27 June 2006

So Many Potential Titles...

... for this post: Weapons of Mass Distraction. Nope, overused. Monkey See, Monkey Do. Nah, too obscure. Hallowe'en Comes Early This Year. Maybe, but that only refers to the last half minute of the clip. A probe! A probe! My kingdom (such as it is) for a probe!

Looks Simple

Ah yes, that works on so many levels. (Exercise for the reader is to identify the many levels.) Magicians Penn and Teller have a great routine called, "Looks Simple," in which Teller apparently lights a cigarette, takes a puff, and discards it, all to illustrate the seven principles of magic: Palm, Switch, Simulation, Misdirection, Load, Steal, and Ditch. That sort of describes the goings on in the Excited States of America lately, with the recent arrest of seven suspects in Miami, allegedly for a plot to maybe blow something up, perhaps in Chicago, perhaps in Miami, without weapons or explosives of any kind. They were reported to be Black Muslims, who, as it turns out, "train with the Bible" (the Christian flavour), whose only contact with the Al Qaeda terrorist movement was via the FBI inflitrator who posed as a member of the Al Qaeda terrorist movement. The Daily Show treatment of the news conference hosted by U.S. Attorney General (although he should be busted down to at least Attorney Captain for this one) Alberto Gonzoles is priceless (wmv and qt via Crooks and Liars, The Daily Show's own site should have it up in a day or two). Watch for Stewart's rhetorical question ("So what harm does it [meaning the arrest and news conference] do?") being answered right at the end of the clip.

Precisely. With the Aministration's popularity, not to mention general credibility among even the Republican-controlled Congress, in a downward spiral, what better way to improve the chances with the Congressional mid-term elections looming than through "Palm, Switch, Simulation, Misdirection, Load, Steal, and Ditch." The current exercise in simulation and misdirection is even more important now, as it broke the day that it was (under)reported that the dead bodies of two U.S. servicemen killed south of Baghdad were used as the now-ubiquitous improvised explosive devices (identification could only be done with the DNA that could be collected). "Load" the 24-hour news cycle with supposed terror arrests, to misdirect attention from the news that, once again, the Administration seems to be violating the Fourth Amendment (against unlawful search and seizure) by accessing banking records without a warrant, and by initiating a call for repealing the First Amendment (specifically freedom of the press) by now insisting that the government should be allowed to restrict what is reported by the press, if it will embarrass the government (hello, "treasonous" New York Times).

Here in Canada, the situation is a little different. Our alleged terrorists actually attempted to purchase ammonium nitrate. They even had a computer, a cell phone, a barbecue and barbecue tongs! While some cynics might say that the U.S. is merely trying to keep up with Canada in the Great Home-Grown Terrorist Hunt, I, for one, am much more cynical than that!

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