September 2, 2006

FIRST STRIKE, NOT RESPONSE:

U.S. test missile hits a Korean bull's-eye (Bill Gertz, 9/02/06, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

The U.S. missile defense system yesterday shot down an incoming dummy warhead simulating the last-stage trajectory of a North Korean Taepodong-2 missile, a milestone that U.S. officials expect to counter critics of earlier tests.

It was the first time a dummy North Korean missile was intercepted, and the sixth successful intercept since 1999, said officials from the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency.

"What we did today is a huge step in terms of our systematic approach to continuing to field, continuing to deploy and continuing to develop a missile defense system for the United States, for our allies, our friends, our deployed forces around the world," said Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry Obering, director of the Missile Defense Agency.

He said there is "good chance" the system would be successful against a Taepodong-2 launched from North Korea.

The failure to destroy them before they're launched represents dereliction of Constitutional duties.

MORE:
FBI Role in Terror Probe Questioned: Lawyers Point to Fine Line Between Sting and Entrapment (Walter Pincus, September 2, 2006, Washington Post)

Standing in an empty Miami warehouse on May 24 with a man he believed had ties to Osama bin Laden, a dejected Narseal Batiste talked of the setbacks to their terrorist plot and then uttered the words that helped put him in a federal prison cell.

"I want to fight some jihad," he allegedly said. "That's all I live for."

What Batiste did not know was that the bin Laden representative was really an FBI informant. The warehouse in which they were meeting had been rented and wired for sound and video by bureau agents, who were monitoring his every word.

Within a month, Batiste, 32, and six of his compatriots were arrested and charged with conspiracy to aid a terrorist organization and bomb a federal building. On June 23, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales held a news conference to announce the destruction of a terrorist cell inside the United States, hailing "our commitment to preventing terrorism through energetic law enforcement efforts aimed at detecting and thwarting terrorist acts."

But court records released since then suggest that what Gonzales described as a "deadly plot" was virtually the pipe dream of a few men with almost no ability to pull it off on their own.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 2, 2006 8:21 AM
Comments

Is incompetence exculpatory?

Posted by: erp at September 2, 2006 10:27 AM
But court records released since then suggest that what Gonzales described as a "deadly plot" was virtually the pipe dream of a few men with almost no ability to pull it off on their own.

Of course, if the 9/11 plot had been uncovered the WP, NYT, AP et al. would've opined that that too was ludicrous. "Hijacking planes with boxcutters and flying them into buildings?"-- never happen.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at September 2, 2006 12:41 PM

Was McVeih's plot the pipe dream of a single man with almost no ability to pull it off on his own?

God almighty, the Washington Post is a pathetic joke of a newspaper. These cockroaches belong in prison, the Wapo is crying injustice for the poor little misunderstood would-be mass murderers.

Posted by: Amos at September 3, 2006 1:54 AM

Amos, Timothy McVeigh wasn't engaged in a conspiracy with a government agent. This case has major factual and legal problems. Neither of us has nearly enough information to determine whether these charges should stand up. Right now I have substantials doubts arising from such evidence as I am aware of which would restrain me in a matter of great importance in my own affairs.

This mare's nest reads like a law school exam question. The prosecution may think they can get it past a demurrer, but that doesn't mean they can get it past a jury.

Posted by: Lou Gots at September 3, 2006 9:54 AM
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