The Bush Administration has long had difficulty in terrorism, assembling the worst record of losses of an modern Administration. Now, in the Liberty City case of six defendants accused of plotting to try to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago, they are going to try a THIRD time to get a jury to believe them. This is not a matter of the law of terrorism but the law of averages. Despite the strikingly similar reaction of the prior two juries, the Justice Department just hopes that it can still find people who will not question the unconvincing case against these individuals.
The case against Narseal Batiste, Patrick Abraham, Burson Augustine, Rotschild Augustine, Naudimar Herrera and Stanley G. Phanor started with the same signature of the Bush Justice Department — sweeping headlines and claims of a major terrorism coup. The government had informants who actually administered an oath to support Al Qaeda and heard promises to wage a war against the United States. The problem is that they did not actually take an material steps toward that goal and more importantly they seemed much more interested in ripping us the informant of $50,000. No guns, explosives, and weapons were ever found.
The government zeroed in on a bizarre little group with an equally bizarre leader. Narseal Batiste led the group called the Moorish Science Temple that combines Judaism, Christianity and Islam and does not recognize the authority of the U.S. government.
The government taped and put the group under surveillance for hundreds of hours. Their two paid informants seemed at points to be staging scenes for a jury such as the swearing in ceremony.
In the first trial, a seventh man was outright acquitted, Lyglenson Lemorin. Both juries deadlocked on the case. For the New York Times story, click here.