As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Driving While Muslim

When I first heard of Portland lawyer Brandon Mayfield's arrest in connection with the Madrid train bombings I was dubious. It seemed the finger was pointed at him as the chief weapons expert in the plot for no other reason than the fact that he was white and used to be in the Army. And putting his fingerprints at the scene half a world away just sounded wrong. I guess that's because it was wrong.

Mayfield was released when Spanish police admitted the fingerprints found on one of the detonators belonged to an Algerian man, not Mayfield. In fact, they admitted that the prints provided to the FBI (used to indict Mayfield) were in fact photocopies. Just to recap, we're in the 21st century. He was indicted by a photocopy. It wasn't until FBI agents traveled to Spain that they saw the error of their ways.

But that was not before they used the PATRIOT Act's abilities to spy and sneak to burgle Mayfield's home on multiple occasions without his knowledge. According to Mayfield, he knew something was up when he repeatedly found the deadbolt to his front door locked, a lock that him and his wife never use. Well, at least the FBI locked up on their way out.

Did I mention that Mayfield is a convert to Islam? The initial prints called up 15 possible matches on the FBI supercomputer. Strangely enough, the Feds happened to pick the Muslim out of the 15. Imagine the odds! Once again, we have an American citizen guilty until proven innocent, as a direct result of the fear-based provisions of Ashcroft's DoJ and Tenet's FBI. How many more instances of Keystone Kops-like bungling do we have to see before we send these guys to the donut shop, permanently?