Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Three Stooges: Larry, Curly and Mohammad

Earlier today the feds announced they've indicted three men from Toledo, Ohio, on charges relating to terrorism. Apparently, they were attempting to plan attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq.

Is it just me, or does this indictment seem just a bit odd? I mean, there seem to be more than enough bombs - or IEDs - going off in Iraq on a daily basis; wouldn't it be more effective to plan attacks elsewhere?

However, according to Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, the indictment sends an important message to us all.

"This case stands as a reminder of the need for continued vigilance in the war on terrorism."

He's got that right. It's no secret that the White House is constantly looking for ways to remind us about the menacing terrorist element lurking in the shadows. Or in Toledo, Ohio.

And speaking of Toledo...any chance that the White House is trying to shift the focus of Ohioans from the scourge of Republican ethics lapses in that state back to the more critical, fear-based messages of terror and war? Ohio Republicans are on the run. No doubt Ohio's voting population needed a collective slap about the face to get them back into the mode of fear, fear, fear.

Elements of this story - especially given the Bush administration's penchant for, well, lying - just don't seem to add up.

The indictment does not specify if any attacks were imminent but says the suspects recruited others as early as November 2004 to train for a violent holy war against the United States and its allies in Iraq.

Okay. But if you want to unleash a holy war against the United States, why go all the way to Iraq to do it when you're already smack dab in the midst of your supposed enemy? Do you really need to travel to Fallujah when a few bombs exploding in Cleveland would do? I mean, bombs exploding in Fallujah would get lost in the news of the day, while a few IEDs detonating in the "Mistake by the Lake" would be front page news nationwide. But I digress...

Two of the men discussed plans to practice setting off explosives on July 4, 2005, so that the bombs would not be noticed, the indictment alleges. It's not clear if the suspects went through with those plans.

Last time I checked, buying bombs to explode on Independence Day is the American way, especially in the heartland and the south - aka the Red States - where a fireworks stand is always within an easy 5 minute drive. Nothing unusual there.

The indictment says the group also traveled together to a shooting range to practice shooting guns and studied how to make explosives.

Well, unlike our very own Vice President, at least they realized their need for some practice before unleashing their firearm skills on the world. I'm sure the NRA is pleased to know that their elected right wing administration considers shooting range participation akin to terrorist training activity.

It also alleges that at least one of the men researched and solicited funding for the training, including getting unspecified government grants and private sponsors. The indictment does not say which government or name any potential sponsors.

Government grants? Wouldn't it be ironic if it were our own government that bankrolled this lot? Nothing would surprise me when talking about this "Charlie Brown" - er, Michael Brown - administration.

Amawi is accused of twice threatening in conversations to kill or injure Bush. He also is charged with distributing information about the making and use of an explosive device.

The others are Marwan Othman El-Hindi, 42, a U.S. citizen born in Jordan; and Wassim I. Mazloum, 24, who came to the U.S. from Lebanon in 2000,

Mazloum operated a car business in Toledo with his brother. The indictment accuses him of offering to use his dealership as a cover for traveling to and from Iraq so that he could learn how to build small explosives using household materials.

Firstly, what conversations were these? Were they recorded under a warrant or without a warrant? I'd be willing to bet dollars-to-donuts that this whole affair is being thrown into the public domain in order to justify the warrantless spying program.

"See. We're catching real, live terrorists with this program. It works. Now, shut up!" I can hear it now.

Secondly, do they really need to travel to and from Iraq to learn how to build small explosives using household materials?

Hello! That's what the Internet is for!!

I just find this whole case to be lacking. That is, either the alleged terrorists are seriously lacking brains...or the Bush administration is completely lacking any shred of integrity in what looks like a complete sham of an indictment.

After all, why should any of us believe anything that this crooked administration does or says anymore? It just seems to be more of the same old smoke being blown up our collective ass. Marwan, Wassim and Mohammad seem to be nothing more than three stooges in the Bushies' ongoing attempt to foment fear and uncertainty among the populace. And it's likely to get more and more brazen as the November mid-term elections approach.

The only other question I have about this case: Where's Shemp?


At 9:09 AM, Blogger vcthree said...

I can't believe I thought of this, but I seem to recall a show on PBS in the early 90's (some fictional teen show), where a kid who was a poet wrote on his computer screen the following: "Hate, fear, hate, fear, hate, fear, fear, fear, fear, fear..."

I don't think any other line could put into perspective the way that this government has handled the "Facade...err, War on Terror". It's all about hate and fear, fear, fear. And bullshit. And a president who cares more about hooking up his supporters with cush jobs they aren't qualified for and money making government no-bid contracts that will serve as a safety net later, when the administration is over.

Man, do I hate politics.

At 2:58 PM, Blogger DrewL said...

These people are like the old bankrobber who was asked why he robs banks. He responded, "That's where the money is."

Where is there more money than in the U.S. government? Nowhere. When there's $2.6 trillion to play with EACH YEAR, it makes it pretty easy to play around with a few billion here and there. These people talk a good game about cutting taxes, et al, but they're really just finding ways to get rich off the backs of the American taxpaying public. It's insidious.

At 4:39 PM, Blogger Effwit said...

Outstanding analysis.

The bit about the shooting range rang a bell with me.A year or two ago, the feds did a prosecution of some American Muslims for "terrorism" in Alexandria, Virginia.One of the big pieces of evidence in their case was practicing paintball in a local wooded area.

These poor SOBs got the book thrown at them, with at least one getting 20 years.

I must say again, magnificent essay!

At 9:56 PM, Blogger DrewL said...

Thanks, effwit. It's always fun to break down the irony and hypocrisy that normally drips from anything the Bush administration does...or doesn't do, as the case may be. I'm sure you can appreciate that!

Sadly, we've reached a point with these people where one has to be either incredibly ignorant, unusually stupid or both to believe anything they say. Everything has to be taken with a huge grain of salt and a shot or three of whiskey.

At 12:45 AM, Blogger sukabi said...

Everything has to be taken with a huge grain of salt and a shot or three of whiskey.

change that whiskey to tequila and a wedge of lime and start doing shots... makes swallowing the Bushit less painful.

At 4:29 PM, Blogger Neil Shakespeare said...

Well, whiskey IS a good antiseptic. Every day Bush puts out these diseases, and you gotta combat 'em somehow.


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