TBogg

Cellphones of Mass Destruction

Can you hear me now?
Probably not.
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Since the Great Oklahoma Backpack Bomber Scare of 2005 went the way of Jack Abramoff’s career, Michelle Malkin needed another threat to the homeland to get all nipply about and she found it in swarthy types buying cell phones. Quickly, Commisioner! Turn on the Crazy Ass Racist Bitch Signal!

Picture this: You’re a retail store clerk. It’s the busy Christmas season. A half-dozen men of Middle Eastern/South Asian descent walk into the store. They want to buy between 60-150 disposable cell phones–you know, the kind that can’t be traced. The kind that have been used by terrorists as detonators.

What do you do?

Do you think nothing of the incident? Hope for the best, sell them what they want, and move on?

Do you feel guilty for “profiling” them and dismiss any misgivings you have?

Or do you listen to your post-9/11 conscience and contact the authorities?

Lucky for us, some clerks who work at Wal-Mart and Target did not give in to ingrained P.C. impulses.

[…]

ABC News has posted the Midland Police Department police report of the incident, which notes that “Upon the arrival of special agents, and as a result of subsequent interviews, it was discovered that members of the group were linked to suspected terrorist cells stationed within the Metroplex.”

[…]

According to ABC News, “other reports have come in from other cities, including Dallas, and from authorities in other states. Authorities in Pennsylvania, New York and other parts of Texas confirmed that they were alerted to the cases, and sources say other jurisdictions were also notified.”

The investigations may yield solid terrorism leads. Or they may not. But if 9/11 taught us anything, it was to be unapologetically vigilant. To act now and avoid the cacophany of hindsight hysterics later. What good are all the “Be alert” admonitions from the government if no one alerts authorities when their alarms go off?

Some civil liberties absolutists will no doubt go bananas over “racist” store clerks who blow the whistle on suspicious behavior. But the rest of us, including the feds who are now following up on the citizen watchdog reports, should be nothing but grateful–and ready to do the same.

Of course, as usual, they were wrong again:

FURTHER UPDATE: Sensible Mom wrote to say that she’s talked to the Midland Police Department. The document is real, but not intended for public consumption:

I just spoke with Tina Jauz, the Public Information Officer, and she stated the the document is for law enforcement use only. It is a preliminary report of on-the-scene information and thoughts. The report is used to inform the next shift, for briefings and is shared with other agencies assisting the department. The document is for internal use only. The Midland Police Department did not release this information to ABC News. At this point, they don’t know who released the report….

She also links to a report in the local newspaper that indicates the police have backed off the link to a terrorist group:

ABC’s Thursday story also asserted a link between a suspected terrorist cell and the men attempting to purchase cell phones in Midland.

According to an MPD incident report quoted in an ABC online report paralleling Thursday’s televised Nightly News story, “it was discovered that members of the group were linked to suspected terrorist cells stationed within the Metroplex.”

However Vanderland said Thursday after the ABC report aired that assertions of a connection between a terror cell and the men who attempted to purchase cell phones from a Midland Wal-Mart were invalid.

“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,” he said.”

Which doesn’t mean, of course, that the attempted mass cell phone purchase wasn’t suspicious.

Cuz, you know, the buyers weren’t white.

You know, when John Hinderaker is the calmer slightly more sensible one, you’ve pretty much passed unhinged about three miles back.

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Yeah. Like I would tell you....