Sunday, August 26, 2007

West Coast Terror Plot

Telegraphed by the N.Y. Times with back-to-back pieces.

It's going down, people!

Remember, Cherty had a feeling in his gut!

"Debate Swirls Around 2 Men on a Ferry" by WILLIAM YARDLEY

SEATTLE, Aug. 25 — Earlier this summer a concerned crew member of a Washington State ferry boat snapped pictures of two men who had raised suspicions on several ferry rides by asking questions about structural details and entering areas of the boats that are off limits.

Now, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation released two photographs of the men to the public with the goal of identifying them, a debate has erupted over alleged racial profiling, one ferry was shut down briefly this week and the men, while suddenly familiar faces, remain unidentified.

[Government agents, like in South Carolina?

Where did THAT STORY GO, anyway?

Remember, local cops busted Muslims and said they had bomb, FBI came in and said no, fireworks, and... ?]

Larry Carr, a special agent with the Seattle field office of the F.B.I.:

We have some promising leads that have come in since we published the pictures.”

The agency released the images on Monday.

The pictures show two men with dark hair and olive skin standing beside a ferry deck railing overlooking the water. Their hands are in their pockets. Their eyes look toward the camera. In a statement released that day, the agency said the men had “exhibited unusual behavior.” The behavior “may have been innocuous,” the agency said, but law enforcement “would like to resolve these reports.”

[Unusual just by being there, I'm sure!]

The F.B.I. has emphasized that the men are not suspects in a crime and that no threats have been made to the ferry system. But two days after the pictures were released, one ferry, the Puyallup, was shut down for an hour at the main Seattle terminal. Officials said an object found in a men’s bathroom during a routine security sweep prompted the action. The object turned out not to be dangerous, and it was not linked to the two men.

The object was cylindrical, made of duct tape and smelled of marijuana, said Bob Calkins, a spokesman for the Washington State Patrol.

It was not a bomb or a bong. We don’t know what to call it.”


Suspicions can rise quickly on the Washington State Ferries, the largest ferry system in the nation with about 24 million passengers a year. A 2006 report from the Department of Justice said the system was the nation’s most likely target for maritime terrorism. The largest Washington ferries can hold 2,500 people and more than 200 vehicles.

News of the men’s behavior has been reported in local newspapers and on television stations, but not all of them published the photographs or reported the story immediately.

David McCumber, the managing editor of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, wrote on the paper’s Web site that:

"[Without more information from law enforcement, the two men] may as easily be tourists from Texas as terrorists from the Mideast. Based on what we have, it seemed newsworthy that the F.B.I. was trying to find these guys, but it did not seem appropriate to run their photographs.”

Muslim groups have said the release of the photographs amounted to profiling because the men could be perceived as Middle Eastern. Rita Zawaideh, the chairwoman of the Arab American Community Coalition, said her group had received reports that other men who could be perceived as Middle Eastern or from South Asia have been stopped this month and questioned for hours. The F.B.I. would not confirm specific accounts of questioning but said investigators routinely stopped ferry riders to question them.

[Sig Heil!!]

On Thursday, Ms. Zawaideh and officials from several Muslim groups met with officials from the F.B.I. and other law enforcement agencies to express their concerns. Ms. Zawaideh said that her group was among several that met monthly with law enforcement officials to nurture good relations and that she was disappointed that the F.B.I. had not first consulted with them before releasing the photographs.

Arsalan Bukhari, president of the Seattle chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and an attendee at the Thursday meeting, said:

We didn’t come out of the meeting feeling more hopeful. [Releasing the photographs implied some kind of guilt and] mobilized the wrong kind of people to look for [the men]. It raises the fear factor.”

[The point of it all!]

Mr. Carr disputed the idea that the agency was profiling based on race or nationality. He noted that the ferry has had 150 million riders since the terror attacks of Sept. 11 and that a great number of those riders had dark skin and were of different nationalities:

If there’s profiling going on we would have hundreds of these pictures every day.”

[How do we know there isn't?

This is going to be their target!!!!]

"The Golden Gate, Brought to You by ... " by JESSE McKINLEY

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 25 — There are no naming rights on the table and there will not be any logo-bearing neon signs, tower-to-tower banners or screaming billboards put up, either. That might ruin the view.

