Brown = Terrorist - Part II
July 19, 2004 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Brown = Terrorist - Part II With Bush running about the country telling us how much safer we are, it's fun to look at some of the so-called terrorists we're being protected from: "Five Mexican citizens who stole cans of baby formula from store shelves throughout Iowa and sold them to a man of Arab descent for later resale."
posted by y6y6y6 (51 comments total)

 
Have we screwed our own freedom by relaxing some criminal procedure requirements? Are we thwarting Al Qaeda by snooping on bookstore and library records? And if the Patriot Act is justified by the need to stop terrorism, why is it used mostly for low-level immigration offenses?
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:10 AM on July 19, 2004


Let's argue!
y6y6y6 = dork!
posted by Witty at 11:15 AM on July 19, 2004


I would have less issues with the Patriot Act if it wasn't the Bush Administration enforcing it.
posted by stifford at 11:19 AM on July 19, 2004


Let's not!
Witty = 111!
posted by quonsar at 11:20 AM on July 19, 2004


Too bad these keystone kop efforts are not more effective at detecting homegrown all-American terrorists who have built cyanide bombs capable of killing thousands. (Krar was actually only caught due to a mis-delivered letter and not by any efforts of the FBI or "The Dept. of Homeland 'random and politically convenient terror alert' Security" )
posted by troutfishing at 11:21 AM on July 19, 2004


quonsar - C'mon... please?

The Patriot Act is good for America and good for the free world.

What does black = ?
posted by Witty at 11:25 AM on July 19, 2004


I would have less issues with the Patriot Act if it wasn't the Bush Administration enforcing it.

If your opinion of a law has to depend on who's enforcing it, then it's not a good law. But you probably knew that.

Actually, these sound like local DA's trying to pump up anti-terrorism statistics and thus funding probably, telling cops to tag any crime involving middle eastern people as terrorism. Meanwhile, real terrorists homegrown or foreign are probably slipping right by us.
posted by jonmc at 11:27 AM on July 19, 2004


witty,
black=don't even go there
posted by black8 at 11:34 AM on July 19, 2004


Meanwhile, real terrorists homegrown or foreign are probably slipping right by us.

So that is your assumption... because it works for your argument?

black=don't even go there

Ok. What does yellow = ?
posted by Witty at 11:36 AM on July 19, 2004


black = (white - red - blue - green)
posted by quonsar at 11:36 AM on July 19, 2004


Oh, I see... you're negro. An answer to the "black =?" question might offend you. My bad.
posted by Witty at 11:39 AM on July 19, 2004


An interesting article about Ashcroft and the PATRIOT Act, and an interview with the author about Ashcroft . Kind of old, but I haven't seen them posted on here:

He leaned back in his chair, took off his shoes, and balanced them against each other like a teepee on the floor—an odd habit that former Ashcroft aides I had interviewed had told me to expect. "There's a presumption out here—and pardon me, I hope it's not one you embrace, because I'm gonna call it a stupid presumption—that any time you pass a law regulating conduct, you diminish freedom. I would ask people to think about the state of nature with no laws at all ... and you decide to pass a law that says you cannot commit murder, you can't kill somebody. Are you freer after the law was passed or before the law was passed?" His voice deepened and took on the ominous, official tone that he uses on television. "Now, from my perspective—we're talking about liberty and freedom—you're freer after that law is passed." He relaxed and reverted to his normal voice. "I throw that out. I wish someone would write that. It seems so simple that it could be written in crayon—it's so simple that even the Attorney General can understand it."
posted by loquax at 11:40 AM on July 19, 2004


"Actually, these sound like local DA's trying to pump up anti-terrorism statistics"

You sure this isn't by design? Remember the secret roadshow Ashcroft did for the Patriot Act a couple years ago? As the act was getting the most heat, he gave private speeches to law enforcement where he explained how it could be used for garden variety crimminal cases. I suspect the strategy was to "lock in" Patriot by making it very valuable to local cops.

Also, Patriot adds extra jail time to any crime that can be labeled "terrorism related". Simply by adding that label you can make life very nasty for someone who would have gotten a few years for the crime they're being charged with. If you're facing 10 years for stealing babyfood you'll be much more willing to cooperate. It's in the prosecuters best interest to label everything terrorism related.

