This case
October 26, 2001 7:06 AM   Subscribe

This case makes the new anti-terrorism bill seem not unreasonable.
posted by subpixel (20 comments total)
The report said the police officers, who were working on an antidrug task force, were interested in the men because they had bought their tickets at the last minute with cash, a practice common among drug couriers.

It seems to me that the police were able to catch these guys without the expanded powers of the anti-terrorist bill. They weren't caught via phone taps, or because their visas has expired. In fact, it was quick thinking on the part of some anti-drug cops that caught these guys. Of course, this is not to say that the bill won't capture terrorists in the future.
posted by thewittyname at 7:11 AM on October 26, 2001

Wired chimes in on all the new powers granted by the USA act.

A couple juicy bits: computer hacking is now terrorism and now called "Cyberterrorism." Oh those darn hard to catch terrorist hackers!

"Police can sneak into someone's house or office, search the contents, and leave without ever telling the owner. This would be supervised by a court, and the notification of the surreptitious search "may be delayed" indefinitely. (Section 213) "

"Any U.S. attorney or state attorney general can order the installation of the FBI's Carnivore surveillance system and record addresses of Web pages visited and e-mail correspondents -- without going to a judge. "

I didn't realize how internet and PC related the WTC attack was and how possible future attacks will be. Sounds like Aschcroft got his Christmas presents early this year.
posted by skallas at 7:49 AM on October 26, 2001

This is how it all starts. These laws are for four years. But once the "government" gets used to such things, its very hard for it to give it away.

Man, those who have lived and suffered in police states, know where this is heading towards.

40-50 years later, the US government will build a memorium in some downtown and say its sorry for taking away the rights of thousands of people.

just like they made life miserable for the hollywood calling them to congressional committees, forcing them to snitch on their friends and declaring them commy bastards.
posted by adnanbwp at 7:57 AM on October 26, 2001

What is the evidence they have on the Indian detainees again? None? Yeah, that's right, *N*O*N*E*.

Significantly, they showed sign of nervousness *AFTER*being waken up by members of a police force? How suspicious! Specially since they were poor, illegal immigrants.

People forgot to read as well as to check on their politicians? Hell-o?
posted by magullo at 8:20 AM on October 26, 2001

The anti-terrorism bill is the terrorists' biggest victory. It is disappointing that so many elected officials are this anti-American. This bill promotes a police state and disguises it as patriotism.

People complain about the media exploiting the terrorist attacks, yet fail to notice that our statesmen are exploiting it even more.

This legislation accomplishes no significant objectives that matter in the battle against terrorism, does nothing to increase real security, gives the image of increasing security to make people feel good about losing their constitutional liberties, and has an overall effect of decreasing actual security, since people who think they are secure when they aren't are more vulnerable than those who are cognizant of their situation. [sorry about the run-on sentence]

It makes me sick.

I look forward to the day that all of the statesmen who vote for this bill are brought in front of a citizen's tribunal to answer for their actions. Unfortunately, as our representatives, they comprise that very tribunal.

Our only hope is the Supreme Court.
posted by yesster at 8:43 AM on October 26, 2001

Magullo, read the whole article. One of them had photocopies of multiple passports (all his own). Some with him shaven some not, some with glasses, some not. They also were carrying an obsene amount of cash for two people who earn $300/week at a newsstand. They had shaven their excess body hair, a cultish ritualistic thing pointed out in the notes from the higher-ups found in the rental car of one of the highjackers. In terms of evidence, there's more than enough, even if some of it is speculative.
posted by schlaager at 8:45 AM on October 26, 2001

If they didn't look "Arab" would this even be a story? And did these guys actually do anything? There is no link to a known terrorist and no evidence of violence or planned violence.

Could they be terrorists? Sure, and so could I.
posted by tranquileye at 8:48 AM on October 26, 2001

Yeah... Hmm, bought their tickets in cash, had a whole bunch of money on them, shaved their body hair, and carried box cutters?

