Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Miami Seven: The gang that couldn’t shoot straight. A Major Terror Ring Or 'Al Qaeda Lite'?

Imagine, if you can, you’re President of the United States. You’re the only president in the history of the country to be appointed, rather than elected. Then, 9/11 happens on your watch! Now, you have to perform. With characteristic schoolboy bravado, you naively proclaim, “bring it on.”

You stake your entire presidency on the invasion of two countries. After all, you do command the strongest military in the history of the world. You can’t miss, right? You foolishly proclaim, “Mission accomplished,” before the last shot is fired. But, your tough talk and braggart ways leads to bloodshed with no end in sight.

Then, you’re caught spying on American citizens and coaxing major corporations into selling you personal data on private individuals. You’re caught searching international business records of Americans.

Couple international blunder after blunder with a soaring federal deficit, employment numbers that aren’t great, and a Misery Index that’s rising. Your job approval numbers are low and getting lower. Respected journalists consider you the worst president in the history the country. And, mid-term Congressional elections loom.

Ah, there’s the rub: mid-term Congressional elections.

If your party loses the House and the Senate, you’ll likely be the first president in the history of the country to be impeached and convicted. So what do you do to salvage your presidency? How do you avoid accountability?

When you’re the most powerful man in the world, you use that power to create conditions that save your presidency and keep your party in power. You do what’s always done. Find a scapegoat – a patsy – a Quasimodo.

Every generation has an anti-hero who can rejuvenate a political base and salvage control. In the 20s, it was Sacco and Vanzetti. In the 50s, it was Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. In the 60s, it was the Chicago Seven. Ah that’s it! Numbers and traitors… traitors and number…oh my!

Why not a “Miami Seven”? It’ll work. It has to work.

So under the direction of Alberto Gonzales and the FBI, seven men - Narseal Batiste, Patrick Abraham, Stanley Grant Phanor, Naudimar Herrera, Burson Augustin, Lyblenson Lemorin and Rothschild Augustine – from a Miami shantytown were arrested and charged with domestic terrorism.

But, something just doesn’t add up.

First, there’s the perennial "Jeb Bush-George Bush" connection. You know Florida, the rigged election of 2000, the 9/11 terrorist connections, etc. Is it a matter of chance or design that the seven men accused of being Al Qaeda operatives were exposed by FBI undercover agents in a state riddled with questionable activity on behalf of President Bush and controlled by Jeb Bush, Florida’s Governor and the President’s brother?

Next, there’s the accusation that the Sears Towers in Chicago, which is thousands of miles away, was the target.

And then, there’s the Justice Department’s characterization of the Miami Seven. "This group was more aspirational than operational," FBI Deputy Director John Pistole said. What does “more aspirational than operational” mean? Those close to the operation called the Miami Seven "bungling wannabes."

Bungling wannabes? Is that another way of saying the Miami Seven are little more than contemporary Walter Mittys, “Al Qaeda Lite,” or simply “the gang that couldn’t shoot straight”?

The Miami Seven are accused of trying to raise an army. And yet, spokesman for the US attorney's office said, "We are confident that we have identified every individual who had the intent of posing a threat to the United States." What about the army they were raising? Where is it?

Ah, but something is rotten in Miami. The Bush administration insisted the November midterm congressional elections didn’t motivate the arrest. Or, did it? Read: Major Terror Ring Or 'Al Qaeda Lite'? Andrew Cohen Is Skeptical About Arrests In Miami Terror Plot

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