Sunday, May 09, 2010

The World's Dumbest Terrorists

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I've got to tell you, folks, terrorist attacks ain't what they used to be. I remember the days when Al-Qaeda and their fellow travelers in the Islamic lunatic fringe were putting together complex, coordinated, multiple-target attacks with highly trained, well-drilled operatives like Mohammed Atta. Remember him? I mean, the dude even looked scary. And they brought down entire skyscrapers and put holes in the nerve center of America's military command.

And now? We've got a dumb teenager carrying around explosives in his undershorts that he doesn't know how to set off. In the latest botched effort, we've got a guy who looks like a cell-phone salesman loading up an SUV with fertilizer and propane tanks and trying to detonate it with firecrackers.

Except the fertilizer he used wasn't the kind that explodes, anyone who watches the show "Mythbusters" knows how hard it is to blow up a propane tank, and this doofus walked off and left his "cleverly disguised" bomb with the motor running, the hazard lights blinking and the keys in it - on a key ring that included his freakin' house key.

I'm not trying to minimize the threat from terrorism. Even an idiot can put together an attack that kills people, and one innocent person dead is too many. But let's be real: We are not looking at the first-string here, people, and haven't been since that "shoe bomber" guy.

In a sane world, these guys would be the lead stories on one of those "World's Dumbest Criminals" shows. But this is not, as we know, a sane world, especially where there are people whose political fortunes, and whose TV ratings, depend on keeping everyone in a constant state of panic.

Just like clockwork, the usual gang of hysterics began shrieking about how we're all doomed, doomed I tell you. And why? Because not only did the cops not whisk Faisal Shahzad off to Gitmo for a lengthy waterboarding, he was - horror of horrors - read his Miranda rights (as if, after 11 years in the U.S., he'd never seen a TV cop show and didn't know them already).

Honorable John McCain worried that reading Shahzad his Miranda rights would be a "serious mistake," while Rep. Peter King fretted, "I know he's an American citizen, but still," thus invoking the well-known "but still" exception to the Constitution. (King, it should be noted, was a staunch supporter of the bomb-happy Irish Republican Army, so I guess he doesn't mind terrorists if they speak with a charming brogue.)

Only problem with all this hand-wringing is that, even after being informed of his right to remain silent and without benefit of torture, Shahzad has been talking to the FBI since he got yanked off a Dubai-bound plane. He's giving up people right and left. Seven co-conspirators have already been arrested in Pakistan, and it looks like there are more to come.

Ah, the panic-mongers say, but Shahzad was allowed to get on a plane. He almost got away. Doesn't this mean the Obama administration has botched the War on Terror?

Really? Well if "almost" is going to count, then someone needs to call up the coach of Butler University. Because, you know, they almost beat Duke, and by wingnut logic, that makes them National Champions.

But an "almost" attack by someone who "almost" got away is apparently enough for the wingnuts' best friend, Joe "Man O' God" Lieberman, to propose new legislation to allow the State Department to, without a hearing, revoke the citizenship of American citizens suspected of terrorism.

Yes, you heard that right. Holy Joe wants to give Hillary Clinton the right to revoke people's citizenship, without a hearing, to make it easier for Evil Obama's Tyrannical Government to lock them up. You'd think the tea partiers would be unhappy about this, but they apparently can only get really mad if you cut their taxes or try to get everyone health care.

Hey, here's a wild idea: How about we fight terrorism by not letting fear drive us into giving up our values and creating a society where the government can, with the stroke of a pen, declare you a noncitizen without a trial, all because some disgruntled loser failed to set off a bomb?

Why don't we fight terrorism by not being terrified all the time?

5 comments:

Paul R. said...

Is it wrong that when I saw the pictures of Faisal Shahzad all I could think of was that he looked like Corey Feldman?

The Equalizer said...

Wish I could top Paul R's. comment, but I can't. It's Monday morning....

Sounds like 'they' are desperate and are scraping the bottom of the barrel where 'smarts' are scarce?

Spanish Inquisitor said...

Well, Dusty, you've clearly fallen for their nefarious psychological strategy.

After 9/11 we were on our toes, even to the point of a defensive offensive in Afghanistan and Iraq. We were sharp, and with Bush in office nobody attacked us again. They couldn't get through our Homeland Security defenses.

So what's a terrorist to do, you ask? Obviously, send in the 2nd and third string, let us think they shot their wad in 2001, while they insidiously penetrate other aspects of American life with an even bigger plan than 9/11. Lull us into a false sense of security, letting us chase after Moe, Larry and Curly, while we let our defenses down, in the process making it even easier to ship a few stolen nukes in suitcases and banana shipments into the states. Then...Kablooie!

You know I made all that up, but reading it back, it starts to make sense.

Maybe I should host a Tea Party? ;)

LongHairedWeirdo said...

I'm trying to understand the Republican view of the world.

(imagines an evil terrorist, willing to die, cheerfully, just for the sake of killing innocent people, because those people are (*ICK*!) 'free')

(Imagines that terrorist caught and realizing that, fuck, it's over.)

(Imagines that terrorist ready to spill his (or her) guts, giving up everything, including Osama bin Ladin's home address, until hearing the Miranda warnings. "Wait! I have the right to remain silent? I don't *have* to spill my guts the moment I'm captured? Oh *JOY*!" And the terrorist immediately clams up, because, until those words were read off that card, the terrorist thought that there was simply no choice but to blab)

Gak. I think I hurt my brain doing that.

Charlieopera said...

With all due respect, Long Hair ... once you're arrested, the first thing a lawyer will tell you, rightly so, is to STFU.

Then come the deals (or the potential for them) ... and if you don't think we'd (this gov't) deal with terrorists, you're wrong.

We (this gov't) give away multiple murders all the time ...