FBI Leak Threatens National Security!

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blogging, War on Terror

Treasonous FBI officials leaked to the even more treasonous ABC News that it was investigating purchases of disposable cell phones by Middle Eastern terrorists in Texas and California.

The leak will no doubt hinder the FBI’s investigation into terrorist disposable-cell-phone-buying rings and allow members of terrorist cells to slip away.

Carelessly, and probably treasonously, numerous rightie bloggers have repeated this story all over the Internets. If the terrorists missed the broadcast of the original ABC News story, they no doubt have heard about it now. This guy even let it be known that the disposable phone sales “led the FBI to known terror cells in Texas and California.” Way to go, genius. Now the terrorists are safe until somebody reports a spike in the purchase of carrier pigeons.

Mysteriously, some treasonous Fifth Columnist (a liberal?) in the Midland, Texas, police department leaked an internal memo revealing that one cell-phone-purchase ring is connected to a terrorist cell. Bill Vanderland, head of the Midland, Texas, FBI office (and who knew podunk Midland has its own FBI office?), in an obvious attempt at damage control, put out a statement that the cell phone purchasers were not, in fact, linked to any known terrorist cell. But the toothpaste was out of the tube.

Just to show how diabolically clever the cell phone-purchasing terrorists were, they made their large quantity purchases in a California Target and a Texas Wal Mart. As alert readers of Tbogg pointed out, they could have purchased these phones without drawing attention to themselves by going through “foreign”-owned bodegas in any large city and/or making several smaller purchases instead of trying to buy as many as 150 phones at once. But no doubt the FBI monitors bodegas for cell phone purchases by Middle Eastern men; the terrorists must’ve decided they’d better take care of all their cell phone purchases in one transaction and then get out of Dodge. Or Midland, as it were.

ABC News reported that disposable phones “are widely used by criminal gangs and terrorists” because they are difficult to track. Oh, great, ABC News. Now all the criminal gangs and terrorists who hadn’t already learned to use disposable phones from watching Law & Order will be using disposable phones. Jebus.

On last night’s Countdown, known terrorist sympathizer Keith Olbermann called the timing of the FBI leak suspicious:

Meantime, late in the same week that an NSA whistleblower suggests the illicit tapping of American phones is thousands of times larger and thousands of times less focused than the President claims, suddenly we have FBI sources linking stories about Middle Easterners trying to buy vast quantities of untraceable, disposable American cell phones from K-Marts and Target stores. Which, if true, makes the wiretapping look like a good idea and its leakers look like they’ve already helped terrorists outsmart the eavesdropping. Boy, you can’t buy timing like that. I mean it. I’m asking seriously, you can’t buy timing like that, right? Reassure me it only looks too convenient to be believed….

…Federal officials telling ABC News that they have launched an investigation because of two shopping sprees in the past month. In one of them, six would-be cell phone shoppers at a Wal-Mart store in Midland, Texas, last month arrested after store employees became suspicious. The men were said to be of Middle East origin. The police report in the arrest identifying the six individuals as linked to a terror cell, but several independent counterterrorism experts think any terror connection is only in the imagination of those officials….

…Last point, the timing of that FBI cell phone investigation story, we’ll never know for sure if that is or is not just an amazing coincidence that it falls right after the whole NSA whistleblower issue comes up, but, as we had pointed out here before, the administration sure gets a lot of these breaks. Their position is challenged, and then suddenly there is a hazy story about something that seems to at least tangentially justify that position.

(BTW, the transcript above comes from Newsbusters, a blog dedicated to the proposition that all news that puts George Bush or other Republicans in a bad light, true or not, is evidence of liberal media bias. Newsbusters will not rest until liberals like Olbermann are driven from mass media, so that only the true light of Bill O’Reilly can shine forth undimmed. I guess sometimes speech can get a little too free, if you know what I mean.)

Olbermann’s implication that the FBI leaked news of an ongoing terrorist investigation in order to justify President Bush’s NSA warrantless wiretap activities is, of course, unpatriotic. Imagine our government leaking sensitive information just to manipulate public opinion. Oh, wait …

Update: Somebody’s a tad twitchy. But do not ask on whom the hammer falls …

Update update:
Glenn Greenwald: “We’re all (Paranoid, Imbalanced) Homeland Security Agents now!

Update update update:
Terrorists targeting Hemet, California? Speaking as one who was in lower Manhattan on 9/11 — this cracks me up.

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Ken Melvin  •  Jan 14, 2006 @8:34 am

    I’m betting that in reality it was illegal hispanics.

  2. maha  •  Jan 14, 2006 @8:48 am

    Ken — I wondered the same thing.

