August 12, 2002

READER GARY PULSINELLI forwards this link to a story in the Washington Post about authorities cracking down on “small scams” that may be sending money to terrorists, and adds these comments:

First, it shows that Customs is doing something in the war on terror, and it seems to have caught on to something subtle but important. It also shows that, while the agency was concerned with accusations of “profiling,” it didn’t let that stop the operation. And as an added bonus, it’s diverting funds from the war on drugs! As big a failure as that war is overall, parts of it can work effectively, and I suspect this may be one of them. However, I think the most interesting is

the tone of the coverage. The Post seems to have no problem with this type of investigation. Beyond the obligatory quote from CAIR (and even that quote seems selected to appear faintly ridiculous), the article focuses on how effective the method has been and the large numbers of Middle Easterners who were actually caught doing something wrong.

You don’t have to work all that hard to find a CAIR quote that sounds at least faintly ridiculous. But I do think that CAIR has squandered its credibility. I hope that this is working as well as the story makes it sound.

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