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Domestic Neo-Nazis, not bin Laden, behind Anthrax

By localroger in MLP
Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 12:51:39 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

The Guardian is reporting that, "Neo-Nazi extremists within the US are behind the deadly wave of anthrax attacks against America, according to latest briefings from the security services and Justice Department."


My favorite quote from the article:

'But that is, in its way, one of the most compelling possible leads in the anthrax trail - that it is not really al-Qaeda's style, but rather that of others who sympathise with its war against the American government and media.'

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Poll
Who is behind Anthrax?
o Osama / al Qaeda 10%
o Saddam / Iraq 6%
o Homegrown Nazi nut jobs 43%
o Joey Belladonna 19%
o USA for making it 18%
o Russia for making it 1%

Votes: 66
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Neo-Nazi extremists
o Also by localroger


Display: Sort:
Domestic Neo-Nazis, not bin Laden, behind Anthrax | 61 comments (57 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
Too soon (4.55 / 9) (#1)
by ucblockhead on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 10:15:09 AM EST

While I actually do agree that domestic groups are the most likely source, it is too soon to pretend to know for sure. The headline is no better than those that assume it is the work of ObL, Iraq, whatever.

The only news is that this is seriously being investigated. (And I hope this makes those who posted self-important stories about how we should nuke Afghanistan or whatever because of the anthrax attacks realize how fast their were overreacting to NULL evidence.)
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup

"according to latest briefings..." (2.00 / 1) (#3)
by localroger on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 11:10:20 AM EST

The title accurately reflects the content of the link, which reflects a pretty definite tone. Of course it might be wrong, but that's why it's an MLP and not an op-ed with a bunch of gloating.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

"Might" (5.00 / 1) (#5)
by ucblockhead on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 11:39:09 AM EST

Yes, it might be wrong. But there's no indication of "might" in the title. It is stated as if it is a sure fact. That's the trouble.
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Anthrax attacks' 'work of neo-Nazis' (1.00 / 1) (#7)
by localroger on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 11:52:03 AM EST

The title of this comment is the title of the linked article. If you don't like it complain to the Guardian. There isn't much suggestion of "might" in the article either. Or did you even bother to follow the link before whining?

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Yes, I did. (4.00 / 1) (#9)
by ucblockhead on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 01:43:53 PM EST

No, there isn't much suggestion of a "might" in the article's headline. BUT THERE SHOULD BE.

That's the point.

Crappy journalism. All too damn much of it these days.


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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Good (1.00 / 1) (#12)
by Elendale on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 02:25:19 PM EST

Now that we have all this discussion explaining the problem:
+1, section

-Elendale
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
Great... (4.00 / 1) (#16)
by ucblockhead on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 02:58:25 PM EST

Oh, yeah, lots of discussion saying the story is crap makes it worthy of posting...
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Well, then... (3.50 / 2) (#6)
by Ken Arromdee on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 11:40:09 AM EST

If the title is bad because the article linked to is the same way, then what makes this article a good choice to link to in the first place?

Incidentally, if it is the work of Neo-Nazis in the US, I can imagine there are a few points where they do sympathize with Bin Laden: not liking Israel, thinking men are superior to women, not liking the current US government.

[ Parent ]

Also (4.00 / 1) (#2)
by theR on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 11:04:54 AM EST

There was something about this in The Washington Post a couple of days ago. I agree with ucblockhead's comment, though. Your title makes it seem as if they know for sure who has been sending the anthrax, which is not the case, at least as far as the public knows.



About the title (3.00 / 2) (#8)
by localroger on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 11:57:00 AM EST

UCblockhead is wrong. The title accurately reflects both the title and content of the linked article. "As far as the public knows" changes, generally because of articles like this one. Maybe the article is wrong, but this is a MLP and the article does not say it "might" be domestic. It says they have strong leads to a couple of specific groups and are focusing their investigation there. It mentions the possibility of collaboration between our right wingnuts and the al Qaeda nuts, but leaves a pretty definite impression that the anthrax originated with our homegrown nuts. If you don't like it, as I told UCblockhead, complain to the Guardian because they wrote it.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Again... (none / 0) (#10)
by ucblockhead on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 01:46:31 PM EST

I voted -1 as much because the Guardian article was crap as I did because of the headline here.

Typical crap journlism. Convert things like "might" and "probably" into headlines that scream definite.

On an MLP, one votes according to how worthwhile the thing linked to is. In this case, it was crap. Hence, the -1.
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Good journalism (4.42 / 7) (#11)
by ucblockhead on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 01:51:38 PM EST

Here is a much better link: Report: FBI Suspects U.S. Extremists of Anthrax Attacks.

It is more accurate and less sensationalist.
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup

Good link, really very similar in tone (2.00 / 1) (#13)
by localroger on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 02:39:53 PM EST

From your link:

``Everything seems to lean toward a domestic source,'' a senior government official told the newspaper. ``Nothing seems to fit with an overseas terrorist type operation.''

In other words, it's not that the domestic terrorists "might" be behind the anthrax attacks, the tone is shifting toward al-Qaida "might" still be responsible but it really looks much more likely that it's domestic.

