Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Dismissed With Predjudice

The nefarious might be a plot to maybe blow up the Mackinac Bridge. All five miles of it. LATimes (08.16.06):
"(W)hen five men in Ohio and Michigan were stopped last week in separate incidents and found to be carrying large numbers of the phones, local authorities decided to do their part in fighting the war on terrorism. The men were arrested and charged under state law with terrorism-related offenses that left them facing up to 20 years in prison." Los Angeles Times: Cellphone Buys Lead to States' Terror Charges
"But now the local cases against the men appear to be unraveling almost as quickly as they were stitched together." "The FBI has taken the unusual step of declaring publicly that it was unaware of any evidence linking the men to terrorists." "On Tuesday, a prosecutor in the Ohio case dismissed the terrorism-related charges, acknowledging that he did not have the evidence to make them stand in court. And defense lawyers in the Michigan case are going into court today to have the charges against their clients thrown out as well." "'Unfortunately, these Barney Fife-like procedures of the police departments are increasing an Islamic-phobic atmosphere, which already exists in American society today," said Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an advocacy group. His reference was to the fictional deputy sheriff on the 'The Andy Griffith Show' who was known for his exuberant, if bumbling, police work." Mark Reene, the prosecutor up in Michigan, is being a real hard-ass about this, issuing a news release saying "that he was standing by the charges." Guess Mark got a little too committed here to care about becoming the laughing-stock of the county. Folks up there are gonna tease him unmercifully about this.


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