Friday, July 15, 2005

Nightline on Lodi

Here is a copy of an e-mail I sent to ABC's Nightline program on their awful Nighline program regarding the "alleged" Lodi California Muslim militants:

I watched you recent program on the “alleged” militants in Lodi Ca. and was appalled.

1. The program was remarkably ill-timed. Britain was just attacked by home-grown Islamic militants. Yet, the program’s theme was that the FBI was overreacting by closely watching associates of Muslims who had admitted training for Jihad in Pakistan (or knowingly paying for such training).

2. The program only gave the side of Muslims in Lodi. The only other opinion you obtained was from a former FBI agent who supported your conclusion that the FBI was overreacting. However, you failed to highlight the fact that two of the Muslims arrested admitted to the training or supporting the training (and don’t go believing that the confessions were involuntary, take it from an attorney - they are almost never thrown out by courts because they are almost never involuntary). Further, you spent a great deal of time and sympathetic coverage on a young man (ominously named “Osama”, if I remember correctly) who said that he was with the Muslim who admitted training for Jihad in Pakistan. Osama had the gall to flippantly state (despite the confession) that the other Muslim did not do any training. Yet, you seemed to show no suspicion about the motives of that Muslim youth. Didn’t it occur to you that the young man you interviewed might also have been training in Pakistan and that he was attempting to provide an alibi for a fellow trainee? Apparently that thought did occur to the FBI (good on them) and that is why that young man is being watched. By the way, recent reports on Fox news (since your show) indicate that the FBI believes up to 7 Muslims from Lodi trained for Jihad in Pakistan. I’ll wager that the young man is one of them.

3. The tone of the program makes me wonder how critical of the FBI your program would have been if it had been “overreacting” by watching Mohammed Atta prior to 9/11. Don’t you? I have to wonder about your motives. I wonder why you would not want the government to act aggressively to protect this country from militant Islamists.

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