Sounds like the Guardian's more assertive tone was justified to me.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

No (4.00 / 2) (#15)
by ucblockhead on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 02:57:34 PM EST

"Seems to lean" is not definate unless you are into jumping to conclusions. An assertive tone is not justified by "likely".
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
"Seems" (4.00 / 3) (#21)
by localroger on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 03:35:11 PM EST

By this definition you can never assert anything, because you can never be 100% certain of anything. While it's fun to play such solipsistic games in philosophy class, such an attitude is not very useful in the real world.

In focusing on the weasel-word "seems" you ignored the very definite words "all" and "none" which appeared in the same sentence. As I read it your article is almost identical to the one in the Guardian. A good summary of each would be "at the moment, the best and only evidence we have suggests that it was domestic rather than foreign." Both articles have their version of the obligatory "alleged," though the Guardian didn't bother to put that in its story title.

You have picked this nit into the ground while it turns out that I have accurately reflected the content of both your link and mine, perhaps less a weasel-word or two that would get edited out of the datastream by most readers anyway. Meanwhile, it really cheeses me off to be criticized for doing something right, which is providing the MLP and accurately describing its content.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

I don't see (2.00 / 1) (#24)
by mami on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 04:43:18 PM EST

any reason whatsoever, why the Anthrax attack couldn't have been staged, planned, attempted, failed and/or succeeded by both, members of Al-Quaida and homegrown "sympathizers" in their hate against the U.S. government. I mean, there is no better time for both sides to do such a thing and hide behind each other. Almost a perfect set-up for both sides to not get caught, because of people trying to figure out the truth in an either/or manner, instead of an "and" manner.

[ Parent ]
Absolutely agree (3.50 / 2) (#26)
by localroger on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 05:46:37 PM EST

Both the Guardian article and the one linked by UCblockhead suggest that there was cooperation between the Muslim and [homegrown right-wing] extremists, that despite their many differences they might have enough common ground to have coordinated their efforts.

Personally I think that al Qaeda have blown their wad without accomplishing many of their objectives (as horrific as their results were, what they wanted was ten or twenty times worse). I don't think they have the infrastructure in place for a second attack. But the homeboys are a different story.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Grrr.. (5.00 / 2) (#25)
by ucblockhead on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 05:41:52 PM EST

Crappy journalism cheezes me off, so there ya go.

The article I posted had an accurate headline. THAT WAS THE FUCKING POINT.


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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

After all this the HEADLINE was the POINT?????? (3.50 / 2) (#27)
by localroger on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 07:30:32 PM EST

I took journalism in high school (this would have been circa 1978). I quit in disgust over several practices which were taught to me as "boilerplate," such as the "bullshit quote" (putting the words of the press release into the mouth of a specific, named spokesman who never uttered them). In that day the headline shortcut taken by the Guardian would have been considered perfectly acceptable.

Believe me, I hate bad journalism as much as you do. But this wasn't an example of it. The newspaper summarized its position in as few words as possible. Headlines, as I was taught, don't strive for pinpoint accuracy, but for highlights and "punch." The headline isn't there to inform you, it's there to get you to RTFA. This is hardly a new development. To be complaining about it in 2001 is kind of silly considering how it has been taken for granted for longer than I have been alive.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Sigh... (4.50 / 2) (#28)
by ucblockhead on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 08:17:20 PM EST

It would not have been hard to put in an accurate headline from the beginning.

And I'm fully aware that crappy journalists have been using misleading and inaccurate headlines to pull readers in for centuries. I still think it fucking sucks, and vote accordingly.


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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Wouldn't surprise me (3.00 / 3) (#14)
by mami on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 02:54:21 PM EST

What else is there to say ? Each culture and country has its own sort of "Neo-Nazis". They can smell each other around the globe.

Well, just lost my trusted user status, because this lovely site is full of nutheads, who can take over this site and turn it in pile of crap any time. How many Neo-Nazis hide here ?

Wo sind die Nationalsocialisten? (4.00 / 1) (#18)
by Blarney on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 03:06:29 PM EST

Why do you think that there's Nazi's on this site, anyway? They seem rather rare to me. Rarer at any rate then the ones I've actually met in real life - like one in my hometown who "collects" Nazi flags and uses one as a bedspread, or the guy at my work who takes Holocaust denial one step further by denying the existence of Jews altogether. I don't know ANYONE like that online, mainly because I don't have to.

In comparison to meatspace, this site is pretty tame. My condolences on losing trusted status, I've had it happen to me also. It isn't that bad, and when you get it back you'll be much more appreciative of the "Review Hidden Comments" button.

[ Parent ]

Behind what is called "Neo-Nazi" hides a (4.00 / 1) (#20)
by mami on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 03:35:10 PM EST

There is a small fraction of people in meat space which openly (here in the U.S. at least) engage in the activities you describe above.

But what people in general try to categorize as "Nazi" or "Neo-Nazi" because of lack of better choice of language is much more than the guys you describe above. To me it's everybody who is actively engaged in promoting hate crimes, hate speech based on ethnicity, religion, race or political ideology with whatever dumb, smart or heinous means.

Trolling is a tool for that, anonymity is the shield behind to hide. The openess of the network their playing ground. The first and second amendment the laws they do abuse. The fight to protect civil liberties and freedom their fig leaf.

Just because I have the right to make my statements to try to not let them go away unanswered, is not enough of a tool to protect myself and others from their hateful acts.

I don't care if I am trusted user or not. I just watch in disgusted bewilderment how this is turned on and off nilly-willy. But heck, if you participate in an experiment (and that is all that is here at K5 for me) than one has to accept any sort of outcome. Over my dead body that I deny a result from an experiment to beautify its meaning.




