…but does this story remind you of a bad movie plot?
The American authorities have arrested four Georgia men accused of plotting to buy explosives and produce a deadly biological toxin to attack US citizens and government officials.
OK, that sounds pretty serious, but it’s the characters that make this sound like something out of Hollywood.
The men are Frederick Thomas, 73, from Cleveland; Dan Roberts, 67; Ray H Adams, 65; and Samuel J. Crump, 68, all from Toccoa.
A bunch of Grumpy Old Men sitting around a table, pissed off at the government, planning on being nationally feared terrorists. At their age? C’mon. This strains credibility. I just wonder how much encouragement they got from the spies acting as informants?
Don’t get me wrong. I think homegrown terrorism is just as dangerous, if not more so, than the Islamic variety. And also more likely to succeed. It is usually motivated by a misplaced sense of patriotism – they call it “love of country” – mixed with a little Christian fundamentalism and seasoned with racism, bigotry and misogyny. Such a mixture can be unpredictable and volatile (see Timothy McVeigh), but often times it really is just a bunch of good ole boys feeling their oats and acting on their alcoholic and testosteronic fueled feelings of impotence in a society and economy that’s grinding them down.
And the government that sends in spies and informants may simply exacerbate the process, rather than dampen it, in an effort to justify an ever-enlarging Big Brother presence in our lives, not to mention the massive budget to maintain it. Much like war in the middle east, it takes on a life of its own, in an effort to become self-perpetuating.
So excuse me if I seem a little cynical about a bunch of septi- and sexagenarians plotting a little mayhem. I doubt these guys had either the ability or the chemical know-how to manufacture moonshine, much less ricin.