[media id=8377] There sure was an eruption of interest in domestic terrorism in the media yesterday over that case involving the black Muslim men who
May 22, 2009

There sure was an eruption of interest in domestic terrorism in the media yesterday over that case involving the black Muslim men who wanted to bomb synagogues and planes in the Bronx.

However, you'll notice one key detail here:

A federal law enforcement official described the plot as “aspirational” — meaning that the suspects wanted to do something but had no weapons or explosives — and described the operation as a sting with a cooperator within the group.

“It was fully controlled at all times,” a law enforcement official said.

In other words, these guys had neither the means nor the wherewithal to actually pull off any of these attacks. And an FBI informant helped them take action. We'll see if this case withstands the obvious entrapment defense that the men's attorneys are about 99.9% certain to use.

And that word, "aspirational" -- where have we heard that before? Oh yeah.

That was the word U.S. Attorney Troy Eid of Colorado used when he announced his decision not to pursue the case of the white-supremacist tweakers who were caught trying to kill Barack Obama in Denver. He called their plot "more aspirational than operational".

So you have to wonder how authorities -- not to mention the media, particularly right-wing media like Fox News, and particularly right-wing pundits like Laura Ingraham, who wondered out loud why President Obama didn't mention the Bronx case in his speech yesterday regarding terrorists -- would react if the guys who had been caught yesterday had all been white.

Actually, we know already. They'd have completely ignored the case. Just like the Denver case. And just like dozens of others.

Some others of recent vintage, all of which featured elaborate fantasies of destruction akin to our Bronx bombers' plot, and all of which involved white domestic terrorists, all of which were largely ignored by the media:

-- The skinheads arrested in Tennessee for plotting to kill Obama too. Remember their plan?

According to the ATF, Cowart and Schlesselman planned to suit up in white tuxedoes and top hats and then massacre 88 black people, 14 by decapitation, including Obama among their targets.

-- The Alabama militiamen who plotted to go on an anti-Latino killing rampage:

The heavily armed Alabama Free Militia planned to attack a group of Hispanics in Blount County and had orders to open fire immediately if they saw the feds coming, an ATF agent said Tuesday.

-- The far-right "Patriot" who constructed a sodium cyanide bomb capable of killing hundreds.

-- The ex-Army Ranger who planned an anti-abortion killing spree.

Notice one thing about these cases? They were similarly "aspirational," but at the time of the arrests, all of the suspects possessed weapons and/or bomb materiel.

And yet, as in the case in Denver, authorities either refuse to pursue such cases or they downplay them and suggest that the lack of apparent competence is reason to not take them seriously.

Yet when the same circumstances arise with nonwhite perps, we get "terrorism experts" like Bob Strang going on Fox News yesterday and assuring us that, even though these guys weren't competent and had no weapons, we needed to take them verrrrry seriously indeed.

And authorities act accordingly. Remember the "Liberty Seven" case, whose perps were similarly "aspirational"? The federal government not only took them to trial twice, it failed both times, because their "plot" was no better formed than was these men's.

Now, we all just witnessed the spectacle of the Right trying to whitewash away the existence of right-wing extremists through their self-revealing hissy fit over Homeland Security's recent bulletin about right-wing domestic terrorists.

But just remember: When Bob Strang reminds us that FBI has determined that the largest threat to Americans going forward comes from domestic terrorists -- and he's right about that -- by far and away, by an exponential factor, the dominant bloc of domestic terrorists in America are white Americans.

Too bad no one in the media, let alone the wingnutosphere, has figured that out yet.

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.