The Jaywalker Had Unmutual Thoughts

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Tragicomic newspaper-bungle story over at Romenesko:

A July story in Gannett's Fond du Lac (Wis.) Reporter said a local gas station owner may have been a 9/11 "plotter." Actually, a federal official said the man was only an "applauder." A photo of the station—with its address—accompanied the story.

Lawsuits ensue. This is being played up, understandably so, as the Mother of All Newspaper Errors, but my lonely thoughts turn to the misquoted Department of Homeland Security official. The station owner, a Pakistani national named Faryad Hussain, was busted for a marriage scam, and deported. Yet DHS official Jeff Stillings clucked:

"Our investigation has shown that Faryad has strong anti-American sentiments," Stillings said. "He was a strong applauder of the 9-11 attacks. He was a applauder of Osama bin Laden, and he did not have our best interests (at heart)."

I suppose this should make me feel safer, but it doesn't. If the feds are going around looking for non-terrorism technicalities to bust people judged to "not have our best interests at heart," then it speaks poorly for their anti-terrorism investigations in the first place. And call me a literalist, but I'd rather people be arrested for what they do, as opposed to what they're perceived to believe.

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  1. and so close to Ripon, too.

    (birthplace of the GOP).

    this proves it. the GOP hates america.

  2. You’re a literalist.

  3. LOL.

    and you’re a serf.

    (even more chuckles)

    🙂

    drf

  4. And call me a literalist, but I’d rather people be arrested for what they do, as opposed to what they’re perceived to contain in their heart.

    Thoughtcrime is the only crime that matters. All other crimes stem from thoughtcrime.

    nmg

  5. Literalist!? Try TERRORIST!

  6. Like the Prezident sez: Yer either fer us or agin us.

  7. Literalist!? Try TERRORIST!

    Remind me, who’s the terrorists?

    Faryad Hussain, was busted for a marriage scam, and deported

    Man, you have to understand that sometimes you just have to fight fire with fire.

  8. “Thoughtcrime is the only crime that matters. All other crimes stem from thoughtcrime.”

    Dammit, I was gonna say that….

  9. At least it wasn’t a gay marriage scam. Then he’d really be in trouble.

  10. Careful, drf, that rabbit fights like a giraffe.

    “Newspaper squirms over malapropism” is one of the best headlines I’ve ever seen.

  11. So…if, as I’ve been told, you cannot love your country but hate its government, then the reverse must be true, that if you do not think your government has your best interests at heart, you must also believe your country does not have your best interests at heart. Ergo, about half the people in this country hate America. So do they intend to deport the citizens or put them in camps of some sort?
    But if more than half the people in a democracy dislike it, doesn’t that imply that the norm is to dislike and thus the “likers” are deviants and we can bust some phat imminent domain and take all their stuff?

  12. If you keep allowing the receipt printer at the pump to run out of paper, then you deserve to be deported.

  13. Now, now, I’ve worked at gas stations, and it was during that period that I really internalized that most people are utter, knee-biting morons who should never be allowed to reproduce. Not getting a receipt was really the least of their problems.

  14. Props on the Prisoner reference. The new Number 2 will be pleased.

  15. Number 6 — Note, too, the above reference to the “village” … speaking of which, I hear McGoohan lives in quiet reclusion somewhere not far from me. Maybe I can arrange for a Q&A….

  16. thanks for the heads up, Joe. so noted. 🙂

  17. OT, but the first paragraph reminds me of a few years back during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandals. The office clown — also a big Clinton supporter — maintained that “Clinton never told Monica that he wanted her to lie in the deposition! He just told her that he wanted her to ‘lie in de position.’ “

  18. “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” —Benjamin Franklin

  19. “call me a literalist, but I’d rather people be arrested for what they do, as opposed to what they’re perceived to believe.”

    Easy for you to say. You’ve never been the victim of a marriage scam.

  20. Well, you ARE a literalist. “He did not have our best interests at heart” is merely a euphemism for “he wished us harm,” in this case. Sort of like when I say that Miers is not a very good choice for the Supreme Court…

  21. Furthermore, as our rabbit-fighting ex-president would note, if lusting after a woman is adultery in the heart, then applauding 9/11 is terrorism in the heart, no?

  22. Furthermore, as our rabbit-fighting ex-president would note, if lusting after a woman is adultery in the heart, then applauding 9/11 is terrorism in the heart, no?

    Maybe, but Jimmy Carter would also understand that the Bill of Rights defines the US government’s enforcement role when it comes to these crimes in the heart. Do you?

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