Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Dix Six Trix Nixed


These are not good days for the Grand Old Party:
  • The disastrous war in Iraq has caused the unnecessary deaths of thousands of U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis. Because of this and the whole fiasco known as "the Bush Administration", the Republican party is facing the prospect of an electoral rout in 2008 that will make 2006 look like a shining moment of glory.
  • The Attorney General has been exposed as a knowing stooge to White House schemers who have tried to purify the nationwide corps of U.S. Attorneys to include only those who will advance phony voter "fraud" and other prosecutions designed to prop up GOP talking points.
  • A pathetic group of GOP presidential aspirants are falling all over each other and their own words, desperately trying to find a way to run away from Junior Bush, embrace the exaggerated ghost of Ronald Reagan and to get someone buy their empty souls so they can be the successor empty suit for the next shadow gang of manipulative handlers.

In days like this – well, anytime, actually – the Party of the Rich will grab any thin reed to hold on to that which might keep it from finally going completely over the Falls, crushed on the rocks of reality and not-so-instant karma. And so, from the always helpful "Justice" Department, here comes the case of the Fort Dix Six.

For all the Fear the Bushies have tried to ratchet up to drive their agenda since 9/11, and for all the violation of our privacy and civil liberties, there is remarkably little to show for prosecutions of those who would Do Us Harm. Indeed, the hapless law-stretchers at Justice have found it hard to get convictions of those few poor souls they managed to indict. See this interesting compilation of post-9/11 "terrorism" prosecutions put together by the Center for Law and Security at the NYU Law School.

Some of the most interesting highlights: "the vast majority of cases turn out to include no link to terrorism once they go to court" and there is only a "29% conviction rate for federal charges of terrorism". This despite the fact that "conviction, no matter how short the period of time or how minor the charge, is the primary goal" of the government’s efforts. The authors conclude "either that the threat is much less than we thought, or that the policies of the United States have reduced the threat of terrorism through deterrence, and, yes, through excessive vigilance." The authors give the government a little too much credit for creating any atmosphere of deterrence. With the government wasting its time chasing around wanna-bees like the Fort Dix Six, what serious evil-doer would be deterred by that activity? My guess is, if they exist anywhere in this country, they have a good laugh and go right back to work.

But that doesn’t stop the wing-nuts and other Bush enablers to glom onto the news of the Dix indictment to toss out all the regular canards, not the least of which is Fear, of course; but also "the PATRIOT act works" and "we must continue warrantless searches of phone conversations, bank records, , etc." One look at the affidavit supporting the indictment shows that, while not as lame as the guys a couple of years ago whose first request when meeting with a fake supplier was for "really good boots", these guys were a long way away from being a danger to anyone.

One thing that jumps out of the document is that absolutely none of the vaunted PATRIOT act or extra-legal snooping touted as so necessary by the Bushies and their allies were used to foil what was already a very bad plan to attack the Army base at Fort Dix with the equivalent of assorted sticks and stones. After their DVD replication service turned an amateurish tape of their shootin’-and-shoutin’ play over to the authorities (even porn afficionados know to watch out for that happening), investigators simply applied good police work to find out what they were up to and eventually arrest them. The affidavit relates lots of phone conversations, but not from warrantless wiretaps – the calls are with an informant that was able to infiltrate the group (that they allowed the infiltration is a primary sign of lameitude for any self-respecting jihadist).

These deluded fools dared to partake in paintball training in furtherance of their evil designs. Paintball training! They also jumped through quite a few hoops to just get a decent map of Fort Dix. A map! By the time they were set up by the informant to meet with a fake arms dealer that was going to finally get them some AK-47s (they were arrested instead), the whole group of them apparently only had a shotgun, a handgun and maybe a couple of rifles between them. They would be the successors to the Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight, but they didn’t have anything to shoot.

They weren’t "terrorists" – they dreamed and talked about of being terrorists. They are guilty of impure thoughts and false bravado. You can imagine them jumping out of their pizza delivery truck at the checkpoint outside Fort Dix, the guard effortlessly grabbing the guns out of their hands, slapping them in the face and literally kicking their silly asses back where they came from. No one at Fort Dix was ever in danger from these guys, much less the rest of us.

