The Justice Department has a terrible track record of exaggeration when it comes to claiming that they’ve uncovered terrorist cells in the US. As the Carpetbagger reminds us,
By any reasonable measure, the Bush administration’s track record on exposing dangerous terrorist plots isn’t terribly impressive. When Abu Zubaydah was captured in Pakistan in March 2002, the president described him as al Queda’s chief of operations and emphasized the significance of his capture. Bush was wrong. The plot to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge wasn’t quite what it was cracked up to be. Jose Padilla was not actually prepared to detonate a dirty bomb in DC. Former Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge eventually conceded that flimsy evidence led the administration to raise the threat level in 2004.
And then there’s the reconstruction from Unqualified Offerings, Money for Nothing,
Wild speculation: You don’t suppose the Seas of David Cell was just trying to scam their “al-Qaeda contact” (FBI informant) out of a lot of cool shit, do you? Reading the indictment (pdf) is suggestive.
Have you noticed that if explosives appeared on either wish list, the indictment hasn’t considered it worth mentioning? Have you noticed that $50,000 is a lot of money, vehicles you can drive and that you could probably find buyers for bullet proof vests and firearms in Liberty City without too much trouble?
They weren’t Muslims. They weren’t al-Qaeda. Could they just have been (incompetent) scam artists?
Back to the Carpetbagger (although there’s lots more in both posts for anyone interested in the case),
Just to be clear, I’m not saying that the capture of these lunatics is trivial. These people clearly wanted to kill innocent people and commit domestic terrorist attacks. Intelligence officials deserve kudos for infiltrating the group and stopping these would-be terrorists before they became dangerous.
That said, anyone who claims that the administration just broke up a plot to attack the Sears Tower is overstating what’s occurred here. The “Miami 7” could hardly attack a convenience store.
Moreover, this seems to be a pattern with the Bush gang. There’s a major announcement that receives blanket coverage about terrorist plots — which turns out to be far less significant than advertised. Dick Cheney said yesterday that this cult in Miami was “a very real threat.” Except, after scratching beneath the surface just a little, there’s ample reason to believe that’s not the case.