Stop Snitching

According to my town’s Patch site, southwestern Connecticut is Little Kandahar:

New York City and Boston receive millions of dollars in federal funding to help guard against terrorist attacks. Fairfield and other towns in the area simply don’t get that funding. That makes the corridor between the two cities more attractive to those who would do harm, Perez said.

So it’s no accident that in 2001, related to the attacks on the World Trade Towers, three of the 19 jet hijackers stayed in the Fairfield Motor Inn, or that in 2010 Faisal Shahzad, the so-called “Times Square Bomber”, lived undetected in neighboring Bridgeport, Perez said.

“As a result, we need to collectively be more observant,” [Lt. Jim] Perez said. “People are reluctant to call the police and that’s concerning to me. I would love to have a thousand Mrs. Kravitzes. Then we would never have a problem.”

Perez said he’s aware some Americans don’t want to give up certain freedoms. And he recognized that it seems Americans are being asked to cede certain civil liberties, whether it’s being screened at the airport, or having bags and purses searched upon entering museums, to name just a couple of instances.

To that regard, Perez asked, “Are they really giving up civil liberties or are we enhancing your longevity so you can complain about civil liberties?”

Sounds like Perez, who recently attended a Homeland Security conference, worked himself into a tizzy while hanging with his fellow Terror Warriors. Let’s see if two tablespoons of fisking tonic can soothe the officer’s frayed nerves.

Batshit statement #1: It’s no accident that three of the 9/11 hijackers stayed in Fairfield or that Faisal Shahzad lived undetected in Bridgeport.

It’s true that several of the 9/11 hijackers and their fixers stayed at the Fairfield Motor Inn while planning the attacks. From chapter 7 of The 9/11 Commission Report:

On May 8, Rababah went to Hazmi and Hanjour’s apartment to pick them up for the trip to Connecticut.There he says he found them with new room-mates—Ahmed al Ghamdi and Majed Moqed.These two men had been sent to America to serve as muscle hijackers and had arrived at Dulles Airport on May 2. Rababah drove Hanjour to Fairfield, Connecticut, followed by Hazmi, who had Moqed and Ghamdi in his car. After a short stay in Connecticut, where they apparently called area flight schools and real estate agents, Rababah drove the four to Paterson to have dinner and show them around. He says that they returned with him to Fairfield that night, and that he never saw them again.

And that is Fairfield’s entire cameo role in the report. Some radical Islamists visited the town, committed no crimes while here, and then departed. Afterwards several of them set up an apartment in Paterson, NJ and attended flight schools elsewhere.

In other words, after investigating the area, the hijackers specifically found southwest Connecticut unattractive for their purpose.

The reason Faisal Shahzad remained “undetected” in southwest Connecticut is because there was nothing to detect — he lived and worked here just like the rest of us. He earned an MBA from the University of Bridgeport and worked in Stamford. He was not some kind of sleeper agent or mole — he was radicalized, on his own, while living here. According to a friend of mine who worked the case, Shahzad became upset by reports of Predator drones striking civilians in his native west Pakistan. When he couldn’t find anyone locally to wage jihad with him, he returned to Pakistan where he searched for a long time for someone to train him. He then returned to the US to carry out the attack.

At some point during this, his wife left him (and took their two daughters) because of his radical views. And while he had friends sympathetic to the belief that the US was doing bad things to the Pakistani people, none wanted to engage in terrorism alongside him. Shahzad was a lone actor motivated by extreme personal ideology, no different than Nidal Malik Hasan or Jared Loughner. He didn’t specifically choose Connecticut to stage his attack — the only reason he did it here is because here is where he already lived.

Connecticut — or, for that matter, all of southern New England between Boston and New York — is not “attractive to those who would do harm.” Yes, it is precisely a coincidence that three of the 9/11 hijackers briefly stayed in Fairfield and that Faisal Shahzad lived in Bridgeport.

Batshit statement #2: “People are reluctant to call the police and that’s concerning to me. I would love to have a thousand Mrs. Kravitzes.”

The only way I interpret this is that Perez believes crimes are occurring in Fairfield which citizens refuse to report.

I can’t imagine that a resident of Fairfield — or anywhere, for that matter — comes home to a ransacked house and doesn’t call police; or that a homeowner, noticing a shallow grave behind his neighbor’s garage and reflecting that he hasn’t seen the neighbor’s wife in a few weeks, shrugs and continues to weed the flowerbeds. So Perez must mean that it’s petty, trivial crimes that go unreported.

Mrs. Kravitz was the character on Bewitched who would, for comic effect, literally stand outside the Stephens’ windows, spying within. So Perez is apparently calling on everyone in Fairfield to do the same. If I peep inside my neighbor’s window and see him smoking a joint in his living room, he is arrested, paying fines and court costs (remember how police refer to it as “jackpotting”?) while adding a gold star to Perez’s file, redeemable at promotion time. Or I peep inside the neighbor’s window and see his teenage daughter undressing, in which I case I go to jail as a sexual predator. Hooray! Either way, a crime has been resolved and it’s payday for the po-po.

In Virginia two years ago, a man rolled out of bed nude and made a pot of coffee in his own kitchen. A pedestrian, trespassing through his yard at 5:30 in the morning, saw him through the window and called police. Was the trespasser arrested? No. Instead the man was. He faced up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine for indecent exposure, but after spending an estimated $10,000 to $15,000 in legal fees, a jury — yes, it went to trial — found him not guilty.

Presumably these are the kinds of “crimes” Perez is eager to pursue. All the way to the bank.

Batshit statement #3: “Are they really giving up civil liberties or are we enhancing your longevity so you can complain about civil liberties?”

A Hollywood screenwriter couldn’t concoct better dialogue summarizing the appalling siege mentality of many law-enforcement professionals. By Perez’s reasoning, any criticism of police, Homeland Security, the TSA, or the War on Terror is irrelevant as long as we’re alive at the end of the day. Did a broomstick <finger quotes> accidentally fall into your colon </quotes> while you were in police custody? Stop complaining! Your freedom has just been enhanced!

If I see balaclava-clad men planting explosives by the Whole Foods or Middle Eastern sailing students uninterested in learning how to pilot a Jeanneau in or out of the harbor, I’ll be sure to call 911, Lieutenant. In the meantime, try switching to decaf while you write those parking tickets. Alles klar, Herr Kommissar.

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