Here We Go Again
It is entirely possible that the government has just foiled a plot that would have led to immeasurable loss of life and property. It is also entirely possible that the government once again is trying to sell us a pig in a poke; trying to make much more out of a terrorism investigation than the facts warrant. Right now there is just no way to tell.
The Justice Department announced today the arrests and indictments of seven men in Miami who have been charged with conspiring with a person they thought was an Al Qaeda operative (but who was in fact a government informant) to plan to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago. But already doubts exist about how serious the plot was; how far along it got, and how much it really had to do with Chicago.
The thing to remember as you absorb all of these terror-law announcements is that the government has a sorry record in these cases of overselling what it has just accomplished. The feds told us that Jose Padilla was a dirty-bomber but he wasn't. They told us that Zacarias Moussaoui was the 20th hijacker and he wasn't. And even the language of the indictment itself in the Miami case doesn't scream out "looming catastrophe averted" the way the feds made it seem earlier on Friday. What did the so-called "Miami Seven" actually do? They talked a lot to the informant. They asked for a bunch of things, sinister things, but received from him only a digital camera and some army boots. And they never got anywhere near Chicago.
It's a good thing that they were arrested. Clearly, from the indictment, they had bad intent. But don't pop the champagne corks just yet. This may be a big victory in the war on terrorism. Or it just may be another overblown attempt by the White House and Justice Department to convince us that the government is doing better than it really is in the fight.
Have a great weekend and thanks for reading.
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