Saturday, June 24, 2006

Exponential Bogeyman

Guest Post By Man of American Dissent

There was a stark image accompanied by very simple headlines and captions prominently featured in the MSMisphere yesterday. If you happened to see it you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s mostly gone now, but that doesn’t really matter because the cat is already out of the bag and he has scratched the collective subconscious of everyone in his wake. If you were afraid of Willie Horton, (not the man himself, but rather the wretchedness of the situation in which he came to national prominence) you had better run and hide under the bed again. What could possibly be more frightening than a dangerous and angry black man hell bent on going on a rampage to defile your woman and kill your children? How about seven of them swearing loyalty oaths to Al Qaeda and conspiring as “Terrorists” to execute a mass murderous killing spree plot, terrorizing the entire nation? Yes, that should do the trick just fine. Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages please welcome The Magnificent Seven to the mainstream media stage. That’s right. The big bad black bogeyman is back. New!!! Improved!!! Scarier than ever when multiplied by a factor of seven.



The severity of the threat and the reality of the plot have now been seriously called into question by several sources. Raw Story has this bit in a report…"when you start deconstructing a case, you see that there's a lot of talk.", and The Herald Sun says "…as more details emerge of a supposed terror plot interrupted by US authorities, the plotters and their half-baked plan seem less than deadly and more than a little ridiculous. " .

Unfortunately the message conveyed by the bold headline “TERRORISTS” above a picture of seven black men is simple… Black men are terrorists. I’m sure they’re banking on this one as a guaranteed winner. Any statement to the contrary only reinforces the point. Of course deniability on ownership of the idea is there (just remember, nobody explicitly said anything about Saddam being directly responsible for 9-11 either). I’m certain that the brilliance of this is not at all lost on the strategists of the right. This one drives directly to the heart of the most insidious aspect of racism in this country. It is the simple fact that so much of the time racism is subtle and if you’re not impacted by it you will be mesmerized by the illusion that it’s not really much of a problem in our modern society. The truth of the matter is that on the issue of race this country is fucked. This is the most subtle yet blatant and disturbing play of the race card in years. It’s another prime example of even more damage that the Right is inflicting upon the social fabric of our nation. At present I don’t have solutions to offer on this one, just some extra outrage (McGovernment will supersize your outrage for free these days) at what I’m seeing the current power structure in his country get away with.


Blogger isabelita said...

Yup. Whuppin' up some major tar baby action, this stupid fucking government.
Isn't it beyond depressing how Bush&Co operates?

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Dale Hippert said...

WOW....where to begin?!

This time it's 7 African Americans.
In the past it's been pictures of
Arab Americans and in the future
perhaps more of same, or... of Timothy Mcvays.

I for one am not put off by legitimate law enforcement efforts that sting and preempt knuckleheads before they become murderous knuckleheads.

Read the charges as to what these assholes tried to order up. I live in Chicago as did one of the charged clowns who also worked for Fed EX...making deliveries to the bowels of the Sears Tower.

One other point. Notice how many pathetic white faces have been dragged before
the Justice Department's Grand Juries in the
Plame Gate and Abramhoff investigations?

Your blog reminds me of a statement attributed to an Israeli official: "we're
not obligated to commit national suicide so that the rest of the world thinks better of us."

This is not a defense of the incompetence and
law breaking of this Repug administration, but rather a call for some common sense and forbearance when it come to legitimate efforts to preempt would be terrorists.

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Man of American Dissent said...

I'm with you. Legitimate law enforcement efforts to disrupt real terrorists are necessary and valiant. Fear mongering and shallow political gambits are something completely different. I'm just of the belief that it is the latter at play in this particular instance.

8:59 PM  
Blogger bodiciah t rentlord III said...

We must have won that War on Terror. Bout damn time, it was costing us a bunch, whether you measure by deficits, dollars or constitutional rights! But now, at last, this is is the scariest that could be found. Apparently terrorists are nearly extinct, because these are all the could find to help win the election, and elections are the one thing this administration is competent to run.

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Jonathan said...


