Friday, October 23, 2009
The Gitmo shuffle
Obviously the cataclysmic events of 9/11 brought national attention to the Amherst Select Board decision from the night before restricting the display of 29 commemorative American flags in the downtown.
Around 6:00 AM that morning the AP sent out a brief one-paragraph article about the Amherst town officials decision from the night before, just proving how slow a news day 9/11 first dawned.
Unfortunately some of the BIG media (Fox and CNN) got the story wrong--probably in the confusion of what started going terribly wrong at 8:46 that morning. As a result, some folks watched the Twin Towers fall and then heard a story about a small town in western Massachusetts restricting the rights of residents and businesses to fly the American flag. You can just imagine the hate mail that flowed into Amherst Town Hall that week.
Well as that old saying goes, "here we go again." This Gitmo detainees to Amherst story hit the AP wire on Tuesday (curiously they did not carry it a month ago when the Springfield Republican first covered the story) and within hours the story broke about Federal authorities arresting a Sudbury, Massachusetts resident for plotting to attack shopping malls (probably in the Boston area.) Not a good mix for Amherst.
But, once again, the story is not always presented fairly. Some people make is sound as though Amherst is laying out the welcome mat and promising to harbor Osama Bin Laden. The two men now named by Ruth Hooke are, rightfully, getting great scrutiny and may not pass the smell test.
But the actual Warrant article does not name names and does say four times that the person or persons (does not even mention a number) will have been "cleared." Surely out of all the people left at Gitmo, there does have to be one or two who are completely innocent. Therefore they are not "terrorists".
So if they do ever come to Amherst, the town would not be coddling terrorists.
Michael Graham rips Amherst on radio and in print. Ouch.
Howie Carr Piles on. Double ouch.
And now even the Wall Street Journal. Triple ouch.
The Amherst Bulletin speaks, in their wimpy sort of of way.