Thursday, December 21, 2006


I figured that the "London terror plot" would unravel. Frankly, I thought it would happen sooner, but you can't win 'em all.

A judge in Pakistan threw out the terrorism charges against the supposed mastermind of the "plot." Now say what you will about Pakistan and justice, but they are our allies in the war on our freedom...I mean, the war on terror. Here's what went down (yeah, I'm a week late on this story):

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Dec. 13 — A judge threw out terrorism charges on Wednesday against Rashid Rauf, a Briton of Pakistani descent whom prosecutors depicted as a major figure in a plot to smuggle liquid explosives onto trans-Atlantic airliners and detonate the bombs in flight.

The ruling means there are now no terrorism charges against two people once accused of being linchpins of a major Al Qaeda bombing plot. The other is Tayib Rauf, Mr. Rauf’s younger brother, who was detained in Britain last August and soon set free without charge.
The problem for this guy Rauf is that once you get accused of something, the stigma tends to stay with you even if you've been proven innocent. Everyone has the question "Yeah, but why would they even go to the trouble of accusing him if he really didn't do anything?" in the back of their minds.

Terrorism is a problem Republicans do not want to solve

And this is true even if you're a veteran of the Navy, and white, and a U.S. citizen.
Just like Donald Vance was. He was a whistleblower who was thrown in detention in Iraq for being a whistleblower. That's not what they told him, of course--they told him he was a suspect because he was working in the same place as the people on whom he was blowing the whistle.

Anyway, my point is that the "war on terror" is a farce and these two incidents are further proof of that fact. But terrorism is a problem Republicans would like to be viewed as trying to solve but which in fact they do not want to solve.

So they find somebody, anybody, they can accuse of whatever they need them to be accused of, blare it in the press, then the reality gets whispered weeks, months, or years later. But the job has already been done--the stigma remains. The patsies have been used, the public has been fooled, the politicians have covered their asses, the press got a juicy story--and our freedoms are that much more in jeopardy.

If you doubt that, and/or think such things don't affect you directly, think back to when the story of the liquid bomb plot broke. Mothers were having to pour out breast milk, boarding was delayed for hours, the entire air travel system was in complete disarray. Airlines immediately banned liquids in planes but relaxed that restriction about a month afterward. The current guidelines are still pretty ridiculous. Especially when you consider the fact that the liquid bomb plot was either manufactured from whole cloth or was purposely blown way the hell out of all proportion to its significance. And that one of the main suspects has been cleared of those charges.

Feeling safer yet? Feeling freer?

The conventional wisdom now dictates that there was a liquid bomb plot against British airliners. And pundits and reporters continue to talk of that supposed incident as if that is absolute fact, despite the news that the charges against the mastermind were dropped. And that's how this war on our freedom, I mean, terror gets perpetuated.

Be skeptical and you'll probably be right.


Winter Patriot said...

Good post, Lefty. You've got it unspun just about right. But there are even wider ramifications.

The arrests of August 9/10 shut down media cycles which were very uncomfortable for Bush and Blair, and then we had a couple or three weeks of all-liquid-bombers all-the-time and then at the end of August we had a virtual media blackout on the case and we shifted into 9/11 five-years-on all-the-time and the "terrists everywhere" meme grew stronger at a time when in the absence of all this phony crap it would have been dying out -- to the great detriment of Labour and the Republicans.

The frenzy created in August has resulted in ridiculously stringent airport restrictions as well as clearing the way (IMHO) for the easy passage of the Military Commissions Act, which outlawed habeas corpus, allowed the president to decide what is and what is not torture, and provided retroactive immunity for all the crimes committed at Gitmo and all the secret houses of torture set up by the CIA and their friends.

We're seeing a miniature version of the same frenzy going on over the Derrick Shareef case; now that he's been arrested and the media have made their noise, he'll vanish from view and the Bogus Terror charade can resume elsewhere, when the next useful idiot reveals his twisted (and probably planted) plan and gets busted without ever getting his hands on any weapons.

Or at least that's my take on it. I could be wrong and in fact I have been wrong a lot lately. But I think I'm right this time.

I've written quite a bit on the Rashid Rauf / Liquid Bombers story and if you don't want all the details then don't click here: Liquid Bombers Series

If you don't want a short summary of why the liquid bomb plot was impossible, then don't click here: The Alleged "Liquid Bombing" Plot Revisited -- Maybe It Was Possible After All.

Finally, if you wish to avoid the subject of phony terror altogether, then please don't read my blog.

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