Minimizing the Ft. Dix Terror Plot

Wonkette has this to say about the Fort Dix terror plot arrests:

The FBI has successfully broken up yet another fiendish terrorist plot on American soil. These brave defenders of freedom have once again ensured that Americans can rest easy, safe from the threat of a couple guys buying some guns and trying to… take over an Army base???

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Ok. So, the plot was: six dudes from New Jersey buy some guns and storm Fort Dix. The Fort Dix that is full of lots and lots of Army reservists with way, way more guns. And, like, extensive military training and shit. Yes, thank god these terrorists have been caught and locked up before they could be killed within minutes of deciding to carry out the dumbest fucking terrorist plot we’ve ever heard of.

Ann Althouse makes a good point in response:

Now, I don’t blame bloggers for riffing impetuously on anything that sounds stupid, but of course, you must realize that the idea of hijacking four planes with boxcutters and knocking down buildings would seem like “the dumbest fucking terrorist plot” if it hadn’t happened.

I’d go further here and say that Wonkette’s post is one of the dumbest I’ve ever read.

First, if 6 guys made it through the gate with RPG’s and automatic weapons they would have done a significant amount of damage. I think I echo the experience of most servicemembers when I say that, day to day, unless I was headed to the range (which for most units at Fort Dix would be once every 6 months) my rifle was locked up in the arms room, and my ammunition was not accessible without a separate trip to the depot. The only armed people on base with live ammo were the MP’s at the gate and on patrol. That’s if Fort Dix has MP’s, it’s possible security is run by armed private security guards. Bottom line, if these 6 “dudes” made it through the gate they would have had a lot of chances to kill a lot of people.

Second, how hard would it be to get through Fort Dix security? Well apparently every pizza delivery car was allowed through with a paper pass issued to the pizzerias. No scrutiny beyond an easily duplicable piece of paper, unless a vehicle was selected for a random search. This plot could have happened had it not been broken up by authorities. Further, contrast Fort Dix security with the security procedures at Dover Air Force Base, according to the complaint (which no doubt Wonkette read in detail) Dover was avoided because it was too heavily guarded. This story details some of the different procedures:

Commercial delivery traffic was relocated to a southern gate. Congress approved money for a new, tougher command post. Pizza shop deliveries — used by terrorists, according to federal documents, to gain firsthand knowledge of Fort Dix — are banned entirely here. Troops have to trudge out to the main gate administration to fetch fast-food deliveries.

Third, Wonkette referring to the FBI says “These brave defenders of freedom have once again ensured that Americans can rest easy, safe from the threat of a couple guys buying some guns.” This sort of characterization leads me to believe that Wonkette really hasn’t read much into the story beyond a few paragraphs from the New York Times, that or she just chose to ignore all of the serious facts alleged in the complaint. Moreover, while it’s tough to infer tone from a blog post, my reading makes it clear that she does not believe the FBI agents and informants who infiltrated this group are “brave defenders of freedom.” I find this sideswipe to be pretty obnoxious. Reading the complaint, it becomes clear that these individuals were commited to their cause, willing to kill for it and willing to die for it.

Maybe in Wonkette’s circles it is common to watch jihadist training and recruitment videos, host viewings of videos depicting the targeting and killing of U.S. military personnel, conduct surveillaince on multiple U.S. military installations, plan an operation designed to kill the greatest number of people, conduct live fire training for that operation, and then seek out arms dealers to supply the operation with automatic weapons and RPG’s. That may not seem serious to her, I on the other hand think those acts alleged above are very serious, and am thankful that the people involved in the investigation were brave enough to infiltrate that group. Those “six dudes from New Jersey” were six dedicated terrorists, motivated by calls to jihad and willing to kill to achieve their goals. Good job to the FBI and related authorities for breaking it up, and shame on Wonkette for minimizing their efforts.