Apr 28, 2003
On Monday front page headlines nationwide screamed things like, "Men with dynamite arrested at bridge to Canada." Two men from Yemen were arrested in Detroit while videotaping the bridge that carries traffic between Detroit and Canada. Police said that in the men's car they found quarter sticks of dynamite, shot shells, illegal weapons, immigration papers, a camcorder and tape recorder. There was a lot of talk about "terrorism."
Two days later, some papers carried a small print report of what had actually happened: the two arrested men were U.S. citizens, the so-called dynamite was a few firecrackers, the baton was legally sold for self-defense, and the immigration papers were a legitimate application for one man's uncle to come from Yemen.
The men were released from jail with a ticket for driving with tinted windows.
Do we ever see giant "Cops invent a crime for the 1001st time" headlines? No. And why not? Isn't it news when cops can't tell dynamite from firecrackers? But that kind of news does not scare people.
We are supposed to accept every attack made on us under the pretense of a "war on terrorism." And terrorists will be thrown in our faces – even if the cops and the press have to make them up out of fireworks and thin air.