Double Standards

More details are slowly emerging about three men charged with disrupting telephone service to thousands of people in Saint Paul – and now believed to be involved in a whole lot more, as well. It’s not getting a whole lot of coverage, but that will likely increase – and it raises an interesting question.

These three idiots – Levi Glennie, Christopher Walter, and Ian McCombs – are charged with cutting phone lines, and the FBI is involved in figuring out whether they’re responsible for a wave of power outages throughout the state. On top of that, there’s word they may have been involved in other telephone outages – including knocking out cellular service at the University of Minnesota for half a day, something I’m sure authorities are pursuing vigorously. Yet, despite all this, nobody, other than a few people leaving comments on websites, have mentioned the “dreaded ‘T’ word” – terrorism. Why? Call me cynical, but if these three were MEM, wouldn’t they be national news? Wouldn’t DHS be involved? Wouldn’t there be a “sector specific” elevation of the terror alert level for the telecom and electrical-utility industries?

Now, I’ve got two theories as to why this is the case, and both of them are, I admit, pretty cynical. One is that, simply, people are too obsessed about the supposed threat of “islamic extremists”, and a bunch of lower-class white guys just isn’t threat- or note-worthy. I think it’s more likely, and possibly related, that this isn’t big news because they apparently weren’t on the radar of the federal government; whether that’s because they’re white, or just because they didn’t do anything to attract the attention of a three-letter agency. Remember, these guys weren’t caught as the result of electronic surveillance, technical intelligence intercepts, or anything flashy like that; they were caught by good old local patrol officers doing good old low-technology policing. Without a federal agency to toot their own horn, and proclaim the “obvious” importance of funding whatever advanced program was involved, this remains a local issue without any whiff of terrorism.

Mind you, I don’t think this had the slightest thing to do with terrorism, no matter how liberal an interpretation of the term you use. But, the gods know, a lot of much less suspicious activities have been branded, however briefly or prematurely, as terrorism in the past; perhaps instead of cynicism, I should be thankful that everyone is seems less quick to point fingers and shout “witch”, er, “terrorist” than they used to?

Published in: General, Security | on November 30th, 2007| Comments Off on Double Standards

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.