Most Extreme “Terrorist Threat” Story?

by Charles Platt

Of course this is only one side of the story. But since it emanates from a law firm, I hope it is at least factually sound. I sure hope Murtha&Murtha are around to defend me when it’s my turn.

12 Responses to Most Extreme “Terrorist Threat” Story?

  1. metasonix says:

    No. Mr. Platt. If you had bothered to Google Mrs. Genovese, you would have learned that she is a Tea Partier and rabid Glenn beck fan, who has been warned many times before by local law enforcement not to run around taking pictures (or doing other things related to her belief that military bases contain secret FEMA concentration camps). The report you linked to is apparently a fake, intended to stir up support for Genovese or the “causes” she supports. And the incident described occurred in 2009.

    She filed a lawsuit against the city of Southampton, and apparently the city attorney screwed up and failed to appear for the hearing, so the judge entered a default judgment. The city is now trying to get the judgment vacated.

    Needless to say, right-wing and conspiracy bloggers have accepted this “article” as fact.

  2. Charles Platt says:

    Metasonix, as I said right at the start, the URL I cited provides only one side of the story. But your “rebuttal” fails to provide another side.

    The woman, according to you, sympathizes with a political group that you don’t like, and enjoys a television show that you don’t approve of. I think we can eliminate these factors, since they are not relevant to the story.

    She doesn’t trust FEMA. Well, neither do I. She thinks she should be allowed to take photographs in public places. Well, so do I. I note you cite no specifics of any classified materials or objects that she has tried to photograph. Evidently she is a “troublemaker”; but that is not necessarily a strike against her (the world needs “troublemakers”) and certainly isn’t illegal.

    Now, the heart of the matter. You write, “The report you linked to is apparently a fake.” Meaning what? That the law firm whose name is on it made the whole thing up? You’ll have to provide some evidence to convince me of that. It is “intended to stir up support”; well sure, and I see nothing wrong with that. “And the incident described occurred in 2009.” So what? How does that make the report a “fake”?

    Your second paragraph merely agrees with statements by the law firm. So I guess you accept the accuracy of those statements.

    Your final statement clarifies nothing at all, other than your own prejudices.

    Your post seems little more than an expression of bias. If you have actual contradictory evidence, please supply it.

  3. Darren says:

    I don’t find it hard to believe that the police can be thugs no matter your/their political affiliation. They will threaten and intimidate anyone who they see as causing them problems, be it political activists or teenagers or whichever particular flavor of minority tends to be poor in your city.

    That being said, I would really love to hear the other side of this story since it reeks heavily of paranoid fantasy. Like a normal person wouldn’t just get a few cashier’s checks or money orders to pay 13 grand in tuition rather than drive from the shooting range to the airport to probably the goddamn grocery store with a small fortune in their purse. Especially a person as … “prepared” as most of these people tend to be. And the movie-style villainy aspect of this tale; the evil deputy who boasted his heinous plan to her, likely while twirling his handlebar mustache. It’s like she’s angling to sell her story and make it into a movie starring Ted McGinley or one of the lesser Baldwins.

  4. Awesomesauce says:

    Charles is right on. Even if you don’t agree with this woman’s political views, I think we can agree that there is no law prohibiting the photography of non-classified materials while standing in a public area. The fact that the helicopter that was “targeted” is actually viewable on Google Street View is telling. Everything that happened after the woman’s detainment would form a pretty solid basis for a lawsuit, even if it wasn’t quite as one-sided as portrayed in the linked post.

    But for those who are wondering, all of the “facts” in the post are taken from the plaintiff’s complaint. So, yeah, they’re going to be one-sided and a little over the top.

  5. John says:

    I find it troubling that any police department will automatically assume that a large amount of cash necessarily provides a nexus to crime, any crime.

    While I have and occasionally use credit and debit cards, I’m happier using cash. I realize that the federal government sets reporting requirements when large amounts of cash are deposited in a bank or used to make certain kinds of purchases. That’s intrusive, but not utterly objectionable.

    That any law enforcement agency will see that use of cash as prima facie evidence of wrong-doing, though, is not right. Worse are the police departments that will simply confiscate it and require a lengthy legal process to regain one’s own wealth.

    • andrews says:

      [That's intrusive, but not utterly objectionable.]
      I’m not sure I see how it fails to be utterly objectionable. If the transaction is illegal, you can certainly prosecute that, but paying with cash which the government has declared to be “legal tender” surely cannot be anyone’s business but that of the parties to the transaction.

