Plots Aplenty

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Via Cursor.org, the AP has a White House-released list of the ten terror plots that President Bush last week claimed to have disrupted since 9/11. One wonders, though, how loosely the White House is using the word “plot,” when something like this appears on the list:

The Jose Padilla Plot: In May 2002, the U.S. disrupted a plot that involved blowing up apartment buildings in the United States. One of the plotters, Jose Padilla, also discussed the possibility of using a “dirty bomb” in the U.S.

As far as I can tell, “a plot that involved blowing up apartment buildings” is an actual crime, one for which there are actual consequences. According to the Justice Department, Padilla allegedly met with senior al-Qaeda leaders and scouted sites that would be bombed by a radioactive “dirty bomb”; yet as District Court Judge Henry Floyd said in March, the government faces “no impediments whatsoever” to trying Padilla on precisely these charges in civilian court. For all I know, Padilla really did do these things, and really is a dangerous guy who deserves prison, but the government certainly hasn’t proved that to anyone, and until that happens, there’s no reason why it should be allowed to tout these arrests as success stories. As the New York Times reports today, Belgian officials are learning how to use the courts to prosecute terrorism and uncover plots, despite the country’s fairly weak domestic intelligence capabilities, and there’s no reason why the U.S. should be unable to do the same.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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