Friday, June 23, 2006

Sears Tower Plot

By now you've probably heard about the plot to blow up the Sears Tower.

And while exploiting fear is the hallmark of the Bush administration, we should all view this story with some caution.

From today's Miami Herald (which has the best coverage, by the way),
The campaign, which never advanced beyond the discussion stage, would begin with the bombing of the 110-story Sears Tower in Chicago, according to the indictment.

''What we had here were Americans who made plans to hurt other Americans,'' U.S. Attorney General Albert Gonzales said this morning during a news conference in Washington.

The group was infiltrated by a government informant who posed as an al Qaeda representative, and the seven men allegedly pledged an oath to al Qaeda, the indictment said.

They apparently never had any contact with authentic representatives of al Qaeda. They were not able to obtain explosives, federal officials said.

''It was more aspirational than operational,'' John Pistole, the FBI's deputy director, said during the Washington news conference.
So let's keep this in perspective. It wasn't the suspension of civil rights or habeas corpus that broke this case. Law enforcement deserves a big 'pat on the back' for a job well done, because despite the Bushies assertion to the contrary, it is law enforcement who broke this group, just like it was law enforcement that broke the group in Canada. Not the Patriot Act or wire taps, but in both cases, dummies who went to informants.

UPDATE: The New York Times weighs in.

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