L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 178, June 17, 2002
(GADSDEN) FLAG DAY
Special to TLE
In its latest attempt to keep the sheeple of the United States on edge and under control, we're being told a fine tale by the federales. Supposedly a former Chicago gang-banger has received training from SPECTRE, oops I mean Al Qaeda, in nuclear weapons technology, to wit construction and deployment of a so called "dirty bomb."
This current flap concerns New York-born Jose Padilla, 31. who now styles himself Abdullah al Muhajir. Padilla was arrested more than a month ago upon re-entry into the US from points abroad, supposedly Zurich by way of Pakistan.
"We have captured a known terrorist who was exploring a plan to build and explode a radiological dispersion device, or `dirty bomb,' in the United States," Attorney General John Ashcroft thundered in a televised announcement from Moscow where he was meeting with Russian officials.
Dirty bombs result when you take radioactive material and use it as the core of a conventional bomb. The theory is that the resulting explosion will scatter the radioactive core causing contamination. Note I said "theory." Some experts doubt the efficacy of such a weapon and as far as I know, they've never been used, unless you count the depleted uranium artillery shells deployed by the United States and its allies against whatever nation we happen to be bombing this week.
Why Ashcroft is in Moscow, I don't know, but it might well be to receive some police state training from past masters, although I think he's doing pretty good without it.
Padilla is being held by the Defense Department as an "enemy combatant," which under the Bush/Ashcroft rules of "justice" allows him to be held indefinitely and questioned without an attorney present. Which happens to be a clear violation of the 6th Amendment of the Constitution, not that it matters any more, except perhaps to historians.
It's being claimed that Padilla used the dreaded Internet to research radiological devices, while staying a Qaeda safe house in Lahore, Pakistan.
American intelligence officials have sheepishly admitted that the supposed plot was still in its "initial planning stages" and there was also no evidence that Padilla or any other al Qaeda operatives had actually obtained any radiological material or other materials needed to construct a dirty bomb.
Padilla may or may not be guilty - who knows? At any rate, it seems that despite being a native American citizen he may not get the chance of defending himself in a court with legal representation, before a jury of his peers. And please, it's good to keep in mind that the next victim could be you. It's obviously not a good time to be planning any international trips, especially if you're planning to come back.
The real issue, which as usual hasn't been addressed by the mass media, is the fact that Padilla has been in custody for a month and we are just now being informed of his role as a mastermind of international terrorism and a putative expert in nuclear technology.
Why the delay? A month ago they didn't need a headline.
Quite simply, we're being subjected to a scare-a-day by our masters in DC so they can attempt to justify the conversion of our Republic into a police state; rest assured that as soon as the Padilla flap leaves the front pages they'll have a new exploit to trumpet and after that another, then another, ad nauseum.
It's nothing but a scare scam, custom designed to camouflage a naked power-grab by the federal government. The pity is that it seems to be working.
Thus far, we've been endlessly bombarded with mindless color-coded alerts, warnings about mysterious Arabic skin-divers, plots to flood the nation's subways with cyanide or sarin, missing Russian tactical nukes and now gang-bangers with dirty bombs. Next week I suppose we can expect some hot news regarding bin Laden making an alliance with the Crips and Bloods, al Queda's newest home-grown fifth column in South LA.
But, as I said it seems to be working, so expect the campaign to continue unabated. According to a new ABC News poll, seven out of ten Americans support President Bush's plan to create a new American Gestapo, as well as allowing the FBI to spy on our churches, conduct searches without warrants and generally pry into our personal lives.
It's said that people get the government they deserve. If that old saw is true, God help us.