Fresh from their recent takedown of a couple of black youths, who did nothing more than:
a) Take an oath to an FBI informant posing as Al-Qaeda.
b) Asked said information for shoes, a car and a camera.
c) Talking junk.
The American Press is full of glee as they report an Arrest in Lebanon of
Assem Hammoud, was a member of al-Qaeda and had confessed to the plot...to attack the transportation system in the New York and New Jersey area
Got that? Scary stuff here right? Right? Well upon reading further we find:
Mr. Hammoud and an unknown number of other people were planning to detonate a bomb in the Holland Tunnel in the hope of flooding Lower Manhattan.
Yo! I'm getting goosebumps. I USE the Lincoln tunnel! Reading further:
Mr. King and Mr. Schumer each said that the plot had been caught in its early stages. Mr. King said that he had been informed of the investigation by the F.B.I. and the New York City Police Department nine months ago.
In a televised interview on CNN, Mr. Schumer said the plot had not gotten beyond the talking stage.
"There's no evidence that anything was ever done, no purchase of explosives or even the sending of money," he said...
Mr. Schumer said the arrest in Lebanon was the result of intercepted Internet conversations. "They were caught by people talking," he said. "In this case, intelligence did its job."
Um, excuse me? Let me get this straight. Some guy was on a chat room. Said some things that he physically could not do. There was no money transfered. There were no explosives or even plane tickets purchased and this guy got arrested? Look. I'm not sympathetic with Al-Qaeda but I have a huge problem with arresting people over what they say or what they think they intend to do at a particular moment in time. You should be very concerned about this too. I know for sure that I have posted items on this blog which can be construed as "giving advice" to a terrorist organization. Having the right to write such stuff is guaranteed by the constitution. Speaking, when it does not directly and immediately threaten the lives of other people, is not a crime. So where is this whole arrested for speaking/writing coming from?
I believe that the reason "law enforcement" feels that they can arrest persons for speaking is based upon hate crimes legislation. Hate Crime legislation criminalizes thoughts or words that are shown to motivate a crime or in the recent Howard Beach case, where certain words are used during the commission of a crime (and I'm not convinced that what happened in Howard Beach was a crime, much less a hate crime, but I wasn't on the jury). In essence you are tried based on thoughts. I have a huge problem with hate crime legislation. If a person committed murder it doesn't matter to me whether they said "nigger" while doing so. So long as a jury will deliberate fairly and convict based on the evidence, then the justice has been served. I have no wish to police what someone thinks of me as a Black man. I simply require that I am not assaulted or murdered.
BUt hey, Why stop at race? Why not put on extra years for people who kill rich people because they hate how rich people act or the simple fact that they are rich?. This isn't a preposterous thought if one follows the logic of hate crime legislation. And of course if one accepts that thought is reason enough to prosecute then why not prosecute people who hate Americans? And of course, that is exactly what we are witnessing. Should anyone speak ill of Americans they can be labeled "terrorist". Should they dare utter some thoughts of killing Americans, like many Americans utter about killing their bosses, prosecute them for...ummm...talking about killing Americans.
The one thing we, as conscious black people know, is that we struggled to get the government to recognize that people have the freedom to associate with whomever you want to. It is the actions that the individual takes (or does not take) that makes him or her a criminal. Being a member of Al-Qaeda may be a bad idea, but I'm cannot arrest someone for that association. What I can do is monitor anything that is legally permissible until I have enough evidence that the person has moved beyond verbal intent to actual actions (purchases of bomb making material for example) to then monitor him or her fully and/or make an arrest. This is how law enforcement works. Yes, it is an intelligence victory that these individuals were "caught" discussing a plot. but discussion should never be a crime in a free society and a free society does not have to make discussion or affiliation a crime in order to be secure.