[ Parent ]
Trusted USer Status (none / 0) (#34)
by wiredog on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 08:38:52 AM EST

I'm not sure if I've got that or not. Don't much care. I rate articles, very occaisonally rate comments, post a lot. If some people don't like me, well, that's their problem.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
[ Parent ]
Timothy McVeigh: A Neo-Nazi? (4.33 / 12) (#17)
by snowlion on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 03:00:43 PM EST

The official said the investigation had, in the past week, drafted in special teams from the Civil Rights division of the department to reinforce the international terrorism teams. The American neo-Nazi Right is motivated above all by its loathing of the federal government, which it believes is selling out the homeland to a 'New World Order' run by masons and Jews.

Its insane politics have propelled numerous attacks and armed stand-offs over the past eight years, culminating in the carnage at Oklahoma. Now the anthrax investigation is zooming in on possible connections between these neo-Nazis and Arab extremists, united by their mutual anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel. Such alliances have been common among neo-Nazis in Europe, but have played a lesser role in the US. However, monitoring of the hate groups shows they are now embracing al-Qaeda's terrorism as commendable attacks on the federal government.

I've read McVeigh, and he's no neo-nazi. Nor is he racist, or anti-semetic, or whatever else people would like to paint him as. Read: A Look Back in TIME: Interview with Timothy McVeigh.

When he talks about Waco, you need to understand where he's coming from: Read at least some of this lengthy document to learn more about what happened at Waco.

Personally, I vote democrat. I also understand McVeigh, and the people who worry about a government that is too strung. What this means is that this isn't a "far-right" thing, or a loony left thing. As far as I can tell, those terms just serve to divide people against one another.

I support democratic controls on companies and corporations (Green party), optional public health care and public libraries (Democrats), gun rights (Republicans), and severe limiting of our mingling in the affairs of other countries (Libertarians).

People frequently say that "there were innocent human beings" in the FBI buildings that McVeigh ran into. People shrieked when he said the phrase, "collateral damage". Now the same people are covering for their militaries (and CIA's - see Nicaragua) actions in other countries with the same phrase: "Collateral Damage". Go figure. The US doesn't deal with terrorists- that is, if they aren't working for us.

Feh.

I liked the article, regardless, because it was interesting to see that it wasn't al Quaeda.

Now I just have to wonder if the group is actually NeoNazi. Why do I have to wonder? Because the media's lied before. Whenever people are scared, the media can't report anything but that the others are horrible and evil.

I thought once that we'd, as the US, transcended susceptability to being fooled by the media. I see now that that is a mistaken impression. No matter how many times you play Ghandi, Mary Poppins, and no matter how many other movies that try to show people how to look beyond themselves and their immediate social group, people do not apply the lessons to their daily life. Rather, they leave the lessons where they found them, in the movie theatre, and dismiss the stories as mere entertainment, not as the serious communications that they are.

Ours [USA/commercial] is a poisoned culture, and I believe that we will pay for it. Maybe not now, maybe not in the decade, maybe not in the next century. But I believe that some sort of suffering will deeply injure us, and we'll finally get to change.

After WW2, the Japanese became the most evolved country, in terms of its attitude towards war and casting blaim on gaijin. (Thanks in no small part to Osamu Tezukas guiding lead.)

Hopefully, after whatever is to befall us, we will see the light as well.


--
Map Your Thoughts
hmm (5.00 / 2) (#23)
by mami on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 04:26:51 PM EST

it's not so important where you coming from (every extremist has a grain of truth in his reasoning for why he at a certain point in the past became an extremist), as where you are going to. You can analyze McVeigh, Atta, Osama, any German RAF terrorist of the seventies, any German right-wing Neo-Nazi and they will come up with some reasoning in their past experiences, which serve as justification for their extremist view points and hateful acts.

That still doesn't help to draw the line, where their freedom of expression ends and their criminal actions start.

The line between an "borderline inactive right-wing extremist" and a McVeigh is very thin, pushing someone like McVeigh over the line can be triggered by tiny incidents and circumstances.

Let's say a McVeigh would right now be among us. I could easily imagine that "the new war against the evildoers" might have saved him from attacking his former chosen target, his own government, and turned him into a patriotic fighter against the Taliban. An outside enemy helping him to channel his destructive hate against his enemy No.1 , the U.S. government, into a brave young soldier defending the innocent from the evildoers and fighting terrorists.

On the other hand, he could as well have joined the Jihad fighters, if he hadn't been too involved with another cultish religion, thus channeling his hate against the U.S. in general and finding a new brotherhood in the Islamist Jihad fighters.

Which way a guy with a mental and emotional set-up like McVeigh would choose, is mostly completely haphazard and really not very important. What is important is when, if and how they step over the line and commit crimes against humanity.

Other than in direct self-defense, anyone engaging in hateful, guerillya warfare is a terrorist, and who cares, if you are from the right or the left. The outcome is an armed militia or guerilla fighter. How often have "freedom fighters" in form of militias or guerilla groups really accomplished to advance or to nstalled a democratic constitution protecting human rights and civil liberties in in any country ? And how often have they prolonged and existing or reinstated just another oppressive regime ?




