Remember the diabolical plot to blow up the Chicago Sears Tower? When the "plot" broke our friends over at Wizbang breathelessly recounted the details providing no less than 9 (count 'em...9!) updates.
Well, guess what? A federal jury in Miami failed to reach a verdict on 6 of the defendants and acquitted one as reported by CNN. The impasse came after 9 days of deliberation by the jury. One of the jurors is speaking out:
Jeff Agron, 46, the jury's foreman, told reporters outside the courthouse in downtown Miami that the complexity of the case -- with seven defendants each facing four conspiracy counts -- made for "tough" deliberations.
"There were just different takes by different people," he said, even though he declined to elaborate how the 12 jurors split on each count and each defendant. "I feel that we did the best job that we could."
He said the jury believed that of the four counts against the defendants, the weakest was the government's charge that the men conspired to wage war against the United States. The other charges against the men were conspiracy to provide material support to Al Qaeda, conspiracy to destroy federal buildings and conspiracy to provide material support for the destruction of federal buildings.
At the time this "plot" was uncovered I was deeply skeptical that there was really anything there. For one thing, check out the names of these diabolical plotters:
- Narseal Baptiste (aka "Brother Naz" and "Prince Manna")
- Lyblenson Lemorin (aka "Brother Levi")
- Patrick Abraham (aka "Brother Pat")
- Stanley Grant Phanor (aka "Brother Sunni")
- Naudimar Herrera (aka "Brother Naudy")
- Rothschild Augustine (aka "Brother Rot")
- Burson Augustin (aka "Brother B")
You'll have to forgive me but these just don't sound like the names of al Qaeda terrorists. Names like Brother Naudy and Brother Rot just don't fill me with paralyzing fear and debilitating dread (maybe some of these guys can give me some tips on how to be afraid?).
And another thing, these guys just don't look like terrorists either (see picture above). Now, I'm not sure I have an exact photographic profile to identify all terrorists, I just have a feeling that these guys aren't it. (I would, however, recommend that they follow Tom DeLay's example and put on a broad grin when getting a mug shot).
I am not sure of all their nationalities but at least two were Haitian and the others have names that lead me to believe they are of Jamaican or other Caribbean ancestry. I have never in my life heard of any Jamaicans, Haitians or Caribbean-Americans being involved with al Qaeda or Islamic terrorist groups. When was the last time there was a car bombing in Jamaica or Trinidad? (Spare me wingnut fact-checkers, because I'm well aware there are Islamic militant groups in the Caribbean, particularly Trinidad. I'm talking about real terrorists here. People who are actually capable of spreading some terror--not just talking about.)
You can read about the pathetic evidence that the government brought against these guys elsewhere. Suffice it to say, there wasn't much there at all. I'm actually surprised the jurors didn't reject all the charges, but I'm willing to suspend judgment until the decision comes down from the second trial. I could be wrong about these guys. But I doubt it.
Oh, and what did our fear-mongering friends at Wizbang have to say about today's events? That's right:
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!