  6. metasonix says:

    At no time did I claim that Genovese wasn’t abused by the local police, and that she might even have a valid claim against them. In fact, the city of Southampton doesn’t come off very well in all this–apparently the not-very-competent city attorney lost his job over this case. I just wished to point out that this whole case has a ripe smell coming off it, that both sides look bad, and that the “blog” originally cited by Mr. Platt isn’t what it appears to be.

    BTW, the whois record for longislandlawyerblog.com doesn’t look like a law firm to me:

    “Registrant:
    Rockstar Engineering
    26 Railroad Ave.
    #351
    Babylon, New York 11702
    United States”

    “Rockstar Engineering” has a Myspace.
    Does that look like a “law firm” to anyone else?

  7. Dan Someone says:

    The fact that the whois entry for the law firm is in the name of Rockstar Engineering doesn’t mean much. It’s entirely possible that Rockstar Engineering set up the firm’s website and acquired the domain for them in its own name. At least one of the Murthas identified on the site is listed in Martindale: http://www.martindale.com/Michelle-Murtha/37382557-lawyer.htm

    None of which says anything about the credibility of the facts as stated on the firm’s web page. Of course they’re hyped up — the firm’s presenting its client’s case, using the recitation of facts from its complaint. Doesn’t mean they’re true, doesn’t mean they’re false; as in most situations, they probably include a mix of exaggeration and (biased) interpretation around a kernel of truth.

    Whether Murtha & Murtha are truly good advocates remains to be seen, though. They seem to spin a good yarn in the complaint, but that’s a far cry from successfully defending their client. I wouldn’t count those chickens just yet, Charles. (And I wouldn’t wander around taking pictures of airports and toting around unloaded rifles and wads of cash, either. It may have been well within her rights to do so, but just because you’re allowed to do something doesn’t mean it’s a smart thing to do. Why would anybody do that, except to provoke the kind of overreaction that may have occurred here?)

  8. arizonaplatt says:

    Why would she do those things? Because she is a paranoid anti-government nut, of course! But I have a lot of sympathy for paranoid anti-government nuts.

    As for the right to carry guns around . . . I bet the people in Libya wish they had a Second Amendment.

  9. Dan Someone says:

    “As for the right to carry guns around . . . I bet the people in Libya wish they had a Second Amendment.”

    Really? Oh sure, I bet some of them would like the opportunity to shoot back at the army. But in the end, isn’t the net result simply more dead people? Individual protesters may fare better, but in the aggregate, it doesn’t seem that having more armed people in the crowd is a positive thing.

    Egypt and Tunisia just showed us that revolutionary change can happen without armed revolt. I understand that the Libyan military (and the police in Bahrain) have responded to non-violent protests with deadly force, where the Egyptian army chose not to. There is always the chance that a violent tyrannical regime will mow people down to quash a popular uprising. But that’s a risk regardless of whether or not the citizenry is armed. Perhaps even moreso with an armed citizenry: all it takes to “justify” brutal repression is one shot by an overeager protester (or a provocateur — if the protesters are armed, who’s to say it wasn’t one of them that fired the first shot?). Also, no matter how well-armed the populace, the army and police will always have more and better weapons and armor.

    I’m not convinced the Libyan people as a whole would be any better off if they had guns to fight back against the army.

  10. Charles Platt says:

    Well, that’s an interesting theory, that being armed does not serve as a peaceful deterrent. I guess the Swiss have it completely wrong. How foolish of them.

    I live near a huge wilderness area sparsely inhabited by anti-government conspiracy theorists and other misfits, all of them heavily armed. The county police have stated on the record that they simply don’t go in there, “unless a death has occurred.” Sounds good to me.

    • Darren says:

      “I live near a huge wilderness area sparsely inhabited by anti-government conspiracy theorists and other misfits, all of them heavily armed. The county police have stated on the record that they simply don’t go in there, ‘unless a death has occurred.’ Sounds good to me.”

      There’s a lot of places like that in major cities as well, and aside from being majorly unsafe I also think they’re far from havens of progress or productivity.

      The Swiss have their own thing going, and it involves a lot more than everyone just having a gun in their desk drawer. One striking difference is that the Swiss are actually trained to use their weapons. Actually their government forces them to every year! In the US we are encouraged to brandish guns as a means of intimidation and stress relief.

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