My point is that Patriot isn't about terrorism. It's about new tools for police. 9/11 just gave Ashcroft an excuse to get a shiny to new toy he'd wanted for years.
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:42 AM on July 19, 2004


Ok. What does yellow = ?

How about yellow-bellied, witty? As in too chickenshit to actually come out and say what's on your mind?

Or I could be wrong and you're merely describing the stains on your sheets.
posted by jonmc at 11:43 AM on July 19, 2004


y6 -
Out of curiousity, before Bush, was is not against the law to "steal cans of baby formula from shelves thoughtout Iowa and sell them for later resale?"
Seems to me, that under our "former" criminal procedure guidlines, this would still have been a punishable crime. The structure of your post suggests that under more stickt criminal procedure guideline, our government wouldn't (shouldn't?) punish people who do this. There are lots of valid legal criticisms of the Patriot Act, but complaining because they are arresting criminals doesn't seem like one of them. Please, let me know if you have some inside information that these arrests were not merely pretextual arrests...

If this is your understanding of the law, then leave the law to us lawyers.

Let's see:
- Inflammatory post heading? Check.
- Single link to a news article? Check.
- Baited questions? Check.
Good FPP? Oh, no. Oh yeah!


I would have less issues with the Patriot Act if it wasn't the Bush Administration enforcing it.
posted by stifford at 1:19 PM CST on July 19


At least someone can be honest here.
posted by Seth at 11:50 AM on July 19, 2004


There are lots of valid legal criticisms of the Patriot Act, but complaining because they are arresting criminals doesn't seem like one of them.

I have no problem with arresting criminals of any kind, Seth, but attaching non-existent terrorism connections to petty property crimes does nothing to root out terrorists and it makes law enforcement look bad.
posted by jonmc at 11:55 AM on July 19, 2004


The structure of your post suggests that under more stickt criminal procedure guideline, our government wouldn't (shouldn't?) punish people who do this.

The structure of your comment suggests that your reading comprehension skills aren't particularly sharp, even for a mall lawyer.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:59 AM on July 19, 2004


Seth, you're a lawyer, right? Do you see a problem in abridging due process requirements for the avowed purpose of fighting terrorism, then allowing law enforcement to arbitrarily reclassify other crimes as terrorism? The article is far from clear as to whether grouping these crimes in with terrorism had any effect on how they were pursued and prosecuted in this particular case, but certainly in principle if this is permitted it allows a leeway they wouldn't otherwise have had; an extremely sneaky and disturbing end run around hard-won legal protections. If you don't see it that way, I'm curious to know why.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:02 PM on July 19, 2004


Please, let me know if you have some inside information that these arrests were not merely pretextual arrests. posted by Seth
Prosecutors stressed that many of the Iowa cases were classic examples of illegal activities that are perpetrated by terrorist groups. And though any evidence of terrorist connections or motives was rarely mentioned in the courtroom, officials implied that some of the suspects might still be under suspicion, even since their release. from the linked article
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Patrick O'Meara, who heads the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Des Moines, said the "anti-terrorism" label was used in the airport cases because the crimes were discovered as part of a specific initiative to snare potential terrorists.

He said the Justice Department directs prosecutors to assign credit for an arrest during a targeted terrorism operation, "even where the offense is not obviously a federal crime of terrorism." from the linked article
Seth, there's your answer, in two parts. There is no evidence provided in the article that they are not under continued investigation. Additionally, it's entirely possible these people did only commit minor crimes and their capture is being attributed to anti-terrorism policies.

On preview, Armitage Shanks, that's not called for.
posted by sequential at 12:02 PM on July 19, 2004


How about yellow-bellied, witty? As in too chickenshit to actually come out and say what's on your mind?

Ok jonmc. I think your assumption is a poor one... and poor for your argument. Just because, in your eyes, the "cops" seem to be paying attention to mexican illegals, doesn't mean they're probably letting "real" terrorist slip by. That's silly... and you're better than that.

Let's see:
- Inflammatory post heading? Check.
- Single link to a news article? Check.
- Baited questions? Check.
Good FPP? Oh, no. Oh yeah!


Exactly. And bullshit like "Brown = Terrorist - Part II" is fucking annoying.
posted by Witty at 12:02 PM on July 19, 2004


jonmc - the point is that none of us know what is going on here. There are all kinds of reasons to make a pretextual arrest when you have reason to believe, but cannot prove, that someone may be involved in a wider criminal problem. But that idea isn't even discussed in the context of this post, and that is what my point was.

