Clearly, it’s not the United States I grew up in.
Why Are Citizens Being Locked Up For “Un-American” Thoughts? by Eric Umansky
When Attorney General Alberto Gonzales held a press conference in the summer of 2006 announcing the arrests of seven young men for plotting to bomb Chicago’s Sears Tower, he sounded defensive, his voice lingering a beat on each thing the men allegedly did. “Individuals here in America made plans to hurt Americans,” he claimed. “They did request materials; they did request equipment; they did request funding.” Gonzales admitted that the American and Haitian-born men posed “no immediate threat.” But, he warned, “homegrown terrorists may prove to be as dangerous as groups like Al Qaeda. Our philosophy here is that we try to identify plots in the earliest stages possible, because we don’t know what we don’t know about a terrorism plot.” It’s dangerous, Gonzales added, to make a “case by case” evaluation that “well, ‘this is a really dangerous group’; ‘this is not a really dangerous group.’”[…]
From the beginning, the allegations seemed bizarre. Allegedly led by Narseal Batiste, an underemployed construction worker, the plotters were an oddball group who dubbed themselves Seas of David. Preaching an eclectic mix of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, the seven men were known around their neighborhood of Liberty City, Miami, for practicing martial arts and wearing Stars of David. Mostly unemployed and with few resources, they seemed an unlikely bunch to blow up a landmark 1,200 miles away.
The more details that emerged about the case, the fishier it looked. The charges had come about because of a 23-year-old Yemeni clerk named Abbas al-Saidi, who’d been a police informant since he was 16. The fbi helped bail him out when he was in jail facing charges of assaulting his girlfriend. A year later, Saidi returned the favor, telling the feds he’d met a young man-Narseal Batiste-who boasted of wanting to create an Islamic state in America.
The fbi hired Saidi to cozy up to Batiste and his followers, and sent in another informant (also charged with domestic abuse), Elie Assad, to pose as an Al Qaeda financier named “Mohammed.” Nearly everything Gonzales said the plotters “did” happened at the urging of the two informants, who reportedly earned about $120,000 from the feds for their help. (Assad, originally from Lebanon, was also granted political asylum.) […]
All we need now is a few “Pre-Cogs”, and we can go ahead and make “Minority Report” a reality.