"Radical Islam" may be less of a threat than Leviathan pretends if its devotees are too squeamish to knock off a meddlesome mother-in-law.
Yet the Warriors present inept, ineffectual kids like Chesser as the Homeland's latest bugaboo - "the boy next door" whose alleged terrorism stuns his friends and neighbors: "I am so shocked. ... Zac was a very nice boy. I would never have even associated him with something like this, to do anything harmful."
There have been 34 such bugaboos "in the past 18 months," Americans who are "accused of and charged with having ties to international terrorists." Pick one at random and sift the Feds' dirt on him: you'll find that the case turns to sand once you're past the headlines. The Warriors have shamelessly entrapped some of their hobgoblins, especially when they spot a slow-witted young man on whom they can prey; they indict others with gossip and innuendo - and they can't even bother to obtain those legally, with a search warrant. When hearsay and implications don't extort a false confession, our brave Warriors threaten their victim's mother. These tactics have pretty much replaced the evidence courts required back when America was free. Had we time, patience, and stomach enough to wade through the government's baloney against each of the other "homegrown terrorists," we'd no doubt confirm that they're travesties, too.
Zac-the-Boy-Next Door proves the point. He's either a fool or a liar and probably both: he claimed he "didn't support acts of terrorism or violence" even as he tried to enlist with Somalia's violent terrorists. Fools and liars are despicable, certainly, but generally we send them to Congress, not prison.
Zac seems to have first endeared himself to our rulers by exercising his freedom of speech and of the press. The FBI descended on him in 2008, apparently because he "owned and operated" Islamic websites — and he was daft enough to babble on and on about his religious beliefs, if we believe the FBI's affidavit [NB: the FBI lies about everything, all the time]. When will we serfs learn never to talk to the State's minions, no matter what? Zac's verbal diarrhea earned him "court-ordered electronic surveillance."
He attracted more attention in April, this time from fans of Comedy Central's "South Park" when the animated series dressed the Prophet Mohammed in a bear costume. Zac zealously defended his faith: "We have to warn Matt [Stone] and Trey [Parker, writers for ‘South Park'] that what they are doing is stupid, and they will probably wind up like Theo van Gogh for airing this show [the Dutch filmmaker who offended Moslems with one of his offerings and was assassinated]. This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them."
Zac published this on the net and enjoyed his fifteen minutes of fame when Comedy Central bowed to the un-threat and edited the episode. That had the ignorant twittering that "this whole situation is both a step forward and step back for the freedom of speech..." But it was no such thing: government wasn't involved (or wasn't any more involved than usual with the corporate media). A purveyor of content who pays folks to create that content is free to alter or completely reject it, and if the creators aren't happy with this treatment, they seek other clients.
Astoundingly, given America's free-fall to tyranny, the Warriors didn't arrest Zac then. In fact, the FBI's affidavit doesn't even mention "South Park."
Rather, they took him into custody because, after trying to fly to Somalia last November (and failing thanks to his larcenous mother-in-law), he tried again on July 10. The FBI dignifies this as "knowingly attempt[ing] to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization, namely, Al- Shabaab."
We need not accept the mendacious FBI's assessment of Al-Shabaab: it is indeed a "terrorist organization" whose criminals murdered 74 fans watching the World Cup on TV by bombing a restaurant and a rugby club in Uganda earlier this month. But if our definition for "terrorist organization" depends on murdered civilians, Al Shabaab's thugs are mere pikers compared to the US government: its army massacred over 500 villagers at My Lai, Vietnam, in 1968; two of its bureaucracies slaughtered a woman and her 14-year-old son at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992 as well as "more than 80" Americans at Waco, Texas in 1993; its air strikes on Farah Province, Afghanistan, last May butchered "more than 100 civilians" — and these are just a few of its more recent atrocities. So it's a bold and brassy move when "the U.S. Department of State describe[s] Al-Shabaab as a violent and brutal extremist group with a number of individuals affiliated with Al-Qa'ida." Talk about the pot's calling the kettle black!
