Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Mainstream media finally calls Bush on winger ("domestic") terror 

And not only that, they mention the ever excellent and essential Orcinus! Scott Gold of the LA Times reports:

Starting with a single piece of mail, investigators discovered an enormous cache of weapons in Noonday, in East Texas, including the makings of a sophisticated sodium cyanide bomb capable of killing thousands of people.

Three people: William Krar, a small-time arms dealer with connections to white supremacists; Krar's common-law wife, Judith L. Bruey; and Edward S. Feltus, the man who was supposed to have received the forged documents pleaded guilty in the case in November. They are being held in a Tyler, Texas, detention facility and are scheduled to appear before a federal judge for sentencing next month.

Ah! Members of Bush's base!

But what is typically the end of a criminal case may be only the beginning in this one. Some government investigators believe other conspirators may be on the loose. And they readily acknowledge that they have no idea what the stash of weapons was for — though they have tantalizing and alarming clues of a "covert operation or plan," according to an FBI affidavit.

Good, I'm glad we caught these guys. Too bad Bush got us bogged down in Iraq and missed out on OBL, but these guys sound at least as dangerous. Not that we'd expect to hear about that from the malAdminstration.

if the defendants in this case had been people with foreign backgrounds or Muslims, U.S. Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft himself would have announced the arrests and the guilty pleas.

No shit, Sherlock!

Instead, details of the case were revealed in a half-page press release sent to local media. Officials say the case was at one point included in President Bush's daily security briefings, but it remains virtually unknown outside East Texas — even though, critics point out, it represents an instance in which federal authorities discovered a weapon of mass destruction.

Much of the criticism has come on Internet Web logs, known as "blogs." People who operate the websites, or "bloggers," have seized on the Krar case and what they perceive as the inattention it received from the Bush administration and major media.

The fault, critics say, lies not with law enforcement officers, whom they believe prevented a deadly plot from developing. Instead, they say, the fault lies with an administration that adheres too closely to a script.

"If anyone wanted evidence that the 'war on terror' is primarily a political marketing campaign” in which war itself is mostly a device for garnering support” they need look no further than the startling non-response to domestic terrorism by the Bush Administration," one blog, called Orcinus, said recently.

Robert Jensen, an associate professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas in Austin and director of the College of Communication's honors program, agrees with the criticism. He says that the Bush administration, to promote its efforts overseas, "needs a public that is afraid and sees these wars as justified."

"The primary justification is a fear of people 'out there' who want to come here and get us," he said. "Arrests of foreigners are very effective arrests to publicize. It has a political function. Domestic terrorism may be, in some ways, more of a threat. But there is no reason to publicize it. It doesn't have any political benefit."

Federal officials disagreed ...

"No political benefit" unless you happen to be a liberal, of course. But then Bush isn't really trying to protect all Americans—just his base.

I've always thought that the Republicans left the winger terrorists alone because they figure they might need them as shock troops one day. "Don't worry, we can control them."

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