Hell, they could have been on their way to a gay circuit party.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 8:51 AM on October 26, 2001

Schaager - photocopies are not original documents- while that is suspicious, by no means constitutes evidence of any illegality. The excess money, while again is suspicious, it does not constitute evidence per se unless it is linked to illegal activities (I know this is not the view by US Authorities enforcing the War on Drugs, but that is just plain injustice on their part). Shaved body hair ... that is not even circumstancial evidence. There could be a hundred reasons (some very kinky, other very gross) for that.

When they were initially detained, the media claimed the police had found papercutters. In fact, only 1 of them was carrying 1 paper cutter. That's a slightly different story. Furthermore, nobody else on their flight has been identified as a potential highjacker.

I have no special interest in defending these guys, but I wonder when are we going to be told a single terror-related story that does not insult our intelligence.
posted by magullo at 9:05 AM on October 26, 2001

> computer hacking is now terrorism and now called "Cyberterrorism

So, I can't munch perl code anymore, but I can still crack machines? Kewl.
posted by RavinDave at 9:08 AM on October 26, 2001

RavinDave, don't be pedantic I think its pretty obvious from the context what hacking means. If you're expecting people to start calling computer hackers 'crackers,' especially white people, then you've got a big surprise coming. Next you'll be telling me virii is a word.
posted by skallas at 9:16 AM on October 26, 2001

hey, i cant read the times. Mo nickels gave me a pass word once, said it was free. I guess I/ll leave my two quarters on top on the newsboys stack(ink still running, men in hats, Raymond Scott's 'Powerhouse' playing) ok-"Man, those who have lived and suffered in police states, know where this is heading towards." what does this mean. i know what it implies. In 1798, John Adams signed into law the sedition act-read it. then we had the alien act-read it. Adams knew the french revolution went south before the blue-suited madmen robspierre got his hands around the revolution. The directory was hardly any better. Yet Jefferson and company pressed on with the fervor. the laws where finally repealed. Adams perceived a clear and present danger so to say. I mean, Washington called counterfeiters worse then enemies, he called them "pests". He also suppressed idiots in something called the whiskey rebellion. Listen, if you love these new rules, wait until they declare partial marshal law. The real point is keep mind the freedoms we have now to amend and change these new rules if they become a major factor in inhibiting the liberties of american citizens. If we cant trust the constitution now, then what is the point of debating the measure. there is nothing to debate. the law makers have decided that already. YOU worry when the watchdogs start...or stop saying anything.
posted by clavdivs at 9:17 AM on October 26, 2001

Does anyone have a link to the congressional text itself. I have had difficulty finding it?
posted by perestroika21 at 9:27 AM on October 26, 2001

The terrorists attacked our freedom. That's what the Texan said. Congress apparently thinks so too, that's why they passed the bill, to protect our freedoms.
what have I learned? When someone kicks you in the shin, hard, chop off the leg below the knee and they won't be able to kick you in the shin again. Love Live Freedom! America!
posted by fuq at 9:53 AM on October 26, 2001

Is this is, perestroika?
posted by magullo at 9:53 AM on October 26, 2001

The text of HR3162 is here. You can also find the roll call votes and find out who your representative is, in case you wanted to write any nasty letters.
posted by stefanie at 9:53 AM on October 26, 2001 case you wanted to write any nasty letters.

Better e-mail your sentiments--snail-mail in D.C. isn't getting opened.
posted by Carol Anne at 11:39 AM on October 26, 2001

You can also find the roll call votes and find out who your representative is, in case you wanted to write any nasty letters.

Sweet! My rep, Capuano, voted nay! Looks like the incumbent's gonna get my vote in the next election.
posted by warhol at 12:13 PM on October 26, 2001

This case makes the new anti-terrorism bill seem not unreasonable.

No, it doesn't.
posted by rushmc at 4:59 PM on October 26, 2001

It seems to me that when I first heard about these guys they had been arrested for causing a disturbance on the Amtrak train. I bet you could find more on the Fort Worth Star Telegram's site but I am lazy.

Any evidence that they were involved in more nefarious activity than merely being idiots was found strictly by luck. Secretly searching thier homes likely would not have helped. Furthermore, since they paid cash for thier tickets at the last minute (from the article) that means that internet surveillance would *not* have turned up purchases at orbitz and telocity.

So please explain why undermining the 4th amendment is "not unreasonable".
posted by ilsa at 5:40 PM on October 26, 2001

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