[ Parent ]
Terrorist or Freedom Fighter? (4.00 / 2) (#30)
by snowlion on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 11:20:28 PM EST

One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

As much as it is comforting to believe that all "terrorists" are "evil", it's really as simplistic as "all wars are evil." There's just enough cases that aren't, that you have to really look into what's going to seperate the good from the bad.

McVeigh wasn't deranged, and I can understand why he did what he did. Call me a terrorist, if you like; I have no such intentions. However, his complaints and observations are valid, and his attack was not an attack on humanity.

Your notion that McVeigh would work for the Taliban is questionable, and based on the notion that certain people have a certain "action threshold", and will act, just because that threshold is crossed. This explanation is a mental shortcut, and not something really well thought out. Would McVeigh be acting against the Taliban right now? Absolutely not.

Feel free to educate me on the mental and emotional configuration of McVeigh. As far as I can tell, he was doing what he felt was morally right.

That's what it amounts to: People do things because they believe that they are morally right. You have to analyse the faults and strengths of things. You can't just say, "These people did this thing because they were dumb/weak/stupid/cowards." You have to analyse just what's going on. That's naive.

Other than in direct self-defense, anyone engaging in hateful, guerillya warfare is a terrorist, and who cares, if you are from the right or the left.

Well, okay- how about the terrorists that we (the US) found, arm, and support through their acts? Are these folks bad? Again, the USA is quite willing to deal with terrorists, if these terrorists are working for the USA. Check out Nicaragua and our support there.

You have to address complexity, and you can't copy out of thinking.

How often have "freedom fighters" in form of militias or guerilla groups really accomplished to advance or to nstalled a democratic constitution protecting human rights and civil liberties in in any country ?

The "Sons of Liberty" (see Founding Fathers) did just that. Indeed; that's how they set up the constitution. Sure, maybe they weren't called terrorists because they didn't have weapons of mass destruction. But destroying trade shipments and tarring and feathering (that has *got* to hurt) is basically terrorism. That and sniping at troops; That's terrorist too.

They were rather successful in establishing a democratic constitution protecting human rights and civil liberties.

Usually prolonging and reinstating oppressive regimes is something we do, as US citizens, patriotically supporty our country's efforts mucking up other countries.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
logic fallacies (none / 0) (#37)
by mami on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 09:24:09 AM EST

Feel free to educate me on the mental and emotional configuration of McVeigh. As far as I can tell, he was doing what he felt was morally right. ..That's what it amounts to: People do things because they believe that they are morally right.

Of course, and the more intelligent they are and the more high moral standards they have, the more resolved, patient and convinced terrorists they become. Most of those terrorists are very "logical" thinkers. They also always draw from events in the past, going back from 20 to 2000 years to look for past wrongs and evils to make their moral justifications a matter of "fighting the evil" and doing "good".

The problem with this is that what is somebody's " former evildoers" is somone else's "former heroic freedom fighter". Just seems a matter from which point of view you are looking at it.

I didn't overlook this aspect. People, who dedicate themselves to their perceived "freedom fights" and engage in year-long plans to "make their point in history" through their "terrorist acts" are not "deranged or engaging in terror acts like loners, who "flip out" and go on a shooting rampage.

I didn't say that. You interpreted my words like this.

Nevertheless, those freedom fighting terrorists, militia men, guerilla fighters, step (willingly and purposefully) "over the line" and violate human rights of people, which should never be drawn into and hurt, with their actions.

Just because they believe they have a moral valid reason for their own purposes and goals, doesn't meant that their moral reasons are valid morals for other people they harm, inflict, draw into or recruit and risk to kill or kill on purpose.

One of the most dangerous aspects of terrorists is their resolved intellectual arrogancy based on perceived "moral rights". There is no moral right for killing other than immediate and direct self-defense, and no moral right whatsoever, which would justify torture.

Your criticism of real politicians in the U.S. in the past to play dangerously close together with morally questionable regimes may be valid, but they can't be used to justify morally questionable "freedom fighting" terrorist acts. Most probably you won't find any country, which isn't forced once in a while to make "lousy compromises" with "morally questionable regimes" , most often done "to choose the lesser of two evils".

If all you have to offer are your Founding Fathers, I would say it might be helpful to become a bit more flexible and invest some time in studying the unique historical events of the creation of the United States vs. the many, many other geopgraphic regions in the world, in which "freedom fighters" and "guerilla groups" failed to establish democratic nation states and implement constitutions, which guarantee freedom and human rights for their citizens.

Just because you are as an American (I suppose) proud of your long history of freedom and democracy, doesn't mean that you can use a bit of navel gazing thinking and self-scrutiny to realize that you are a bit brainwashed from your own country's marketing efforts about it's superiority of their Forefather's wisdoms. Your constitution is not a holy scripture to believe in blindly, but a piece of legal texts worth to be scrutinized, IMHO.

[ Parent ]

Oh, so Militaries are okay, but Terrorism isn't. (none / 0) (#42)
by snowlion on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 12:56:20 PM EST

They also always draw from events in the past, going back from 20 to 2000 years to look for past wrongs and evils to make their moral justifications a matter of "fighting the evil" and doing "good".

Waco was within the last 10 years. The war on drugs has been going on for decades. Our terrible involvements in other countries has been persistant. You don't have to look back 20-2000 years, you can look out right now.

The "War Against Terrorism" will continue for who knows how many years? 10?! Will that be enough to avenge the 5,000? 50,000 people die every year in car accidents; I find this a little rediculous.

