Without a shadow of doubt, one has to be a Muslim/Middle Easterner to be called a “terrorist.” Otherwise, it really doesn’t matter what you have in your possession. Take the recent case of Ronald Swerlein, a retired electrical engineer from Colorado. Here is what the man had stockpiled in his home:
“Along with about 400 different chemicals and books on homemade explosives, police also took three metal grenade shells, 15 boxes of military fuel shells, a Glock 22 handgun, multiple flare guns, multiple stun guns, a Taser and cartridges, a .25-caliber semiautomatic pistol, a five-shot revolver, a 9-mm semiautomatic, a .40-caliber Glock, a .38-caliber revolver, a Colt .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol, several other guns, and boxes of ammunition for the guns.”
So, what would you think happened to him? He was released on a $50,000.00 bail and ultimately charged only with possession of explosives, and one count of drug possession. Oh, did I mention that the police were sensible enough to release him after safely detonating his stock pile of nitroglycerin!? And of course, Mr. Swerlein’s cache of PETN and Thermite (explosives used in demolition jobs) were not returned to him!
What about media’s coverage of his case!? You can hear the pin drop. Except for minimal coverage, mostly in the local media, not much has been said about it. There were no news action alerts with catchy graphics plastered on CNN or any of the other propaganda sources for at least a whole day. No experts, analysts, or pundits were brought in to speculate on the potential threat that had been averted. No, not much was said. After all, his name is not Mohammed, or Ali, or some such. And try as one might, there is no connection that can be made to Iran or anywhere else in the Middle East. To borrow Rumsfeld’s vocabulary, this piece of news was not “actionable intelligence” for the media.
There is one striking difference here. In most of the cases where the suspects are Muslim/Middle Easterner, the evidence is much more questionable. There is always the “informant” who turns out to have coaxed the suspects in hatching up a harebrained plot. Or, the explosives have dual use and may be for something all together different. Or, the whole thing is just impractical, like the case of the liquid explosives, which had to be mixed on a plane!
Now, you may think this is a one time thing and the great Western institutions of free press just fell asleep on the job. I offer the case of Robert Goldstein who was arrested in 2002 in Florida. He’s not as famous as the guys who wanted to attack Fort Dix, or the liquid bomb plotters, or the Canadian fertilizer bombers, etc. No, he just wanted to blow up an Islamic Education Center. He had the usual assortment of weapons, and 20 explosive devices, enough material to make 30 to 40 more bombs, and a hand written mission plan to “kill all the rags.” He was arrested and taken to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation. Had he been Muslim, his “psychiatric tests” would have been at a gulag like Gitmo not an air-conditioned Florida hospital. Did the media cover it? Well, count the people around you who know about the above two cases and compare it to the other more famous cases.
* ABC News: Homeowner Arrested After Explosives Found In Longmont
* CNN: Florida man plotted mosque attacks, feds say
* Winter Patriot: Ronald Swerlein Charged: Ten Counts Of Illegal Explosives, One Count Of Drug Possession