But on Friday, a committee of the board that runs the financially strapped Golden Gate Bridge did pass along a plan for a so-called corporate partnership for the structure, sending a proposal to a vote in front of the full board next month.

Even as it did so, however, activists here were already preparing for the possibility that the Golden Gate — the engineering wonder, international tourist attraction and perpetual suicide magnet — might soon be brought to you by Coca-Cola, for example.

Marcie Keever, the program director for San Francisco Beautiful, a nonprofit group devoted to protecting “the unique beauty and livability” of San Francisco:

We understand that it’s not going to be Google Gate Bridge, and while they are saying it’s going to be this understated thing, we’re still worried it’s just a further distraction and blight on our public spaces.”

Indeed, at the plan’s formal unveiling on Friday, the emphasis was on the various ways that the Golden Gate might take on advertisements without really taking on ADVERTISEMENTS!

Kevin Bartram, a sponsorship consultant hired by the bridge’s overseers, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, said any sponsorship would be tastefully done:

It will be appropriate and understated, but visible.”



Among the ideas are a new visitor’s center on the bridge’s southern end — in San Francisco — which might be festooned with small corporate signs and sponsored historical placards, Mr. Bartram said. Other possibilities could include sponsorship of food kiosks, viewing platforms, directional signs, spots with good photo angles and even restrooms.

[Yeah, turn it into another fucking strip mall!


Almost want them to blow it up if they do this!]

One specific plan would be to solicit partners for a $30 million restoration of the bridge’s main cable, as well as the repainting of the south tower. (The color would remain orange; kind of like Home Depot, for example.)

[Yeah, BILLIONS for WAR and KILLING, but not a pittance for upkeep on SOMETHING GREAT and BEAUTIFUL!]

In addition, the district’s other transit operations might get advertisements on the sides of buses and commercials running on video screens in ferry terminals. What will be verboten, however, are any commercial signs on the bridge or its tollbooths.

The plan would be marketed to potential sponsors as the Partnership to Preserve the Golden Gate Bridge, something that administrators say has become difficult in recent years as costs have risen.

[Is there ANYTHING the shit government preserves?

Is there anything AmeriKa preserves?

Hell, we have DESTROYED BABYLON!!!]

The bridge district, with a 2007 operating budget of $150 million, has a projected deficit of $80 million in the next five years. A 2002 toll increase — it now costs $5 to enter San Francisco — was passed by the bridge’s board, and bus and ferry fares have also been steadily increasing.

If approved, Mr. Bertram said, corporate sponsorships could bring in as much as $4 million a year by its third year.

The bridge’s appeal is undeniable: about 10 million people a year come to see the Golden Gate, which was built in 1937 and is widely considered one of the world’s finest examples of suspension architecture as well as an aesthetic eye-popper.

As such, changing any element of the look of the Golden Gate is always a charged issue, something supporters of a suicide barrier have long struggled against. The bridge, which spans more than a mile between San Francisco and Marin County, has no such barrier, though one is being considered.

[Yeah, fuck the depressed and despondent jumpers, we got $$$$$ to make and products to sell!]

Jake McGoldrick, a board member who opposes the plan, said the idea of corporate sponsorship was equivalent to slapping an advertisement on the side of the White House:

I don’t think you take your iconic properties and turn them into advertising opportunities. There are places in the world that should be kept clean.”

[That White House is about as filthy as you can get, bro!

They ought to post their corporate masters on the place!!!]

That sentiment was echoed by Milo F. Hanke, a securities broker who said the board had a job to work as “a spam filter” for yet more advertising creeping into unexpected places:

The net effect is to capture more and more mind space. I want to be left alone.”

[That's right, too. Advertisers even trying to get to babies in the womb now with their jingles, never mind the assault on their senses once they leave the womb?]

But much of the board committee seemed to support the plan. The full board — 19 members from six Bay Area counties — will take up the issue on Sept. 28.

[As usual, even local politicians are a bunch of shit-shilling sell-outs!!]

Denis Mulligan, a district engineer, said he viewed the sponsorship plan as a chance to upgrade the experience for visitors to the bridge, experience, now limited to a gift shop, a garden and a viewing platform:

Right now, we don’t really get the story of the bridge. This is an opportunity to get other people to help us tell that story.”

[By corporate telling it? Puke!

Anyway, there is the broad outlines of your NEXT TERROR ATTACK, Amurka!!!]