Richard Cohen: The Miami 7 arrests were over-hyped

I blogged on Sunday about some of the strange reactions coming out of the MSM and the left regarding the arrest of the Miami 7– I noted how the ‘skeptics’ of the arrests were implying, if not outright saying that the arrests weren’t that big a deal, that we should give them the benefit of the doubt (a press rule that doesn’t apply when the accused are members of the US military), and that they might have even been ‘entrapped.’

Richard Cohen, writing in today’s WaPo, typifies the reaction of the media and the left as it relates to the Miami 7 arrests: they were overhyped, according to him. He writes:

Naturally, cable news was all over the story since it provided pictures . These included shots of the Sears Tower, the FBI bureau, the seven alleged terrorists and, of course, Gonzales dutifully playing his assigned role of the dummy. He noted that the suspects wanted to wage a “full ground war” against the United States and “kill all the devils” they could — this despite a clear lack of materiel and sidewalk-level IQs. Still, as Gonzales pointed out, if “left unchecked, these homegrown terrorists may prove to be as dangerous as groups like al-Qaeda.” A presidential medal for the man, please.

It is not now and never has been my intention to belittle terrorism. Clearly, if what the government alleges turns out to be the truth — look, that sometimes happens — then these guys deserve punishment. But theirs was such a preposterous, crackpot plot that the only reason it rose to the level of a televised news conference by the nation’s chief law enforcement officer was the Bush administration’s compulsive need to hype everything. For this, Gonzales, like a good Boy Scout, is always prepared.

Bbbbut it’s not now nor ever has it been his intention to belittle terrorism. Uh huh.

Newsflash, Mr. Cohen: Get a flipping clue, pal. The Miami 7 arrests were a good thing. Repeat that to yourself. I know you can do it! Remember: it only takes one, and they don’t have to be especially bright to pull it off.

The people guilty of overhyping things related to the war on terror are Cohen and others like him in the media. Remember the “innocent professor” Sami Al-Arian, who Salon and the NYT claimed was being unfairly targeted by the FBI? He pled guilty in April to conspiring to help the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization (he was acquitted on 8 other charges, and the jury deadlocked on 9 other charges but that was thanks to a sloppy case against Al Arian by the Justice Dept.). As part of his plea deal, he’ll be deported from the United States. Remember the ‘unlawfully detained’ Mike Hawash? He pled guilty back in August 2003 to aiding the Taliban and agreed to testify against other suspects in the “Portland 7” terror case.

Time after time the media points to cases where the the Justice Department is supposedly ‘overstepping its bounds under the law’ regarding the arrests and detention of terror suspects as well as accusing them of ‘overhyping’ the terror threat. From the examples I provided above, it should be clear that the ‘overhyping’ on terror threats is done by the media – except they think the terror threats are coming directly from the Bush administration, who they assert are stepping all over the Constitution and ‘trampling all over everyone’s rights’ in an effort to ‘seize too much power’ in the war on terror. Not only that, but the media (as well as certain members of Congress) are also over-eager to condemn US troops in Iraq for alleged war crimes before they’ve even been tried, but don’t hesitate to condemn our government for taking a supposed ‘guilty before innocent’ stance towards suspected terrorists.


From the looks of things, Cohen has succumbed to the Bush hatred he’s admitted others in the Democratic party are notorious for.

What a shame.

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