Nevertheless, those freedom fighting terrorists, militia men, guerilla fighters, step (willingly and purposefully) "over the line" and violate human rights of people, which should never be drawn into and hurt, with their actions.

You neglected to mention the military as well... Somehow they are absolved of human rights violations?

Just because they believe they have a moral valid reason for their own purposes and goals, doesn't meant that their moral reasons are valid morals for other people they harm, inflict, draw into or recruit and risk to kill or kill on purpose.

Again, this goes right back to the war in Afghanistan, and God knows whoever it is we will be attacking next, as well.

One of the most dangerous aspects of terrorists is their resolved intellectual arrogancy based on perceived "moral rights". There is no moral right for killing other than immediate and direct self-defense, and no moral right whatsoever, which would justify torture.

Yeah! The same goes for the USA military as well! What, you say that this is self-defence? Bombing Afghanistan? When we don't have proof that Osama Bin Laden did it, when the Taliban have next to nothing to do to this, and in particular the innocents of Afghanistan as well? But I suppose that's "self-defence". If that's self defence, then the terrorists move was self-defence as well. You can read why countries are pissed at us; They hate us. Because we fuck them over every day. That's self defence too. As for torture: I hear the FBI is planning to use it to extract information; But I suppose that's okay, because it's for us.

Your criticism of real politicians in the U.S. in the past to play dangerously close together with morally questionable regimes may be valid, but they can't be used to justify morally questionable "freedom fighting" terrorist acts.

Real Politicians = Reagan. Morally Questionable Regimes = Nicaraguan Terrorists. Let's get what we're talking about straight: US support and employment and training of Terrorists.

Sure, the Constitution is worth scrutinizing. No, it's not immortal. It's a piece of paper. You asked for an instance in the past where Terrorism established a government. While we're not a democracy (we're a constitutional republic), our relatively free country came about through acts of terrorism. That's what you were asking for, and that's what I gave you.

And again: I think it was quite unfair to characterize McVeigh as racist (anti-Semite), don't you think?


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
Well, you know what you are talking about (5.00 / 1) (#45)
by mami on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 01:16:01 PM EST

and I know what I think about it. Let's leave it at that.

[ Parent ]
ANC terrorist? (4.00 / 1) (#55)
by rehan on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 01:23:00 AM EST

I agree with you generally - but as a counterexample, the ANC in South Africa resorted to violence and there was a democratic outcome. Whether it was due to their actions I don't know.

Stay Frosty and Alert


[ Parent ]
except that (1.00 / 1) (#40)
by Zeram on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 11:40:21 AM EST

The bomb that McVeigh had in that truck couldn't have done more than rattle the windows of that bulidling. Timothy McVeigh was guilty of a crime, just not murder.
<----^---->
Like Anime? In the Philly metro area? Welcome to the machine...
[ Parent ]
I've read that too (none / 0) (#50)
by dennis on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 04:13:52 PM EST

I don't know about just rattling windows, but I've seen articles about three people who claimed that McVeigh's bomb couldn't have taken the building down. One owned a demolitions company and blew up buildings for a living. Another was an Army general. The third was the guy who invented the neutron bomb.

[ Parent ]
The building mostly took itself down. (none / 0) (#61)
by cynwoody on Sat Nov 03, 2001 at 06:42:02 AM EST

McVeigh's bomb knocked out a key support beam at the front of the Murrah building. Gravity and the building's weight did the rest. No credible evidence of additional bombs was ever found, nor were they necessary.

A somewhat similar phenomenon was at work in the WTC towers' collapse. The heat of the burning jet fuel caused one of the 2400-ton floors to give way. Then gravity did the rest as the floors picked up momentum pancaking down.

[ Parent ]

fooled by the media (none / 0) (#41)
by FredBloggs on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 12:43:12 PM EST

"I thought once that we'd, as the US, transcended susceptability to being fooled by the media"

Eh? Why?

[ Parent ]
"But we went through the 60's!" (none / 0) (#43)
by snowlion on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 01:03:15 PM EST

As a kid, I was taught that we were a wonderful Free country. I thought that we were immune.

I suppose it's the same mental shortcut (us good them bad) that leads to blind patriotism.

I really don't know why I believed that way. But most North Americans feel that way. Because we live in a country with the 1st amendment, and can (theoretically) say whatever we feel, I felt that we were immune from propaganda, since anyone could refute it publicly.

What I didn't take into account was that people will happily fall for propaganda that they want to hear, alternative perspective or no.

All you have to do is to call the other side, "The prattling of intellectuals". This was used to great effect in the 50's. See Atomic Cafe, and you'll see military men telling their fellow citizens, "Some Chicken Little intellectuals are talking about nuclear weapons in order to draw attention to themselves..." Along with: "Your hair may fall out, but don't worry! It will grow out!" ...as well as the plans to use nuclear weapons on the coast of California, should the Japanese come. Suddenly, differing viewpoints are just "intellectuals", prone to idiocy in their own minds.

I've read that the reasons people in 50s were so conformist, was because we had just gone through WW2. I think that's interesting.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
Anti-semitic Arabs? (none / 0) (#58)
by mwood on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 08:39:10 AM EST

Think about that for a minute.