I didn’t interpret what Liberal Girl wrote to mean that she was against trying to thwart terrorists and other law breakers. What I take away from this column is that Liberal Girl is simply critical of the cynical way the right is exploiting the news of the arrests. And I agree with her whole heartedly.

It seemed as though it was only a matter of hours after the initial reports of the arrests that news sources (the BBC for example) were printing articles that called into doubt the gravity of this case as it was portrayed by our domestic main stream media. These Miami Seven guys were dopes. From what I have read I doubt they were capable of doing anything anywhere near as grandiose as attacking the Sears tower. And, as fate would have it, they went ahead and got themselves arrested long before they would have been anywhere near completing the dastardly deed. Not only that, but they never even met a real terrorist. The guy they thought they were dealing with was not affiliated with Al Quada, he was a government informant.

I also am four square in the same camp as Liberal Girl when it comes to how race (and even political persuasion) is abused by the right for their own gain. After all, the other best known home grown “terrorist” was also darker than the average lily white American who is weak minded enough to vote republican. Jose Padilla was a fairly dark skinned Hispanic. Now the Federal Judge in the Padilla case is saying that the Government case against Padilla seems to be "very light on facts". And John Walker Lindh? Well, he grew up in liberal Mendocino. No wonder he hated America.

I find the timing troubling as well. Both the Padilla and Miami Seven announcements were made while embarrassing news about the President was just hitting the wires. Padilla had been behind bars for a month before Ashcroft held that emergency press conference (from Russia no less) to tell the world about Padilla. It just so happens that Coleen Rowley was testifying in Congress about her failed attempts to alert the Bush administration about Islamists learning how to fly prior to 9/11. And the Miami Seven announcement was made when Bush was getting hammered about the financial records searches that his administration has been doing is secret.

Warmest Regards,


8:37 AM  
Anonymous Man of American Dissent said...

-- quick point of clarification. This post was written by me, Man of American Dissent, as a guest contributor to LGND's blog.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Jonathan said...

I'm begging your pardon.

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Dale Hippert said...


My head is spinning like the little girl in 'The Exorcist"!
Just what races, hues of color, nationality and intellectual capacity do would be terrorists have to BE to justify any kind of counterintelligence and plain old fashioned police work? In the same vein, if the suspects turn out to primarily be exactly the kinds of people that have been arrested, what will it take short of catching them 'lighting a fuse', parking a bomb laden van or bending over to light a shoe bomb on a plane, to make it a good, non racially manipulative 'bust'?

I do not dispute that the Bush Admin shamelessly manipulates their 'news' announcements Re terrorist
'activities'. Tom Ridge himself admitted that he was
suspicious of the timing of some of the alert colors he raised.

Having said that, is it conceivable that NO terrorist plots have been preempted since 911? That NONE of the
military and police work is legitimate an effective and that SOME of it, like some police work, is not
up to snuff?

The reason I raised my points about the justice Department's successful prosecutions is because
I believe there is reason to believe that the DOJ is perhaps the lone professional, functioning
Dept in the entire Federal Gov. I applaud their placement of informants as it is the most
effective tool for counter-terrorism, as it is for ordinary police work.

I'll paraphrase that Israeli official's remark: Just because I'm a liberal doesn't mean I have to
'politically correct' myself into a state of blanket condemnation of all military and police
counter-terrorism activities. I will make my judgments on a case by case basis, pun intended.
And I will assume that there are books to be written and movies to be filmed
on both the successes and failures of the dark and sometimes 'wet work' of our counter-terrorism forces.



2:53 PM  
Anonymous Jonathan said...


You make good points in both of your posts. Food for thought, as they say. After reading your second post I am convinced that our opinions are not really very different.

The author of the original post stated (in his response to your post) that his outrage is with the news coverage and the manipulation of the news by the administration. Not in the police work that led to the arrest. On the other hand, other than John Walker Lindh, I know of no other “white” people arrested on terrorism charges. And I can’t think of any Christians arrested on terrorism charges. So I guess it is an “it is what it is” situation. The color and religion of the people arrested on terrorism are what they are and will be reported as such (one hopes). But what about that timing issue? I continue to see that as a conscious manipulation of the American people by the Bush administration.

