Monday, June 26, 2006

How the world sees the arrest of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight: Tall story of terror a chilling warning…

The rest of the world continues to see through Bush’s “bush-league” (pun intended) efforts to save his presidency. The New Zealand Herald’s analysis of the case puts the event in the correct prospective:

“If the case has any significance in the ‘war on terror’, it is not as a present danger, but as a harbinger of possible future risks. Despite countless scare stories in the media, colour-coded alerts from the Department of Homeland Security and grim official warnings of al Qaeda sleeper cells waiting to do their worst, the US has not suffered a single terrorist attack since September 11, 2001. Nor have the authorities unearthed much of a threat. The Justice Department claims 401 people have been charged with 'terrorism-related offences' since the 2001 attacks, and 212 have been convicted. In fact only a tiny number were real terrorists.

The tendency - duly followed last week by Gonzales - has been to hype. The precedent was famously set by his predecessor, John Ashcroft, who called a press conference during a visit to Moscow in 2002 to announce the arrest of Jose Padilla, the 'dirty bomber' said to be preparing to attack Washington with a radioactive device.

Padilla languished incommunicado in a Navy brig without charge for over three years. He has been transferred to a civilian prison, and faces trial in Miami this year on different, much vaguer, terrorist charges.

An alleged sleeper cell was unearthed in Detroit, but those convictions were quashed in 2004 when it emerged that prosecutors had manipulated evidence.

In December 2005, the trial of Sami al-Arian, accused of links with Islamic Jihad terrorists, ended in embarrassment when the Florida university professor was acquitted.”

The arrest of the Miami Seven (Al Qaeda Lite) is disgraceful at best and squanders what’s left U.S. international credibility.

Read: Tall story of terror a chilling warning


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