrovna to task on AlterNet’s forums, accusing her of sedition for simply reporting the story.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports this morning that Sen. Robert Menendez and Sen. Charles Schumer are using the hyped story of distant and untrained terrorists to “offer legislative proposals to increase funding for mass transit security” in New York. “The proposals would add $200 million to the $150 million already in the bill for subway and bus system security measures across the country; add $50 million for research and development of protective and warning systems; and add another $50 million to help local governments pay overtime to law enforcement agencies during terrorist threat-related emergencies.”

In short, the senators are exploiting the story to get more Ministry of Homeland Security largess for their district, thus demonstrating terrorism—or vastly overstated threats of terrorism, as the supposed perpetrator in the New York transit case was slapped in a Lebanese jail three months ago—may serve as a way to get cuts in the gravy train line.

Of course, with baseless and hyped terrorism stories making the rounds in the corporate media on a regular basis, “terrorist threat-related emergencies” will become a regular and mundane occurrence, thus conditioning the public to accept more police state intrusions. Never mind the government is unable to apprehend real “al-Qaeda” terrorists and instead depends on the FBI to entrap and frame patsies.

“One year and countless searches later, the practice [of random searches of New York subway commuters] once thought of as a temporary imposition with potential to trample civil rights remains firmly in place while barely causing a stir. The city’s top law enforcement official still insists the measure helps deter terrorism—and has no plans to halt it,” reports the Buffalo Daily News.

However, instead of evil “al-Qaeda” miscreants, the cops in New York are bagging garden-variety petty crime malefactors. “There have been five arrests for drugs, disorderly conduct and other minor charges—but none for terrorism,” apparently a track record worthy enough to excuse the trashing of the Fourth Amendment.

But never mind. If the Buffalo News has it right, most New Yorkers have no problem participating in the wholesale trashing of the Constitution. In fact, at least a few are eager to demonstrate their obedience to unreasonable search and seizure: “At one checkpoint at the Wall Street subway stop last week, some commuters tried to voluntarily open their bags for the officers, who shooed them away. About every 10th person was stopped for searches that lasted perhaps 10 seconds…. If the chosen were bothered, it didn’t show.”

A certain Ben Franklin quote comes to mind in regard to the above, but it is a safe bet most New Yorkers, routinely subjected to cops rifling through their personal effects without suspicion or warrant, are unaware of this quote and instead, when Franklin’s name is mentioned, think of his electricity experiments or the Franklin stove.


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