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Monday, March 03, 2008

Heroes of the State Security Apparatus

Tarik Shah was a dangerous man. Everything about him seemed a little too foreign to the white shirt and navy blue suited warriors of the State Security Apparatus. He was black, a Muslim, a karate enthusiast, and a jazz musician, all the things that made their blond crewcuts tingle with alarm. But in the final analysis, they weren't the characteristics that prompted the agents to move against Shah. It was his stupidity that enticed them. That made their job easy.

Easy isn't the adjective used to describe real terror investigations. It takes years to make a case against a genuine terrorist if they can be found at all. That's why the anthrax mailing case, in which Democratic senators and congesspeople were attacked with a weaponized biological agent, languishes in the cold case file while the FBI manufactures terrorists by promising shoes to the underclass and steady paychecks to struggling jazz bassists.

That's not to say that making the case against Shah was completely effortless. A modest amount of work and a great deal of money was required to pull it off.

Shah first came to the FBI's attention when an FBI informant, one much like alleged FBI operative Hal Turner, reported that a book store owner had told him that Shah might know someone who could send money to terrorists. Acting on the FBI's orders, the informant (CI-1, as he was called in court papers) approached Shah, but was repeatedly rebuffed.

CI-1 was eventually removed from the case after he blew his cover by lighting himself on fire in front of the White House (apparently, he felt that the $100,000 he had received for his services was insufficient).

That's when the State Security Apparatus brought in Theodore Shelby, a stick up man they had found in a prison where he was serving time for robbing tollbooths. He had agreed to help in exchange for an early release.

Shelby approached Shah at a club one night and asked him to teach him how to play the bass. Shah agreed and they became friends. Once he had Shelby's trust, he introduced him to one of the FBI's top undercover agents, Ali Soufan, who then hired Shah to give karate lessons to terrorists for $1000 a week.

And thus a terrorism case was born.

And it was a good case, one that resulted in a conviction and a 15 year sentence. It does not matter that this terrorist was created rather than caught. The system makes no such distictions. A conviction, is a conviction, is a conviction no matter if it's the result of real police work or trawling the seas of the stupid. Either one is a victory for the State Security Apparatus, so why bust your ass on the long hard work of searching for a genuine threat when you can stuff your year-end reports with jazz mucisians? It was good enough for Special Agent Soufan's bosses at the FBI, and apparently good enough for the good people at Giuliani Partners too. Yes, now he's selling his skills at Rudy's shop.

I'm Proud to be an American
By Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone I'd worked for all my life,
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife,
I'd thank my lucky stars to be living here today,
'Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can't take that away.

I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free,
And I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today,
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.

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We'll try dumping haloscan and see how it works.