  3. Donna  •  Jan 14, 2006 @9:26 am

    Buying disposable cell phones in Texas…… buyers could be illegal hispanics who can’t afford regular cell service costs, but they could also be neo-nazi home-grown ‘terrorists’ who don’t want their activities surveilled, or local vigilantes who enjoy playing in a cowboy posse at the border.
    But as Obermann hinted…..this story has leaked at a time and in a way to offer ‘sound bite justifications’ for Bush’s illegal surveillance, at least for as long as the authorities can keep the public unaware about the buyers’ identities for ‘security reasons.’

  4. Swami  •  Jan 14, 2006 @10:29 am

    Didn’t take the righties long to sovle this mystery. Michelle Malkin linked to the Anchoress, who linked to Reliapundit, who was able to provide “circumstantial proof”. I’m glad they’re on top of it. Sensiblemom tracked down the memo leak. but reached a dead end in confirming its content because not all the individuals involved have been” apprehended”.

    It’s the linking game, a mini version of the smoking gun game.

  5. maha  •  Jan 14, 2006 @10:59 am

    I guess if you link to enough people saying the same thing you are, you must be right.

  6. Rick  •  Jan 14, 2006 @1:09 pm

    What did Ben Franklin say about those willing to give up freedom and liberty for safety deserve neither? What weenies! It might be a LITTLE better if these people had a clue that we are in the crosshairs because of our meedling in world affairs for business sake. Maybe they feel we don’t let terrorists win by changing the American way of life ie. more efficient cars but it’s ok to turn every aspect of our choice to the government that they, at the same time, distrust….(I’m confused)

  7. Bonnie  •  Jan 14, 2006 @1:57 pm

    Last night I read at firedoglake that there is a document that proves that W has doing his warrantless wiretapping since he became President. Now, we all know that before 9/11 the Bushies were not even remotely concerned about terrorists of al Quaeda. Thus, that cannot be used to justify it. Perhaps, these righties are engaged in a misdirection play trying to keep people from reporting this new bit of important information.

  8. justme  •  Jan 14, 2006 @2:08 pm

    I would like to point out a few things about this:

    First, as I have spent the past 2 weeks researching the NSA story,one question I have not heard anyone ask keeps bothering me OVER AND OVER…IF in fact there are people in this country who Bush suspects are “a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power”,why have they not been removed from our society?Why is bush wiretapping them??WHY is bush leaving vast numbers of terrorists on the streets, with the American peoples only protection from them being a wiretap?????????

    If the bush administration KNOWS enough about who these folks are to be wiretapping them, ask yourself WHY ARE THEY HERE????Is bush endangering us all by leaving terrorists on our streets so he can play wiretap games with them and HOPE they use the phone to tell all their friends BEFORE we are attacked??Hows that for homeland security???

    These folks who bush has wiretapped, lets assume they are all “agents of bin laden”…Are they American? Do we not have the right in this country to withdrawl a visa?(assuming they entered US legally)… How about the enemy combatant card? Why are all these people not rounded up under that guise?…It just seems if they are such a great risk they must be wiretapped MAYBE just waiting to see what that do is not such a smart idea. MARK my words, IF WE ARE ATTACKED AGAIN IT WILL BE THE FAULT OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION who decided to leave these folks on our streets.

    On to the cell phone thing….It sounds not like terrorists but illegals who buy a majority of those type of phones here in my local area.Further, I have heard of several large scale drug operations that use cell phones that can be used for a time, then thrown away…I am guessing the street gangs have also learned this trick.

    One of my favorite shows on HBO, a series called “The wire” last season, aided the terrorists by giving out this idea on their show, when the shows “bad guys” drove to a different city to buy large numbers of these cell phones..DAMN those liberals at HBO for helping the terrorists!

    One more thing on the cell phone hooey, as crooks and liars pointed out , Agent Vanderland, FBI, Midland Texas said :”There is NO known link or demonstrated link or any other kind of link at this point between the people here and any terror cell”…but hey that is no reason to stop the righties from making a story where none exists………………tell me again why we cannot just divide the damn country into two????

  9. Donna  •  Jan 14, 2006 @2:37 pm

    Yes, justme surely just nailed down the logic which refutes the President’s stated reasons for illegal use of surviellance…….so the question looms again: Just who is he spying on for political/power/Rovian reasons, reasons which, of course, the FISA court [designed to prevent such actions] would reject?