But that doesn’t stop the wing-nuts from using the wacky antics of the Dix Six to justify everything from more illegal snooping to the Iraq war to the war on illegal immigrants (3 of the 6 were illegal, or something). In the meantime, Osama bin Laden spends another summer dancing in the mountains of Pakistan, the Iraqi "parliament" is taking a couple of months off and three of our soldiers are missing.

UPDATE: In the GOP "debate" last night, Mr. 9/11, Rudy Giuliani, used the Dix Six arrests as an excuse for the Iraq war, claiming it was proof of the "if we leave there, they will follow us home" nonsense. He also used it to play the immigration card, saying the lack of "reform" means illegals can "find a big underground to hide in". Oh, that Rudy -- like Bush, he's never seen a tragedy or crime that he couldn't play for political advantage.

And then there is Jessica McBride, who claims the media is downplaying the Dix Six story because, well, they're so soft of terrorism, I guess. Most of her screed is devoted to the fact that some of them were illegal (they "went to public schools and had businesses"!) and from the the former Yugoslavia, although 23 years or so removed (never mind that the 20-somethings came here as children). She also manages to suggest that the "secret recordings" made were proof of the success of King George's warrantless program. No. The recordings were made by the informant -- if he consents to the recording (he did), no warrant is necessary -- and there is no evidence that any of the extraordinary powers claimed by Bush had anything to do with the investigation whatsoever.

So, calm down, Jessica. You never know when something might happen that really proves your "points". But I wouldn't hold my breath. The hapless Fort Dix Six sure ain't it.


Anonymous said...

Why do you name call with your "right-wing" nut remarks. It seems to me that you are nothing but a "left-wing" nut. Do you describe yourself that way? I am an independent, however, I must say that other than getting us out of Iraq, the left does not offer much, instead of higher taxes, more Government programs, and increased regulation. The Democrats have only been in power for 5 1/2 months and already they want to increase taxes and increase spending. My gosh, the left's golden boy John Edwards wants to increase taxes to rates above Clinton levels. He says only on the rich, I do not think that a family that makes $200,000 a year is rich, well off yes, but not rich. Anyways, to pay for all of these new programs, taxes will be raised on everybody. Increased taxes will kill the economy. The Republican's shot themselves in the foot, with their increased spending and Iraq. I do not think, the majority of the US wants increased Goverment spending.

You say the GOP candates are a sorry lot, but what is so great about the Dem's. It is more of the same tired stuff. The rich are bad, tax more, increase entitlement programs (Universal Healthcare), etc.

What this country needs are good common sense ideas, that are centrist, not from the far left or the far right. It seems to me that none of the Dem's candates are centrist, but are left leaning. At least, one of the GOP candates, Rudy, is at least a bit in the middle.

The left's ideas do not work, look at France, they elect a conservative. Most of the EU economy is in sad shape. Why do you want to return to the Carter years with high unemployment, high interest rates, high inflation, high taxes and slow economic growth?

EddyPo said...

To Anonymous:

Thats funny. For an "independent" you sound a lot like a rightie. You sure do have there talking points down. That 'R' you checked on your voter registration means you are a Republican. Just thought you might like to know that.

Anonymous said...

To eddypo:

They may be the righties talking points but its the truth. Why are they wrong? Increased spending and higher taxes are not the answer. The Government needs to be smarter and more efficient, with our tax money. For example, one can throw all the money on education or poverty, but that will not make those situations better. Why is it that the Federal Goverment took in more money in tax receipts this year than in any previous year? When tax rates are low, the economy grows, and the Goverment receives more money. When tax rates are high, the economy slows. The problem is that when Congress cut the tax rates, they spent money like crazy, they were not fiscally responsible. I believe that most of the Democrats that won in 2006, were mostly conservative democrats or at least fically conservative democrats, at least on the Federal level. I am not sure who I will vote for, but if Bill Richardson can win the Democratic primary, I will vote for him.

