The Dog is perplexed. He heard the news this morning that some loathsome terriors had been arrested in the city across Biscayne Bay from his own for planning to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago, the FBI office in North Miami, and three other sites, a geographically ambitious undertaking, to be sure, and one that put the lie to the Dog's own theory that the terriors would leave South Florida alone because they live and party on down here. Then the hated al Qaeda was invoked, and he knew these seven were bad-ass bears. Now it turns out that they were six disgruntled citizens or legal residents, but one, under the "sway of the charismatic leader, Narseal Batiste." This charisma machine managed to hook up with a FBI Agent Provocateur, who apparently persuaded them to swear allegiance al-Qaeda and talk tough. The "plot" collapsed before it could even smolder. Scott Shane and Andrea Zarate in today's New York Times are among the reporters nibbling on the corners of this stink bomb.
In his role as house cynic, the Dog must ask whether this whole fiasco was intended to goose up someone's poll numbers? He also wonders what happened to the search for the real terrior who sent anthrax to people. While he's about it, he would remind the attorney general that the U.S. has long and painful experience with home grown terriors, many of them recently of the white supremacist variety. Perhaps, he should refocus on those 'warriors.'
But the Dog knows that this bust of the Liberty City 7--hereby named for the poor, historic black section of Miami where they apparently lived in a run-down warehouse--fits in with a pattern in the Bush War on Terriors of picking up groups of ethnic men and charging them with conspiracies that always prove less than advertised. These acts have a precedent in American history--and here I thank Jeff Donnelley, historian and teacher--the Palmer Raids of 1918 to 1920, when the feds under Woodrow Wilson's attorney general, Alexander Michael Palmer, used the newly enacted Espionage and Sedition Acts to attack, incarcerate and deport socialists, communists, and radical union workers, particularly those in the IWW, by the thousand. A very young J. Edgar Hoover led the shock troops.
The War on Terriors might be a new kind of war, as the Bushbucker-in-Chief says and the press echoes, but to this old Dog is has the putrid smell of past fear-and-hate inspired campaigns.