[ Parent ]
One question (4.16 / 6) (#19)
by dennis on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 03:13:59 PM EST

How many Ph.D microbiologists with access to a good lab spend their weekends with neo-nazi groups? Or any other extremist group? And if one of them does go postal, why would he do it as part of any group at all, when he'd be much safer to quietly weaponize some anthrax and mail it without telling anybody? To me this idea stinks of an excuse to restrict civil liberties even more, and monitor everybody the government finds annoying.

You do realize... (4.75 / 8) (#22)
by localroger on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 03:41:33 PM EST

...that Ph.D.'s don't do their own work, right? They have graduate students do the grunt work. And making cultures is grunt work, even if they are very high-quality cultures. I read "any Ph.D. with access to a good lab" as "any competent graduate student at any of a number of well-equipped universities." It's a much larger population than you would think, and is not self-selecting against extreme politics.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

There have been such cases before (3.00 / 5) (#32)
by sasha on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 07:19:49 AM EST

Remember Larry Wayne Harris in 1998, whom they arrested along with a partner in Las Vegas on suspicion of possession of anthrax? True, it turned out he was carrying some harmless vaccine, but the guy had been arrested before for trying to order bubonic plague through the mail, or something of the sort. The trouble is, it wasn't really illegal to have that stuff on you as long as criminal motives could not be proven.

Anyhow, go read up on the guy. He had very well-known white supremacist sympathies, some affeliation with Aryan Nations, etc. At the same time, he was argueably a scholar of microbiology at least to some degree or another. He's not exactly the classic example of a scientist with extremist sympathies, but he's proof that they certainly do exist.


--- Signal SIGSIG received. Signature too long.
[ Parent ]

PhDs can't be evil? (none / 0) (#38)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 09:59:03 AM EST

Someone wrote a pretty good article somewhere (pretty solid citation, eh?) about how political extremism is becoming more prevalent in the highly educated people. The author offered the Unabomber and Aum Shinri Kyo as anecdotal evidence.

In any case, I don't buy your implication that only uneducated people are capable of great evil. History is filled with examples of highly educated and intelligent individuals and groups doing all kinds of reprehensible things they deem necessary for their Cause.

My bodyweight is muscle and cock MMM
Tenured K5 uberdouchebag Herr mirleid
Meatgazer Frau gr3y


[ Parent ]
Today's news (none / 0) (#59)
by dennis on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 09:19:34 AM EST

According to New Scientist, the anthrax looks like it came out of the U.S. bioweapons program.

[ Parent ]
Neo-Nazis? (2.00 / 3) (#33)
by Ashcrow on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 07:20:16 AM EST

I doubt it's Neo-Nazi's sending out Anthrax. If they were, it wouldn't be to white people in power (or Arians to be more specific).


----------
"Are you slow? The alleged lie that you might have heard me saying, allegedly moments ago? That's a parasite that lives in my neck."
Targets (4.00 / 1) (#39)
by ucblockhead on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 10:13:23 AM EST

It was sent to Democratic congressmen and journalists. It seems very unlikely to me that foreign terrorists would have picked those targets. A foreign terrorist is going to go after someone like the president or the secretary of state. On the other hand, Democrats and journalists are going to be high on the list of white-supremacists.

I personally don't think it is "white-supremacists" so much as more garden variety right-wing nutjobs. My suspicion is that they are deliberately trying to provoke more action (like nukes) because they think we are "not doing enough", and they blame the media and the democrats.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

"Race Traitors" (4.00 / 1) (#53)
by maveness on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 06:07:16 PM EST

That's the term used to denigrate any so-called "white" people who don't subscribe to the neo-Nazi racist ideology. And all their "literature" advocates punishing "race traitors" just as violently as the "mud people" and "Zionists." It's an ugly ugly set of beliefs, and looking for logic in it is a big fat waste of time.

*********
Latest fortune cookie: "The current year will bring you much happiness." As if.
[ Parent ]

not quite (3.00 / 1) (#60)
by chopper on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 10:34:07 AM EST

If they were, it wouldn't be to white people in power...

because we all know how much Neo-Nazis and right wing militia-style nutjobs love the government.

i'm still up in the air on this, although people i know who work on the Hill agree with the idea, but still, think about who has been affected so far:

1. members of the media
2. members of congress
3. government employees, mostly minorities.

all are groups of people not generally like at all by the extreme (and i mean McVeigh-style) right wing.

but then again, the postal workers who are infected are probably just ancillary, i don't know if anyone really expected them to be at such a high risk.

give a man a fish,he'll eat for a day

give a man religion and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish
[ Parent ]

Wishful thinking? (4.00 / 1) (#35)
by wiredog on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 08:43:03 AM EST

If it's a domestic group we get a massive criminal investigation, and somebody gets a hot date with Miss Smoky in Tallahassee. If it's Iraq, then the use of nuclear weapons goes from an academic discussion to a real possibility. The latter is, in many ways, more frightening than the former, so we hope it's the former. But I fear it's the latter.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
Why do you think that ? (3.00 / 1) (#44)
by mami on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 01:06:14 PM EST

If it's Iraq, then the use of nuclear weapons goes from an academic discussion to a real possibility.

Why ? The U.S. would loose ALL their allies, if they would retaliate against Iraq with nuclear weapons for the Anthrax attack, if they could prove a linkage. And they would have planted the seed to grow terrorists for centuries to come among the survivors of a nuclear war.

BTW, who is Ms Smoky ?