I agree with most people on the left that the US needs to be more diplomatic with our enemies other than just using military. I also agree, that the Goverment should play a role in helping people in need. However, I do not believe in entitlement.

Mike Plaisted said...


I use the phrase "wing-nut" to describe those in the right-wing echo chamber -- talk-radio, bloggers and others who pretend to be impartial observers, yet manage to parrot GOP talking points day after day after day. "Wing", because they are right-wing; "-nuts", because they are irrationally slavish in their devotion to 1) making excuses for Bush and 2) trying to impugn the integrity of anyone who disagrees with them. Nuts -- how else do you describe someone who continues to support the tragic Bush debacle in Iraq ?

As for your charactorization of the Democrats, you appear to have fallen into the trap of buying what the wing-nuts are selling. Except for universal health care -- aside from Iraq, the number one concern of Americans -- I am unaware of any new government programs being pushed by the major candidates. The primary job of anyone coming in after the Bush years will be to kick out the cronies and revive the necessary government programs we already have that have been decimated by neglect and corruption throughout the bureaucracy.

As for taxes, yes, the Dems are for eliminating some (but not all)tax breaks for the rich that the Republicans gave (and then cynically sunsetted). I don't know where you get your $200K figure, but I don't think anyone considers that the threshhold.

In any event, you can believe what you want to believe. Guiliani is so lame and conflicted, he would be in the middle of the pack in the Democratic field -- way behind Clinton, Obama and Edwards. He is at the front of the Republican field because there is no one else of substance there. My guess is that the GOP will eventually go for someone like Junior Bush, the pliable empty suit -- Romney certainly seems willing to do or say anything to get support.

They better get their act together soon. There has to be somebody with an "R" next to their name in the history books when the story of the Democratic Landslide of 2008 is told.

Anonymous said...

Mike, I would not count your chickens before they hatch. I remember in 1974 (I think that was the year), when everyone thought that Goldwater was going to run away with everything, look what happened with that.

As for Universal Health Care, I do not think the American people are truly aware of what that would entail. Long lines, rashing of care. Their already is a doctor shortage now, especially in outlaying areas, why on earth would a doctor go into medicine with universal healthcare. Their pay will be cut dramatically. A have many friends that our health care providers, doctors and nurses, and they all say that universal heatlh care will NEVER work in the county. Universal Health Care is like TABOR to the Republican. I see you are a lawyer, would you want to Goverment telling you how much you can charge a client? I think that most Doctors are against universal health care. Why do you want Government incharge of healthcare. Look who ran the V.A.

Patrick said...

Mike is down with all the lefty talking points. Answer this question: What's the difference between a wanna-be terrorist and a real one?

Answer: dead or wounded Americans. Mike doesn't care about that. His whole world view is based around the idea that bush is satan. When the next terrorist attack comes, he'll blame it on bush then call for the elimination of the patriot act because it didn't work. Wouldn't it be nice to live in that little bubble?

One last thing. Although I've read a lot on this sight about how great WNOV is, I missed the post criticizing MC Gee for his comments about Sykes. So much for dignity. I'm sure that if the tables had been turned, Mike would have let that pass too. Don't worry, though, cause he always has truth on his side:)

Mike Plaisted said...

Ay yay yay....

The difference between a real and a wanna-bee terroist is one is a danger and the other is a joke. Find me a real terrorist anywhere in the U.S. and then let's talk.

I have never said anything about WNOV, much less how great it is. McGee's a fool. Now, what was the question?

Anonymous said...

OMG, it must be Mickey, now banned from B&S . . . by his second post, he starts with the capital letters again.

Glad this blog is back. Missed you!

Anonymous said...

for an independent you sound like a righty..really well for a righty you act like a independent. check this link Indies, righties, lefties its all the same

will andrew said...

"Increased spending and higher taxes are not the answer. The Government needs to be smarter and more efficient, with our tax money. For example, one can throw all the money on education or poverty, but that will not make those situations better."

$100 billion to continue the occupation of Iraq? I agree...spending more isn't going to help.