Shoddy investigations of terrorism within our shores have been something of which we seemingly have suffered somewhat throughout our recent history in the USA. So it would come as little surprise to me if upon awakening one day, I was to be greeted by the news that an extremists group had performed another act of terrorism on US soil. As it stands, today we are lucky, and some excellent investigative work seems to have been accomplished, see: At Least 5 Arrested in Alleged Fort Dix Murder Plot at FoxNews.com @ http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,270601,00.html
So, it appears that a terrorist plot to attack our soldiers at Fort Dix, NJ has been thwarted. That is a very good thing, yet there are some very bad things to be found in the above linked story. The most obvious is that terrorists are within our borders (it must not have been to hard for them to get here, either they could have crossed illegally - thanks George Bush; or it seems implied in the report that it is possible Bill Clinton may have actually invited them in and given them citizenship after the Balkans war). Well whatever, they are here, and they are plotting to attack us. As per the article these guys had already surveyed multiple targets of opportunity.
While law enforcement officials on the federal and state levels seem, so far, to have done a good investigation on these guys; I almost wonder how that was possible with attitudes of officials as observed in this quote:
""While the group's alleged actions are alarming, it may not have gone beyond the concept stage," a federal source told FOX News."
Someone in the federal government needs a clue as to what makes up a concept, and as to what makes up a conspiracy (the type of conspiracy containing overt acts, and yes legally there is a big difference). A concept my loyal readers is an idea, a thought, a product of the imagination, a broad principal that affects behavior, ones grasp of an idea, a method or plan. That is all that is a concept, it is a product of the imagination, and remains within the imagination, because it is an idea. A conspiracy with an overt act is something else. The plan has already been set by two or more people, who have agreed to carry it out, and which plan has already in some shape or form been worked toward by these individuals in the commission of an overt act to achieve any part of said plan. How could a federal official, speaking about such a case, not realize the difference,. How could he say that the plan was only a concept. If such is the case, there is no conspiracy with or without an overt act.
The truth of the matter, if the report is correct, is that there was a plan to commit a crime, more than one individual agreed to it (simple conspiracy), and one or more of the individuals committed one or more overt acts toward the end of that conspiracy (conspiracy with overt act). The overt acts consisted of them trying to obtain weapons, of them performing surveillance of the military bases and other potential targets. This is a huge legal difference; but the fault of the federal official who allegedly said that this was just in the "concept" stage would not be just that he/she did not know the difference between concept and conspiracy, but that said federal official, and official of our government, just said something very stupid that could be, and probably will be, used in the defense of these alleged terrorists in a court of law. One of the first rules of speaking about a case is, when law enforcement arrests someone with probable cause, law enforcement should never give the other side even part of its defense. In other words law enforcement should do a good job, and therefore when you see announcements about such things, man of the facts are withheld until the time of discovery requires them to be shown to the defense. In addition mouths should remain shut, that is unless what you have to say to the press has been cleared after first being well thought out. Statements like this one about it being in the concept stages are, if actually made, just apparently a product of a blabbermouth who could not wait to get it right by thinking before speaking, and who could not wait to throw a cog into the wheels of justice.
Hopefully there is more than enough hard cold evidence against these defendants to have them convicted without such a statement being given any real weight by a jury.
All the best,