By the way, I have no intention of discussing this topic further. I haven't been reading the blue as much because of the continual attempt to turn it into a shit-fest. This post just struck me as truly ridiculous post by y6. It shows no attempt to understand the nuance of the law, and attempts only to make cheap shots at a political opponent. If it were possible to have an intelligent, non-political, yet legally nuanced discussion of the Patriot Act, then such a discussion might be worthwhile. But, "here is another evil thing because it came from Bush" is not worth anyone's time. Unless you really enjoy being a member of a choir that is being preached to, then there isn't much here for you.

The resulting discussion in this thread, so far, shows how ineffective and bile-filled discussion is here. But please, by all means, continue the feces-slinging for another 70 comments while a "best of the web" thread like Sonny Jim's or srboisvent's is there to really add value to your life.

On preview: look no further than Armitage's attempt at a baseless insult.
posted by Seth at 12:04 PM on July 19, 2004


stricktlee speeking.
posted by quonsar at 12:04 PM on July 19, 2004


"Out of curiousity, before Bush, was is not against the law........"

Yes. Of course. Well, that's sort of the point of the article isn't it? People stealing baby formula are now being labeled as terrorists. We're using the terrorist label on these people for things we certainly don't need new laws for. And more pointedly we're wakening civil rights, what I like to think of as "freedom", to capture more garden variety criminals.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:05 PM on July 19, 2004


Remember the secret roadshow Ashcroft did for the Patriot Act a couple years ago?

Yeah, it rocked!
posted by homunculus at 12:07 PM on July 19, 2004


"Single link to a news article?"

Actually I posted four, but I frgot the [more inside]. My bad.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:08 PM on July 19, 2004


I think your assumption is a poor one... and poor for your argument. Just because, in your eyes, the "cops" seem to be paying attention to mexican illegals, doesn't mean they're probably letting "real" terrorist slip by.

I assume nothing. But I am aware that our law enforcement resources are not limitless, nor is our prison space. I'd prefer neither be wasted on baby-food theives and flim-flammers. (And to answer Seth's question, yes, I believe, that flim-flammers and theives need to be punished, but it's a matter of priorities and truthfulness).

That's silly... and you're better than that.

You assume too much. I am not your ally. In the immortal words of Michael Douglas in Falling Down: I am an American, You are a sick asshole.
posted by jonmc at 12:09 PM on July 19, 2004


The resulting discussion in this thread, so far, shows how ineffective and bile-filled discussion is here.

Hmm, I wonder if that has anything to do with Witty's boring and expected derailings? Or what about your efforts to ignore the four extra links y6y6y6 added in the first comment in the thread? They surely add more "nuance" than the original link.

But nevermind that. Instead, let's derail this thread further while you push your agenda while raging against the agenda of everyone else. Yaaaaaay! Thanks for your participation in the thread.


Ok jonmc. I think your assumption is a poor one... and poor for your argument. Just because, in your eyes, the "cops" seem to be paying attention to mexican illegals, doesn't mean they're probably letting "real" terrorist slip by. That's silly... and you're better than that.


Says witty in an admonishing tone after derailing the thread with a series of stupid comments. I'd suggest you're better than that, but your history indicates this is par for the course.
posted by The God Complex at 12:17 PM on July 19, 2004


On preview: look no further than Armitage's attempt at a baseless insult.

Your comment deserves little more. It's patently obvious that the point was about puffing up the Patriot Act with unrelated cases. What was the purpose of your obvious straw man?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:19 PM on July 19, 2004


I feel much safer knowing that our government is protecting us from evil Similac-reselling terrorists.

Go, Ashcroft et al.!

Fuckwits.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:39 PM on July 19, 2004


You assume too much. I am not your ally.

Fantastic. I've just seen you make better arguments is all. But that has nothing to do with whether you like me or not, I realize that... don't care either.

Hmm, I wonder if that has anything to do with Witty's boring and expected derailings?

I would say the thread was derailed the moment y6y6y6 clicked on "Post". But that is certainly a matter of opinion.

Says witty in an admonishing tone after derailing the thread with a series of stupid comments.