Behind the Feds' smug and staggering hypocrisy lie the usual politics: "Uganda, a key U.S. ally [sic for ‘bows to the US's hegemony'], is also a training ground for soldiers for Somalia's transitional government, which al-Shabab is seeking to overthrow. The training program is backed by the United States and European nations. The United States officially considers al-Shabab a terrorist organization [sic for ‘defies the US's hegemony']."
Meanwhile, one government's "terrorist organization" is the oppressed man's freedom fighter: Al-Shabaab's "top leader, Mukhtar Abdurahman Abu Zubeyr, accused African Union peacekeeping forces in Mogadishu of committing ‘massacres' against Somalis. Ugandan and Burundian troops make up the peacekeeping force. Abu Zubeyr warned that his forces would take revenge against the peoples of Uganda and Burundi."
These are the cutthroats Zac wants to join. That makes him stupid and unconscionable, yes - but is he any more so than those who volunteer to work for government? Besides, Zac's "violent and brutal" heroes will either make short work of him (Zac actually burbled to the FBI that "the foreign fighters are some of the most respected members of Al-Shabaab, and ... are put on the front lines of the battlefield..." Geez, but this modern Uriah the Hittite is dumb as a rock) or he'll scuttle back to America with a new appreciation for central air, three squares a day, and Wal-Marts. Call me crazy, but I don't see how either outcome endangers the "security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States."
Who's nuttier, Zac the Wannabe Al-Shabaabi or the Feds with their contention that this dangerously naïve guy — who chatters away to the FBI, for Pete's sake — threatens anything but himself? (And his baby, whom he planned to take with him on the flight from New York for "'cover'"; U.S. Magistrate Judge Ivan Davis considers "Chesser's willingness to bring his infant son to war-torn Somalia" not only "'the most significant' public safety concern" but an excuse for condemning yet another innocent to the State's tender mercies: "If he's not going to look out for his 7-month-old child," Davis announced, "then the court is required to do so").
No matter. Zac and the other 33 patsies serve an indispensable function in the War on Terror: they justify it. The liberty and the billions upon billions of taxes politicians have stolen from us, the lives they've snuffed overseas, the shepherds and shopkeepers they've kidnapped and tortured — the Feds justify all of it, or so they assume, when they parade a "terrorist" in handcuffs for the cameras. Bonus points if he's "homegrown": native bad guys, or at least those outside elected office, scare the Homeland sillier than distant ones do ("Good Lord, what if that nice boy next door, the one I would never suspect, I was gonna pay him to mow my lawn, in fact... Thank God the government's out there protecting us! They need to crack down on all these Moslems and immigrants and websites and everything").
Zak's arrest couldn't have happened more propitiously for our rulers — just in time to blunt the Washington Post's publication of its damning "Top Secret America." Predictably the FBI exploited Zac's capture to urge us yet again to rat each other out: "'We can't fight terrorists alone,' said [Shawn Henry, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office]. ‘Religious leaders of all faiths, family members and particularly the younger members of our communities need to speak up and speak out against individuals who participate in actions like those alleged here.'"
Yet "individuals" who insist that the US bring its troops and spooks home uphold the Constitution's principles - in stark and tragic contrast to the Warriors condemning them: "I seek to help the world understand," Zac wrote, "that ... peace come [sic] with the following conditions: a complete withdrawal of non-Muslim forces from Muslim lands, an ending of the propping up of the apartheid regime of Israel, and a ceasing of the propping up of the brutal dictators we currently have who refuse to rule by divine law. ... 9/11 had nothing to with freedom or democracy. It had to do with the murder of hundreds of thousands of Muslims around the world by American and other powers."
Compare that clarity and truth with this propaganda from Neil MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia: "This case exposes the disturbing reality that extreme radicalization can happen anywhere, including northern Virginia."
Jefferson would agree.
Becky Akers, an expert on the American Revolution, writes frequently about issues related to security and privacy. Her articles and columns have been published by Lewrockwell.com, The Freeman, Military History Magazine, American History Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Post, and other publications.