Monday, June 26, 2006

Entrapping Terrorists

Well, it seems the 'terrorists' had no capacity to do anything without the help of the FBI. Their boots, their uniforms, even the camera they used to photographs "proposed targets", were supplied by the FBI through their informant.

Which sounds more and more like the stories of how people wound up in Gitmo; either the wrong place at the wrong time, or simply based on bad "intelligence."

Here is what the 7 homeless Miami men (they were living in an abandoned warehouse) were charged with:

Narseal Batiste and the others are charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, conspiracy to provide material support and resources to terrorists, conspiracy to maliciously damage and destroy buildings by means of an explosive device and conspiracy to levy war against the government of the United States.
And how were they going to do this? With government help:

In December, the informant provided Batiste with military boots he requested for his "soldiers." Two days later, Batiste asked the informant for radios, binoculars, bulletproof vests, firearms, vehicles and $50,000 in cash, the indictment said.

In a February meeting with the informant, Batiste said he wanted to "kill all the devils we can" in a mission that would be "just as good or greater than 9/11," the indictment said.

The same month, he allegedly asked the informant for a video camera for a trip to Chicago and asked the informant to travel with him, the indictment said.
Kind of hard to call this a case of anything but entrapment. I might say, or even write, that I "want to kill all the devils I can." But if the government doesn't help me in my cause by providing me the materials I need to do this, very directly, am I really guilty of conspiracy? Is thought alone a terrorist act?

Apparently so:

“Left unchecked, these homegrown terrorists may prove to be as dangerous as groups like al-Qaida,” Gonzales said. “They were persons who, for whatever reason, came to view their home country as the enemy.”
But left alone, General Gonzales, they couldn't have been so much as a danger to themselves. Is this really how you are keeping us safe from terrorism?

And I wish this kind of abuse of police power was peculiar to this Administration.

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