Thursday, November 18, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

From me@OTB: Click.

Filed under: OTB,Terrorism,US Politics | Comments Off|
Tuesday, August 31, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Earlier today, ABC News reported what might have been a “dry run” for a terror plot:  ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE: Two Men on United Flight from Chicago Arrested on ‘Preparation of a Terrorist Attack’ in Amsterdam.

It now looks like it may have all been a mistake.  From me @OTB:  Terrorism False Alarm?

A bit of trivia worth noting, given my state of residence:  one of the men in question started his day in Tuscaloosa, AL and flew the first leg of his flight from Birmingham.

Filed under: Alabama Politics,OTB,Terrorism,US Politics | Comments Off|
Tuesday, July 13, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Well, no.

From me at OTB:

Friday, May 7, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

I discuss Joe Lieberman’s new idea over at OTB.

Filed under: Criminal Justice,Terrorism,US Politics | Comments Off|
Thursday, May 6, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Stephen Bainbridge:

It seems increasingly clear that TSA’s onerous, invasive, time-consuming, and hugely expensive airport security procedures are little more than theater. How else do you explain the fact that you and I practically have to strip to get on board a plane, but Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad not only managed to get on to an Emirates flight to Dubai but that the flight had begun to taxi for takeoff before somebody in Customs called the plane back to the gate?


More on Shahzad and the TSA here:  Shahzad on Terror Watch List Since 1999?!

Filed under: Terrorism,US Politics | Comments Off|
Tuesday, May 4, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

The Hill reports:  McCain: ‘Serious mistake’ if car bombing suspect was Mirandized

"Obviously that would be a serious mistake…at least until we find out as much information we have," McCain said during an appearance on "Imus in the Morning" when asked whether the suspect, 30-year-old Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized American citizen from Pakistan.

"Don’t give this guy his Miranda rights until we find out what it’s all about," McCain added.

This, without a doubt, ludicrous.  Regardless of anything else, Shahzad is an American citizen arrested on American soil for a crime committed within the borders of the United States.   If such a person doesn’t deserve constitutional protections, I don’t know who would.  Really, this as clear-cut as it gets.  Understanding that it is quite likely that Shahzad is guilty of the crime for which he has been arrested, do I really have to remind a US Senator that there is a presumption of innocence in the US criminal justice system?  It is foundational to our criminal justice system.  Indeed, even if one is caught in the act of committing a crime, one still has legal rights and is assumed to be innocent until the state can make its case in court.  Granted, if one was caught red-handed, then making the case shouldn’t be too difficult.

The whole point of the various rights under the Miranda umbrella (the right to remain silent or to have an attorney) is to put a check on the power of the government.  Further, we have a court process for a reason—we do not want the police to act as judge, jury and executioner (i.e., determining guilt on the spot).  If we are going to have any kind of serious discussion of “small” or" “limited” government it has to start with the coercive powers of the state. 

And, it is worth noting, the authorities do make mistakes.  Does the name Richard Jewell ring a bell?

It seems the McCain’s re-nomination fight is getting to him.

More, along with a long list of reactions, from James Joyner at OTB who also notes that Representative Peter King (R-NY) expressed sentiments along the same line as McCain.

By Steven L. Taylor

Jeffrey Goldberg writing at The Atlantic:

1.  I am struck by the fact that he is a naturalized American citizen, not a recent or temporary visitor. This suggests that either he was a long-term sleeper agent (unlikely, for various reasons) or that he became over time immune to the charms of life in America, even Barack Obama’s America. Another unhopeful sign for the future of integration.

Yes, of course:  one can extrapolate from one individual.  Not only is the snark about “Barack Obama’s America” rather out of place given the topic under discussion (not everything has to be about cheap political points, for crying out loud) but the notion that one individual person can tell anything about “the future of integration” is an utterly ridiculous observation.

Given that one could readily produce hundreds of thousands (and over time, millions) of persons who have integrated into the US quite nicely, I think the evidence is such that we can remain quite hopeful about the future of integration.

Goldberg, however, is a fan of the single data point equaling proof of his personal hypotheses.  In the same post he wrote:

3.  This is a guess, but I don’t think that Faisal Shahzad, if he is indeed a terrorist,  was radicalized solely by the construction in East Jerusalem of apartment buildings for Jews. This suggests the limited relevance of the "linkage" argument.

Without getting into any discussion of linkage arguments, again:  we are talking about a single data point.  At least he allows that he is guessing.

By Steven L. Taylor

James Fallows has an essay posted at The Atlantic that is is worth a read:  If the TSA Were Running New York.

After some tongue-in-cheek (although rather accurate) speculation about the TSA and the NY City attempted car bombing, he reminds us of the following:

The point of terrorism is not to "destroy." It is to terrify. And for eight and a half years now, the dominant federal government response to terrorist threats and attacks has been to magnify their harm by increasing a mood of fear and intimidation.

The piece also notes the following from Fareed Zakaria:

"The purpose of terrorism is to provoke an overreaction. Its real aim is not to kill the hundreds of people directly targeted but to sow fear in the rest of the population. Terrorism is an unusual military tactic in that it depends on the response of the onlookers. If we are not terrorized, then the attack didn’t work."

Indeed.  Those who treat all of this as an existential threat to the United States/the West seem to forget all of this (and, indeed, play right into the goals of the terrorists).

Filed under: Terrorism,US Politics | Comments Off|

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