You mentioned the fact that the Justice Dept. appears to be very aggressively pursuing the Abramoff and Plame cases. Frankly, I am a bit shocked, but encouraged, that Gonzales has not been able to stop these investigations. Gonzales is clearly a Bush and republican party loyalist. I suspect if it were a non partisan Atty. Gen. instead of Gonzales half the republicans in Congress and half of the Bush administration would be in the “steel bar window hotel” by now.



5:13 PM  
Anonymous Dale Hippert said...


Let's agree that 'white Christians' like Ebbers, Lay, Skilling, Kozlowski
and a number of others have been arrested, tried convicted and
in many cases sentenced already, for what I would call
'economic terrorism's. Individual stock portfolios, State pension funds and
401K's ravaged and or wiped out by the criminal behavior of these
greedy nitwits.

Don't kid yourself that even a Republican AG can or will operate
in flagrant disregard for the law or for the appearance and
actuality of conflict of interest. Ashcroft recused himself and appointed
Fitzgerald in the Plame Investigation.

I suspect that both Ashcroft and Gonzalez know enough about the
undistinguished Repug AG John Mitchell, the first United States Attorney General
ever to be convicted of illegal activities and imprisoned, to not want
to avoid a similar fate. Partisans that they are, even they can see the danger
to themselves in cooperating too closely with Bush's thugs!

(Gonzales threatens to quit over D.C. raid furor
AG, FBI head may resign if forced to return Jefferson documents, paper says.)

Additionally, you have a bunch of career DOJ attorneys who not only
are interested in making a name and a private or corp. law career for
themselves, but who are also extremely angry, ala Fitzgerald, when
people lie and attempt to obstruct their investigations. As their
boss might say:"it's hard work, they're workin' hard!" They don't
look kindly on their work being made harder still.

I figure Abramhoff will have served up at least 6 Repugs for indictment
before it's over. And stellar wingnuts like Delay and Ralph Reed are
effectively ruined whether or not Fed indictments come down on them.

As for the rest of it, I believe that 'radical Islam' has 'profiled' itself
regardless of the color of the face it wears.


6:40 PM  
Anonymous david said...

If every person who has a violent fantasy about the people who disgust and anger them, then Rush, Bill O, and hundreds of bloggers, both left and right, would be under arrest. Police informants are only valid if they refrain from becoming agent provocateurs. When the government spy is the one encouraging violent and direct action, we are leaving the work of policing and entering world of political theatre. There was a cartoon once from the McCarthy Era where a meeting of subversives has one saying, "Okay, is anyone here NOT an undercover FBI agent?" This so-called major sting should have been handled by a discreet visit by the FBI to the pretend terrorists. Instead, there seems to have been an effort to create a media event. Why? To prove the government can catch terrorists. But, if the informant was provoking plans for violence and offering to supply explosives, expertise and cash, was there really any "plot" or was the "plot" fabricated by the informant?

6:26 AM  
Anonymous Dale Hippert said...


My question to you is just what level of law enforcement
are you willing to accept as part of an effective counter-terrorism effort?

Are you confident that we will always preempt 'the way' and
the execution if we only engage in watchful waiting of those
who 'have the will'?

I'm thinking that most law enforcement agencies do not
go out looking for bad busts that will engulf them in
paperwork and reprimands. How often do we see
"Law and Order" TV Prosecutors warning the
police that they need warrants and evidence that
will hold up in court?

Lastly, are you prepared to accept a 'who didn't connect the
dots'........again..... postmortem after we get hit?

The suspects came to the attention of the government after members talked a little too openly about finding a Qaeda contact. Someone tipped off the authorities, who sent in the informant. They've done it before. In other recent cases, the Feds have used informants to penetrate homegrown cells, and have usually won convictions. Last week some civil-liberties activists complained that the informant's prodding may have helped create a plot that otherwise wouldn't have existed. But prosecutors say they weren't about to wait around to find out. "They certainly had the will," said U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta. "They were searching for the way."

8:59 AM  

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