'They blow each other up by mistake. They bungle even simple schemes. They get intimate with cows and donkeys. Our terrorist enemies trade on the perception that they’re well trained and religiously devout, but in fact, many are fools and perverts who are far less organized and sophisticated than we imagine. Can being more realistic about who our foes actually are help us stop the truly dangerous ones?' The Case for Calling Them Nitwits.
National Security Letters and John Doe --once only issued against suspected terrorists and spies, NSLs now can be used, thanks to the Patriot Act, against all and any of us. John Doe, the currently gagged owner of a small ISP was targeted for the political speech of his customers and is fighting, along with the ACLU and others. More here (and more inside)
A "Disappearance" In America - Arrested without charge. Secret warrants and subpoenas. No arrest record. No accusation of a crime. Solitary confinement. No access to a lawyer. No comment from the authorities. No court appearance. In other countries, this would be a "disappearance". Here in America, it's just the Patriot Act at work. Read the story of Mike Hawash, and ponder where this country is headed.
Bush will raise the national terror threat level today from yellow to orange (CNN). This means little to us here in NYC where we've already been at orange. (At least that's what I've heard, although orange looks like a brownish color on my TV screen and a sort of muddy green on my computer monitor.) What, if anything, will your town, city, state, company, family do in response to this heightened threat level?
I had trouble sleeping Saturday night because of a CNN story suggesting that "increased level of chatter and activity" indicated that "another al Qaeda terrorist operation could be in the works." The "warnings" have been coming ever since: Cheney said Sunday that future attacks were "almost a certainty" and FBI director Robert Mueller stated "we will not be able to stop it", with Ridge and Rumsfeld spinning similar tales today. Is there a new threat? Ridge hasn't changed the nation's security alert from "yellow," and AP reported today that "a top White House aide said last week's criticism prompted a two-pronged political response: Bush accused Democrats of playing politics with the issue as his advisers reminded voters that America is still a target."
Two men remove utility knives from their carry-on bags and throw them away before boarding a flight.
Two men remove utility knives from their carry-on bags and throw them away before boarding a flight. They were seen and reported, and subsequently arrested at the security checkpoint. One has been charged with improper use of a weapon. I'm hoping there's more to this story that we're not being told, otherwise it sounds plainly wrong to me. Yeah, they were dumb to have them, but there are reasons people use these knives and even travel with them.