Admonishing tone? Oh, cry me a river. I comment on a comment and that's not good enough?

I feel much safer knowing that our government is protecting us from evil Similac-reselling terrorists.

Sarcastically blowing things out of proportion - The fuel that feeds the MetaFire.
posted by Witty at 12:54 PM on July 19, 2004


actually, black = ( white - red - blue - yellow ) and white = ( black + red + blue + green). But don't let that stop you.
posted by fvw at 1:01 PM on July 19, 2004


witty is the reason why political threads here go bad.
posted by mcsweetie at 1:21 PM on July 19, 2004


"It shows no attempt to understand the nuance of the law"

I'm sure you think I'm a simpleminded idiot for thinking this, but I really don't care for any nuanced understanding of the law. If has enough things I feel are counter to the "American Way" that I just want it gone. Reduced checks and balances, the lack of focus on terrorism, snooping on library records, etc, all make this, to my mind, a broad grab for police powers.

Since it was hurried through Congress under the umbrella of the War On Terrorism, and now we see that it's being used for common crimes and immigration issues. I feel ripped off.

"Please, let me know if you have some inside information that these arrests were not merely pretextual arrests..."

I looked for information about whether any of the arrests might be an effort to grab terrorists while investigations continue. But I couldn't find anything to even remotely support that. In fact the (admittedly skimpy) stuff I was able to find made it seem like all of these arrests were just as given in the article - People arrested for things unrelated to terrorism.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:46 PM on July 19, 2004


You are all getting dirty, and Witty is enjoying it.
posted by majcher at 1:56 PM on July 19, 2004


witty is the reason why political threads here go bad.

Haha!... Now THAT'S rich.
posted by Witty at 2:02 PM on July 19, 2004


"'Bona fide' terrorism is a matter of semantics," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Murphy

That's pretty much the Bush administration in a nutshell, isn't it? In the end a law is only as good as the people who are enforcing it.
posted by clevershark at 2:17 PM on July 19, 2004


Also the idea of 'bona fide' terrorism (bona fide: "in good faith") is a little strange to me.
posted by clevershark at 2:27 PM on July 19, 2004


Stop fucking engaging him as though he were a rational entity. He's a troll, and you're feeding him.
posted by bshort at 2:50 PM on July 19, 2004


Anyone hear Clinton's BookExpo speech where he addressed the Patriot Act at its end.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:07 PM on July 19, 2004


Not ALL UPS drivers are terrorists, just a lot of them.
posted by bargle at 4:05 PM on July 19, 2004


We are not practising attachment parenting on MetaFilter. When the Witty baby cries, don't come rushing to pay it attention.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:36 PM on July 19, 2004


Whaaaaa!
posted by Witty at 6:02 PM on July 19, 2004


I didn't, thomcat, any chance of a link?
posted by graventy at 8:01 PM on July 19, 2004


This is a beautiful thread. People are really pouring out their hearts. Even quonsar has his Shakespearean fool character in top order. Wonderful thread.

Advantage: y6y6y6 But a close race, and not over yet.
posted by squirrel at 8:30 PM on July 19, 2004


Isn't witty the one who posted "Triple whoopee" to the news that children were being ass-raped in Abu Ghraib?

Witty is not a user that you want to engage in conversation, folks. You're better off talking to a sock puppet.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:47 PM on July 19, 2004


You're better off talking to a sock puppet.

Dubya posts on MeFi??!! Under which pseudonym?
posted by nofundy at 6:09 AM on July 20, 2004


*must.... resist...urge*
posted by jonmc at 6:23 AM on July 20, 2004


Isn't witty the one who posted "Triple whoopee" to the news that children were being ass-raped in Abu Ghraib?

Nope... wrong guy. In fact, I don't think I commented at all in that thread.
posted by Witty at 8:14 AM on July 20, 2004


Not seeing it asshole.
posted by Witty at 8:18 AM on July 20, 2004


Shit, you're right. Sorry, witty; it was kablam that pulled that stunt.

My honest, sincere apology for that mixup. I'm most embarassed.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:51 AM on July 20, 2004


Hamdi and the End of Habeas Corpus
posted by homunculus at 10:35 AM on July 20, 2004


« Older A large catalog of interesting handmade Russian ch...  |  Wouldn't it be great if you co... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments