Ashcroft went a bit overboard?

by way of <>
Wed, 12 Jun 2002 16:35:14 -0800

Gotta remember, questioning is good, unless you're labeled a terrorist 
for it.   

This btw, is not all that shocking.  Spin and politics go hand n hand.  
  My -only- hope is that this was just so greviously wrong (ex: They 
arrested a nutjob who had nothing more than a malformed unplanned idea 
in his head, and therefore can't hold him as a enemy of the state)  and 
they suffer politically for it.   Maybe by seeing the wide sweeping 
rammifications of giving up liberties, people might finally get it.  

This will not be the only case. 

[Seems that it's reasonable to ask some basic question: Did Abdullah
Al Muhajir possess radioactive materials of the type that could be
used for a "dirty bomb?" Did he try to form those into a weapon? In
short, was he an (alleged) terrorist wannabe or someone who
(allegedly) was serious about causing widescale harm? Given that DOJ
has in the past claimed drunk airline passengers were "domestic
terrorists" (to up its anti-terror budgets), it makes sense to be
somewhat skeptical here. --Declan]


Page 1A   
Threat of 'dirty bomb' softened Ashcroft's remarks annoy White House

   By Kevin Johnson
   and Toni Locy
   WASHINGTON -- Attorney General John Ashcroft on Monday overstated the

   potential threat posed by ''dirty bomb'' suspect Abdullah Al Muhajir,

   Bush administration and law enforcement officials said Tuesday.
   Ashcroft's remarks annoyed the White House and led the administration

   to soften the government's descriptions of the alleged plot. ''I 
   think there was actually a plot beyond some fairly loose talk and (Al

   Muhajir's) coming in here obviously to plan further deeds,'' Deputy
   Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told CBS on Tuesday.
   His comments echoed those Monday of FBI Director Robert Mueller and
   Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson. They backed away from
   Ashcroft's descriptions of the alleged plot but emphasized that Al
   Muhajir was dangerous and that his arrest was a victory against
   Ashcroft's ominous tone surprised the White House and law enforcement

   officials here and abroad, including some who had tracked Al Muhajir
   to al-Qaeda meetings in Pakistan. The law enforcement officials say
   the evidence against Al Muhajir, 31, indicates he was interested in
   many scenarios involving explosives, and radioactive materials was 
   possibility. They say that the former Chicago gang member once known
   as Jose Padilla was up to no good, but that any plans involving
   radiation were not as mature as Ashcroft suggested.