  10. A Alexander Stella  •  Jan 14, 2006 @2:41 pm

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    ……\
    .he who is known as sefton

  11. justme  •  Jan 14, 2006 @3:34 pm

    2 more points:

    I saw it mentioned on a rightie blog that these phones are used as devices to trigger explosives..which I cannot imagine ANYONE wanting to happen.Not being a “bad guy” or a “terrorist” I cannot be sure, but couldn’t any cell phone be set up to do that , rather then just the “pay and throw away” ones?If the righties really want to be safe, maybe we should all give up our cell phones in the name of fighting terror…can we risk our safety for all those free minutes? Maybe we should tuck and cover whenever anyone picks up their cell phone,, just to be sure.

    Also if these “pay and throw away” phones are the danger Bush and the righties claim, why not order no more can legally be sold?, rather then use them as a lame excuse to violate the rights of any American they see fit?.Wouldn’t it be cheaper for the governemnt to pass a law making the sale of said phones illegal then to spend the money to wiretap calls?

  12. justme  •  Jan 14, 2006 @3:36 pm

    re update update update……notice the rate of men to women there is 45 men 54 women? maybe they are going for the extra women?

  13. Swami  •  Jan 14, 2006 @3:37 pm

    “The point is the terrorists are not only in the big cities. They are in the small towns either hoping to buy necessary supplies like these cell phones hoping the hay seeds won’t notice what they are up to or they may even be planning to attack small town America.”

    You can’t pull the wool over The Real Ugly American’s eyes,he’s got it all figger’d out. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

  14. Rick  •  Jan 14, 2006 @5:04 pm

    Swami- I think eternal vigilance should read eternal right to kick someone’s ass for own self grandizement….(Maha, don’t grade me an grammer, usage, spelling or making up my own words. I am an American after all and shouldn’t be restricted by such tings)

  15. The Ugly American  •  Jan 14, 2006 @8:01 pm

    thankfully none of you were working at wall mart.

    Justme yes any cell phone can be used to detonate a bomb. However if you purchase one from lets say verizon. they ask for your name address phone credit card etc.

    You don’t do that with a prepaid cell phone.

    get it?

    No I don’t have it all figured out swami but I know anyone buying 150 prepaid cell phones in Hemet is up to no good.

  16. maha  •  Jan 14, 2006 @8:23 pm

    Dear Ugly, if they were dumb enough to buy 150 prepaid cell phones in a Wal Mart I wouldn’t worry about them much. They aren’t exactly A-list terrorists.

  17. doran  •  Jan 14, 2006 @9:30 pm

    Ok, everyone, this is a great opportunity for a little bit of throwing the sabots into the gears. If you can afford, go to Wal Mart or whereever and buy a bunch of disposable phones. This will make the nerds and dumb asses at the store all suspicious, and they’ll call the feds or the local equally dumb ass law enforcement. Tie them in knots. Make them waste their time. Tell the officers you are buying the phones for gifts. They will make great gifts next Christmas. Or birthday gifts. If you can find a mid-eastern looking guy to do it, that is even better. If you can’t find a latino to do it; to the paranoid mind, they all look alike. Have fun……By the way, Midland, Texas, is a hot bed of terrorist activity; That is where Bush is from, after all.

  18. Jack  •  Jan 14, 2006 @9:43 pm

    The attorney generals’ case for warrantless electronic surveillance has been refuted by fourteen constitutional scholars and former government officials in an open letter to Congress. This letter is published in the New York Review of Books at the following URL: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18650.

  19. maha  •  Jan 14, 2006 @10:16 pm

    If terrorists wanted to buy a couple hundred disposable phones in New York City, all they’d have to do is go from bodega to bodega, buying one or two phones at each, until they had all they needed. But even better, since lots of those bodegas are owned by Middle Eastern men, they ought to be able to get ’em wholesale.

  20. Swami  •  Jan 14, 2006 @10:22 pm

    but I know anyone buying 150 prepaid cell phones in Hemet is up to no good.

    What a gift…. to look into another man’s heart and mind at long distance and without facts, and then be able to judge his guilt.

  21. maha  •  Jan 14, 2006 @10:28 pm

    For all we know, the cell phones were meant to be clever Christmas stocking stuffers. Seriously, I would suspect they were planning some kind of criminal activity. But if so, they were amateurs.

  22. justme  •  Jan 15, 2006 @3:01 am

    No ugly,, i don’t get it,, there is nothing to keep terrorists from walking into say verizon and giving a fake name for a FREE phone .Heck on the family share plan you can get 4 for the price of one of those throw away ones… but i guess those folks at verizon are not aiding terrorists with deals like that huh?

    If you have ever been ID’ed before buying a cell phone you must look suspect…..and I noticed ,Ugly,you were unwilling or unable to answer a question I put forward except for the one about how to be a terrorist,,, not so good ugly.



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