Sunday, June 25, 2006  

More on the Miami 7

Andrew Cohen, legal analyst for CBS, has an interesting take on the "plot that probably wasn't." He is not against preventative surveillance exactly, but here is what he has to say:
The federal indictment Friday of seven Miami men is extraordinary for what it does not contain. It does not contain allegations that the men ever met with a genuine al Qaeda operative — just an informant playing the role for the government. It does not contain allegations that the men ever purchased any munitions or went anywhere near Chicago to case the building. It does not contain allegations that the men had any sort of a specific plan or detailed plot to take down the Sears Tower. The indictment is only 11 pages long. Read it yourself and decide whether the feds have broken up al Qaeda Lite or just the Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight.

What does the indictment say? It says that the men said they wanted to do harm to America. It says that they asked the "al Qaeda representative" (which, quotation marks and all, is how the indictment refers to the guy who infiltrated the group and then ratted them out) for "materials and equipment" needed in order to wage jihad, including "radios, binoculars, bullet proof vests, firearms, vehicles, and $50,000 cash." It says the men asked for and obtained from the al Qaeda representative "military boots" and a "digital video camera" as part of their training, preparation and reconnaissance. You read that correctly. We have a highly touted federal terrorism indictment based in part on the transfer of boots from an informant to a group of suspects.

You might want to read the rest

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