It's interesting to watch what happens when someone's fundamental beliefs are challenged. Consider Mayor Sam Adams of the city of Portland, Ore.
Adams used to serve on the Portland City Council and five years ago, he and his fellow council members chose to opt out of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force program. You see the Portland City Council essentially believes what many of their constituents believe. They think that the U.S. government is more violent and evil than the true enemies of freedom, for example, al-Qaida terrorists.
At least they did until the Friday after Thanksgiving. That's when the fundamental beliefs of Adams and other ultra-liberal Portlanders were challenged big-time.
That's when the FBI arrested Mohammed Osman Mohamud. Mohamud, a Somali immigrant is charged with dreaming up a very special way to thank the people of Portland for giving him and his refugee family a home in the Land of the Free. He loaded a van full of "high explosives," drove it to the city's Pioneer Courtyard Square, and attempted to detonate it in a crowd of thousands of men, women, and children attending an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
Fortunately, Mohamud isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, and the FBI ran a sting on him. So when he tried to trigger the "bomb" with his cell phone and totally change the meaning of "Black Friday." It didn't go boom.
It didn't go boom because the good guys from Quantico had duped Mohamud by making his bomb out of inert materials rather than some of your more popular brand name explosives.
This incident has forced many of the more intelligent folks in Portland to rethink their "America is the real terrorist" stance. And one of the people who is doing the most rethinking is hizzoner Mayor Adams.
The City of Roses, liberal weenies, and anarchists is now considering rejoining the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Of course they couldn't just do that without taking another dig at former president George W. Bush.
In an NPR interview, Adams said that he was considering rejoining the JTTF because he has more trust in the Obama administration to protect people's civil rights than the Bush administration.
Adams is now scared to death by what happened in his city the day after Thanksgiving. After all he received the kind of surprise that no mayor wants to ever receive. So he really wants to get involved in the JTTF.
But he has a problem. Many of the people of Portland think Mohamud is a victim of FBI entrapment. Which would be laughable if it wasn't so sad.
The case described in the federal affidavit against our alleged Somali bomber is a textbook study of how not to entrap a suspect. Mohamud reportedly became a blip on Uncle Sam's radar when he contacted a known jihadist who was vacationing in the frontier of Pakistan. He was then e-mailed by an FBI agent who posed as an associate of the jihadist. The two men set up a meeting in Portland. That's where Mohamud reportedly told the G-man that he wanted to go "operational." That's jihad speak for "I want to go boom and kill infidels."
Let's be clear here. The G-man did not give Mohamud the idea of martyring himself nor did he suggest the target. Mohamud himself reportedly chose the target and the time. And at that point our Quantico-trained hero actually tried to persuade him not to do it because it would kill so many children.
And that's not just what it says in the affidavit. It's also backed up by Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder is not the most law and order guy in the world, and sometimes it seems like he's more interested in holding cops' feet to fire than turning up the heat on the bad guys. But even he recognized that Mohamud put his own head in the noose and the FBI just made sure that nobody else got hurt in the process.
"Mohamud chose the target location months in advance; provided FBI operatives with bomb components and detailed operational instructions; and repeatedly refused to change course when he was reminded that a large crowd-including children-would be in harm's way," Holder said. "Because of law enforcement's outstanding work, Mr. Mohamud is no longer plotting attacks. He is now behind bars and will be brought to justice."
Amen. And if this incident makes some of the anti-law enforcement people in Portland see the light and consider rejoining the rest of United States in making every effort to provide for the common defense, well that's just a bonus.