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« Convenience | Main | Ma Bell reborn »

Mar 06, 2006


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Brenda Bowers

Ed, On the first post you did on this guy you posed a question at the end something like: is this an act of terror or nutjobbery? When I got back there were already upteen comments so I didn't ask you what your answer would be to your question since you disagreed with mine. And, it is usually the case when one asks a rhetorical question they have an answer already.

Ed Cone

I did not have an answer to the question, nutjob or terrorist. It was not rhetorical, and I'm still thinking about it. Sprinkled in among the anti-Muslim comments were a couple of thoughtful attempts at answering it. Not sure it is the most important thing in this story.


We've been discussing this over at OrangePolitics. I stumbled on the scene about 10 minutes after the incident.

Here's the 911 tape.


Terrorist or nutjobbery? Part of the confusion might stem from the way the term terrorist has been misappropriated. At various times over the past few years "terrorist" has included the people of Iraq, peace activists and anybody who disagrees with Ann Coulter.

I think there is a reasonable measure of terrorist though. I'd posit a terrorist is one who commits an act of violence or intimidation against civilians intended to incite fear for a political purpose. By that measure, this was terrorism.

I'm not sure what Ed would consider the most important thing in this story, but I'm not so sure that identifying this as a terrorist act isn't indeed the most important thing -- at least as far as its implications go. It means we have now had a terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11. It means that the money and effort spent to stop a radiological or biological attack ignore the possibilities available to a single determined individual without access to sophisticated weapons. It means that "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here" is naive. It means that illegally spying on US citizens and other infringements on civil liberties diminishes traditional American values while still leaving us vulnerable to terrorism.

Doug H

Roch, you said a mouthful.

Brenda Bowers

Roch, I agree with Astro Boy that all you said is true to some extent, but what do you suggest? That we do nothing? And how do you know fighting them over there hasn't slowed their attacks over here? After all we haven't had any large organized attacks over here since 9/11 with the exception of the reported one in California that was supposedly thwarted. One person with an SUV is hardly the threat level of a group with a dirty bomb or WMD's. As for civil liberties we had given these up a long time ago when we gave the FBI the right to tap the phones of known criminals so what is the difference here? As far as I am concerned Muslims are known terrorist since excepting a very few nut cases they are the ones committing the acts of terror around the world. And we seem to be the only people in the world who still refuse to believe that we are the much hated Infidel.

Doug H

Brenda, I agree that it is one thing to identify issues and another to offer solutions. But what Roch may have been doing (and correct me if I'm wrong, Roch) is to help those who haven't admitted, for whatever reason, that the Bush administration has made questionable decisions regarding our country's response to 9/11.

In my mind, it is important first to realize there is a problem, then to address solutions.


Brenda, it's too much work to reply to your post when your premises include such absurdities as "As for civil liberties we had given these up a long time ago when we gave the FBI the right to tap the phones of known criminals" and "As far as I am concerned Muslims are known terrorist" -- too much ground to cover between BrandaWolrd and reality.

Suffice it to say that AstoBoy has it about right--that for all the costs we're incurring we remain very vulnerable; that the measures of success touted by this administration of those efforts (no attacks since 9/11, not having to fight them here, etc.) have now evaporated and that maybe, just maybe, trampling civil liberties and invading Iraq are not the answers to the problem.

Brenda Bowers

Roch, I will say again, we in the United States are the only people in the world who are holding out on admitting that the terrorist have all been Muslims (with the exception of a few nut cases like the shoe bomber). We are still shaking down little old ladies in our air ports for God's sake! As for the Bush administration being wrong I won't dispute that some things were wrong and one of them was going into Iraq. Did yuou write to your Congressmen and tell them that you personally were against war with Iraq? I did, but to no avail. And huge amounts of money have been wasted which is just par for the course when any government at any level does anything. You don't even have to look beyond Greensboro to see that. The fact is the Republicans did 'something' whereas the Democrats wrung their hands when our ship and embassies were bombed. And, do not think that I am a Republican because I didn't vote for him the first time, only the second. As for government wire tapping phones, look into the RICO Act among others which all allow wire tapping of phones of suspected criminals. Since the Mafioso were Italians do you really believe innocent Italians were not checked out? And Roch, this Brendaland you refer to is in good company as I read newspapers from all over the world on a daily basis just to keep myself informed on what is going on outside of my little Brendaland.


Stop using common sense here, Brenda.....there's an agenda to promote here!


Bubba, Lindsey Graham and other Republicans are stepping up to confront the president's illegal syping. By joining Brenda in defending the reshaping of America into a police state, it appears as if you are staking out a claim to, oh, what do you like to call it? Oh, yeah, the extreme jihadist wing of your party.

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