I am thinking about how the military plans to find the weapons in the Afghani caves aside from whoever should still hide there. Wouldn't it be ironic, if Bush's spontaneous response of the first hours, "smoking them out of their holes", literally became an option ? If you would think about retaliating "eye for an eye" against Al-Quaida, Osama and possible Iraq involvement, then I would foresee a chemical / biolobgical war, but not a nuclear one.

That all gets obscene. I better leave it up to the "experts" and don't say anything anymore.

[ Parent ]

Miss Smoky (4.00 / 1) (#46)
by wiredog on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 01:23:25 PM EST

The electric chair in Florida. A couple of people have caught fire while being executed.

Why? The policy of the US, and every other nuclear power, is that using chemical or biological weapons against US troops or civilians will be met with "massive retaliation" with nuclear weapons. It's part of the logic of mutually assured destruction. Which assumes that your opponent is rational, by your standards.

MAD hasn't had much discussion since the end of the Cold War. The general idea is that if the enemy knows that an attack will inevitably result in the attackers complete destruction, he won't attack. Both the USA and USSR knew that the other side would retaliate, so the conflicts were conducted through proxies in places like Viet Nam, Nicaragua, and Afghanistan. The problem is, what if the enemy doesn't know that attack will be met with retaliation? If the enemy has seen that attacks are met with ineffectual strikes against third parties, or lots of rhetoric, then that enemy will think he can get away with it. And if he gets away with it once, why not twice?

The general feeling among counter-terrorist types is that you can't stop the first attack against the US with nuke/bio/chem weapons. But, if you make it clear that such attacks will not be tolerated, by exterminating the country that launched it, there won't be a second attack.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
[ Parent ]

Can't work (3.00 / 1) (#47)
by mami on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 02:26:29 PM EST

If some "shy and morally high aiming youngster", let's say from Germany to make things easier, converts to Islam, hitch-hikes to Afghanistan, learns the ABC of chemical warfare from Osama et al, jet-sets to the U.S., takes classes in a graduate progam in Biochemistry, becomes a permanent resident, applies for ROTC, serves in the military, does some little tricks to get released and starts his "little chemical / biological terror spreading around the capital " because of "you don't know whatever kind of freaking reasons".

How do you deter the internal terrorist within the U.S. (whatever he might be, US citizen, resident alien, or a student here with a valid visa, or a "confused" child of some "Whatever"-American) by threatening "complete destruction" of some nation so far away from the U.S. that your internal terrorist just yawns ?

[ Parent ]
Internal terrorists (4.00 / 1) (#48)
by wiredog on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 02:43:14 PM EST

Get Miss Smoky, or the equivalent, external ones get massive retaliation. BTW, something similar to your scenario happened. A US Army Sergant got court martialed a couple of months ago for working with Bin Laden, on the embassy bombings. IIRC he got 20 to life as an accomplice. Apparently he "co-operated fully" after he was nabbed.

MAD is a nasty thing to contemplate. But, in 50 years, no one has come up with anything better. The main argument against missile defense is that it destroys the logic upon which MAD is based. If one country has effective missile defenses then they don't have to fear retaliation if they launch a first strike. That's why the ABM treaty was ratified in the first place.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
[ Parent ]

mad MAD made Ms Smoky madness necessary ? (none / 0) (#49)
by mami on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 03:11:14 PM EST

These guys want a date with Ms Smoky and don't care about mad MAD and bad, mad Ms. Smoky.

Now I am mad. Who can be so mad to believe calling Ms Smoky for help isn't a real bad, mad idea ?

OK, I need some rest. That's enough.

[ Parent ]
My $$ is on a domestic source (3.50 / 4) (#51)
by spcmanspiff on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 05:11:45 PM EST

Why?

Because it feels like it, that's why. I spent most of my life growing up in a decidedly right-of-center area (Wyoming), where there was the full gamut from moderate conservatism to rabid libertarians to "nazi nut cases."

Of course, "Nazi" is a crappy word for it, because some were racist, others merely isolationist, some big on facism (as long as they got to be in charge, of course), others practically randites... etc, as well as often a confusing and somewhat contradictory mix.

The big thing that made a nut case a nut case was the increasing desperation and powerlessness that made 'em lash out. Talking to the real whackos (Tip: they're much nicer if you let them give you a tour of their 'gun room' first :), I'd hear many legit criticisms of the status quo -- but nobody ever pays attention to them except for other right-wing nuts... so they'd begin looking at more extreme actions than just complaining. (Example: I spent a few hours interviewing a self-proclaimed 'honorary montana freeman' and foundeing member of some local group called 'The Trust' who had marched into the city offices wearing half his arsenal and hand-delivered delivered a twenty-page Declaration Of War. Wheee! He would have done better at his trial if he hadn't self-represented ...)

So why does this feel like a local nut case? Because of the targets -- tabloid media and big gubmint.. Because of the methodology (Hum, who else was mailing terror?)... Because the anthrax attacks are more like a 'lashing out' than a politically calculated strike ... and hell, because I just suspect it, is all. Gut feeling sort of thing.

Not to mention the fact that the possibility has surfaced in the press --- and you can guarantee that if these were just unsubstantiated rumors, they'd be squelched in a second. A nasty case of domestic terrorism would be a huge black eye for the U.S. while we're bombing the snot out of some foriegn country for harboring terrorists.

