Thursday July 12, 2007
Hey look, Onajide spotted one of those black helicopters they keep telling you don’t exist. Think, indeed.
Monday July 2, 2007
Interview with Miami Police Chief John Timoney re. terrorism threats during July 4th on NPR.
Wednesday January 17, 2007
Tuesday January 9, 2007
Let’s just clear the decks on this one: the thing at the port. (here is the Herald link, but I’m a little fed up with the Herald as I sift through my archives and find all my links to their articles dead; at least Rick quotes the pertinent bit). Well, the internets exploded yesterday with jeers about the overreaction, the hysteria, whatnot. I don’t have the links, but trust me, there are 4,000 links on Technorati, windows were popping up faster then I could close them yesterday, and I don’t feel like digging them back up.
Here’s the thing: A guy pulls up to the port in an 18-wheeler. He doesn’t speak English. He doesn’t have a permit to enter. He says there’s nobody in the cab with him, but it turns out there are two other dudes, who also don’t speak English. And you guys think it’s overreacting to think that it could be a terrorist attack? I mean, OK, it’s a little silly, when you think about it logically, if there were explosives or whatever going through the port, they would come in on a ship and leave on a truck. But still — the guards have a job to do, and it seems like an overabundance of caution in this case was pretty advisable.
I direct your attention to Type I and Type II errors. An inperfect system can be optimized to tend to generate either false-positive or false-negative errors. If false-negative = successful terrorist attack, isn’t a false-positive once in awhile sort of acceptable?
Update: Subject to verification. If the driver in fact speaks perfectly good English (as Rick says in the comments) and it was the guard who had a language issue (as was claimed somewhere) then somebody should be hung out to dry.
Update: Channel 10 unfortunately doesn’t have the video Rick’s talking about, but here’s the story.
Amar Al-Hadad said he was “humiliated, disrespected (and) treated real badly just because my name is an Arabic name and I’m a Muslim.”
Well, there’s that, and there’s the fact that you were rolling into a freakin’ port without the proper permits, with two other dudes, one of whom didn’t even have ID. If he shed any light as to what the hell he was thinking, the article doesn’t quote that part. The police treat everyone like shit, and while it’s entirely possible that they’re racist and treat non-whites worse, I don’t see how this guy knows how he would have been treated were he, say, a Mormon from Minnesota.
Wednesday September 13, 2006
Monday September 4, 2006
Friday June 30, 2006
The Palm Beach Post’s Frank Cerabino on the recent Liberty City terror arrests. “So don’t worry about the usual legal problems with entrapment and flimsy evidence. We are in a ‘detain indefinitely’ mode these days. And we can certainly work around all your constitutional deficiencies and elicit confessions through water-board torture, if necessary.” Related: “Miami Groups Cry Double Standard In Terror Arrests.”
Monday June 26, 2006
“I don’t think anyone seriously believes that these were real terrorists. We used to have agents and confidential informants creating drug deals in Liberty City. Now it looks like they are creating homegrown cells.”—David Markus, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Friday June 23, 2006
Federal agents, assisted by Miami police’s SWAT team, swarmed in Thursday afternoon, cordoning off several blocks around the building at 6260 NW 15th Ave., in the Liberty Square housing project, known by locals as Pork-n-Beans. Cedric Thomas, a co-owner of Thomas Produce Market, said the area around his store was teeming with federal agents. “There is a ton of guys in uniforms moving around, blocking the streets,” said Thomas, whose store, a Liberty City institution, is at 1376 NW 62nd St., near the area cordoned off by police. [sic]
They didn’t have any guns, explosives, or definitive plans. They did have pictures of the Sears Tower, though, so there’s that. It turns out that the group had been having communications with al-Qaida for awhile, just that the al-Qaida in question was undercover feds. Tricky. I wonder how the feds found about them. Oh, that’s right. Well, I guess everything worked out great.