Were all (Paranoid, Imbalanced) Homeland Security Agents now
If youre interested in viewing the results of mixing sickly paranoia with abject stupidity -- or if you want to catch a glimpse of what our country will look like once the most rabid Bush followers have full reign over it -- I highly recommend this genuinely disturbing post from Michelle Malkin. Michelle thinks that she has an important expose of a just-uncovered dastardly terrorist plot by the throngs of Middle Eastern sleeper cells inside our country. The plot she uncovered calls for The Terrorists to purchase disposable cell phones from Walmart -- all in order to evade President Bushs illegal eavesdropping program which was traitorously disclosed by the New York Times.
In her post, creepily entitled "We Are All Homeland Security Agents Now," Michelle angrily spins a tale of domestic subversion and high-tech plotting against the U.S. that is based on nothing more than this:
Picture this: You're a retail store clerk. It's the busy Christmas season. A half-dozen men of Middle Eastern/South Asian descent walk into the store. They want to buy between 60-150 disposable cell phones--you know, the kind that can't be traced. The kind that have been used by terrorists as detonators.
Thats what happened in Midland, Texas. Some Middle Eastern guys wanted to purchase 60 disposable cell phones at Walmart. Not TNT. Not subatomic machine guns. Not even box cutters. Just cell phones the pre-paid disposable kind which people with bad credit have to buy because they cant get cell phone accounts in their name.
This frightening development led one of the clerks, undoubtedly a Michelle Malkin reader, to immediately call the Police to report this "suspicious activity." The Midland Police Department and the FBI then detained the cell phone buyers, and one of the local officers included this paragraph in his preliminary internal report, which ended up being leaked to ABC News:
"Upon the arrival of special agents, and as a result of subsequent interviews, it was discovered that members of the group were linked to suspected terrorist cells stationed within the Metroplex."
And just like that - presto! - a secret, deadly plot by one of the thousands of local al Qaeda cells lurking in every community in our country had been uncovered, proving yet again that unparalleled dangers to our family and kids lurk behind every corner even at the Midland Walmart. This goes to show why we are no longer just American citizens. Instead: "We Are All Homeland Security Agents Now."
Once this plot was trumpeted by Michelle, a torrent of rabid bloggers came forward to declare that it proves that the New York Times committed treason when it disclosed the Administrations illegal eavesdropping. Michelle lovingly quoted one of her disciples:
"If you ever needed evidence you are a Benedict Arnold this is it. And if we do get attacked because of these adjustments by terrorists - you [James Risen] and the NY Times will have the blood of innocents on your hands."
And then she pointed us to this bit of righteous upper-case rage:
"ALL of these large sales came RIGHT AFTER the NYTIMES NSA leak (12/15/05). Though this is circumstantial, it is HIGHLY SUGGESTIVE that the leak alerted the sleeper cells HERE (and perhaps elsewhere), and that they are adapting their SOP's as a result; thus, they are making it tougher for us to prevent an attack."
John of Powerline, never one to be left out of a drooling orgy of paranoia and Bush worship, warned that if this evil cell phone plot was a response to the Times story, then "the Times will have a lot to answer for."
This was all brilliant reporting on Michelles part, except for the fact that the whole thing was untrue, nothing more than the rancid fantasies of people who have listened late at night to one too many Dick Cheney speeches about the evildoers lurking among us:
According to Bill Vanderland, agent in charge of Midland's FBI office, no laws were broken when a group of men attempted to purchase a large number of cell phones from the Wal-Mart in the 200 block of Interstate 20 Dec. 18. . . .
Vanderland said Thursday after the ABC report aired that assertions of a connection between a terror cell and the men who attempted to purchase cell phones from a Midland Wal-Mart were invalid.
"There is no known link or demonstrated link or any other kind of link at this point between the people here and any terror cell," he said."
The hysteria unleashed here is as stupid as it is disturbing. What does it even mean to say that the plotting cell phone buyers were linked to "suspected terrorist cells stationed within the Metroplex." Is the Midland Police Department really aware of "terrorist cells stationed within the Metoplex?" If so, wouldnt they be arresting them?
And the whole wretched episode was spawned by that recurring, inane fiction that The Terrorists did not know that we were trying to eavesdrop on their conversations until the Times exposed President Bushs illegal wiretap program. Now that terrorists realize that we want to eavesdrop, these super-sophisticated, world-threatening masterminds have turned to a brand new, highly complex technology called "disposable cell phones from Walmart"-- which they are now brilliantly using to thwart our surveillance. The same people who are so diabolical that they threaten our very existence as a nation are simultaneously too stupid and unsophisticated to realize, until they read it in the Times, that we were trying to listen in on their conversations.
George Bush and his followers have whipped up this paranoia and hysteria quite deliberately. And as his popularity ratings decline and the 2006 elections approach, the Administration, like a drug addict needing greater and greater doses to satisfy the urge, will ramp up this fear-mongering more and more. We are by no means at the peak of this syndrome, but only half way or so up the mountain.
--Posted by Glenn Greenwald
tbogg joins in..."Cellphones of Mass destruction"