As for where they got their Anthrax, hell, not all domestic nuts are stupid, not by a long shot. Not to mention the fact that our very own government makes/made the stuff, and there's no reason that said nutcase, or a conspirator, wouldn't have been able to manage access.


the crappy "Nazi" word (3.66 / 3) (#52)
by mami on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 05:35:43 PM EST

Of course, "Nazi" is a crappy word for it, because some were racist, others merely isolationist, some big on facism (as long as they got to be in charge, of course), others practically randites... etc, as well as often a confusing and somewhat contradictory mix.

That is what it makes to so difficult to understand for Germans. Right-wings in Germany historically and til today are always racist, in the U.S. they are a weird melange of people, based on ideas nowhere else to be found than in the U.S. Complex shit happens.

[ Parent ]

Sort of like how... (none / 0) (#54)
by spcmanspiff on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 10:10:42 PM EST

...anyone in America who was more than a tiny bit left of center used to be labelled a Communist, regardless of whatever their actual politics were.

This put a big chill on a lot of civil rights battles, back in the day. (small example)

Some part of me wonders whether labelling of an entire block of the political spectrum as right-wing nazi nut jobs isn't putting a freeze on important issues that should be addressed.

The rest of me is too busy being a Commie pinko scum and I'm actually rather glad that the ideas and people coming from over there are rightly denounced as lunacy.


[ Parent ]
you have a point (4.50 / 2) (#57)
by mami on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 08:32:15 AM EST

but you have to understand my sensitivities too. I am German. We had in West Germany, as far as I can remember, never this sort of McCarthyism witch hunt of everybody, who was a communist or socialist after WWII in the fifties and sixties as you had it in the U.S.

That's pretty ironic, because the Germans were closely and intimately related to victims of a communist and socialist regime in Eastern Germany and well aware of the darker sides of such ideologies in real life implementations. We had and have a communist party, had our left-wing terrorists (and dealt with them without resorting to death penalty and without witch hunting of anybody who dared to have some social, liberal views like it was done often in the U.S.).

But Germans have some understandable sensitivities about right-wing extremist in any form and shape in their own country. So, pardon me, for smelling a right-wing attitude behind any harmless weirdo. I know it's not right and I make mistakes in not understanding what's going on in the U.S.

But the U.S. doesn't face its own right-wing people with the same scrutiny as it does with its left-wing people, because the right-wing people in the U.S. could still hide behind a "feeling good about themselves patriotic thinking", because they at least could always say that they were "the good guys", who helped to save the world from the German Nazi evil empire.

All what I am trying to say is that Americans fool themselves and allow their right-wing segments of people get away with too much phony arguments. The right-wing segment in the U.S. has always had this scape goat argument to save themselves from being criticized of being something similar to right-wing, nazi-like extremist, because they could point to their past of being the ones who saved the world of those "real evil Nazi guys during WWII" and deflect from their own potential racist tendencies in this regard.

It is extremely difficult for Germans to get a grip on American style conservatism and right-wing extremism. Just look at the following. Last week Germans Secretary of Interior, Schily, was visiting Ascroft. Both parties agreed in harmony on the measurements needed to be taken to help fight terrorism on the level of law enforcement and intelligence.

Ascroft was viewed in the U.S. before the elections as a very conservative, right of the center kind of guy. People tried to discredit him apparently because of some of his past nomination decision being "racially flawed". So, a gullible German, reading such news, would think, my, my, Ascroft might be a very right-wing, conservative person. As it turns out, he is quite a balanced person and his conservatism is not at all particularly right-wing.

Schily, on the other hand, is one of the most intellectual former left-wing legal thinker in Germany. He is my generation as is Schroeder and I have a good feeling from where these men are coming from. I am certain that both, Schroeder and Schily, would they have lived in the U.S. , had been watched and prosecuted by American intelligence and badmouthed by McCarty-istic conservatives in the U.S. all over the place. No way that they could ever had been elected into public office, if they had to face the American population.

Now look, how both sides in fact have quite the same way of thinking about what has to be done to fight terrorism . Do you still think, it's easy for people in Germany and U.S. to get a balanced understanding, about what a German leftist liberal might be and what a right-wing conservative American is all about ? I don't think so. I see mightily confusion all around. Then ask yourself how a somewhat honest German should be convinced that the U.S. is most democratic and free thinking country, because you are the only and lonely guardsmen in matters of freedom and liberty. Well, I doubt somewhat the mightiness of your marketing department.

I myself am badmouthed in the U.S. as right-wing Nazi and leftist, socialist liberal at the same time. Sometimes it gets on my nerves. Then I vent on K5 and shoot overboard in expressing myself. Too bad, but I am getting tired to make intellectual acrobacies to figure out what in some weirdo, left-wing or right-wing American libertarian mind is going on. I mean, you are masters of trolling, fuzzy math, FUD and marketing lies and love it, not me. :-)

Ok, I am a bit more careful to lump the right-wingers in the U.S. all in one "bad and evil" bag in the future.




[ Parent ]
OB Godwin's Law invocation.. (5.00 / 1) (#56)
by Mr Tom on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 06:39:26 AM EST

And only 3 words into the article's title. Good effort! :-)
-- Mr_Tom<at>gmx.co.uk

I am a consultant. My job is to make your job redundant.

Domestic Neo-Nazis, not bin Laden, behind Anthrax | 61 comments (57 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
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