Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Six Dix

I'll reserve judgment as to whether the men arrested yesterday were plotting a terrorist act. By early reports it certainly sounds like they were up to something nefarious. However, many of these cases don't pan out. Until we hear more, I'm inclined to give law enforcement props for good detective work, hopefully without resorting to unconstitutional techniques.

The early reports prompted a couple of thoughts. First, these guys were turned in by a worker at Kinko's who was copying a DVD for them. Real terrorists can afford DVD burners. Second, I'm not particularly in favor of clerks turning in people - there are a fair number of botched child porn allegations on record; just imagine adding botched terrorist reports to the list. Third, I'll never get copies of materials at Kinko's (but then again, I own a hard drive and DVD burner). Fourth, this quote from many articles:
"That's why we're here today _ because of the courage and heroism of that individual," the FBI agent said.
Am I the only one that thinks that this is really lowering the bar on the definitions of "courage" and "heroism"? The clerk is a snitch, which may have worked out well in this case, but he's still a snitch. How does courage and heroism come into play in his actions?

Courage, from the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

Heroism, from heroic conduct; courageous action
Synonym: intrepidity, valor, prowess, gallantry, bravery, etc.
Antonym: cowardice, timidity

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