Objectivity requires us to take the alleged skinhead conspiracy (of two or three) to assassinate Senator Obama, perpetrate a massacre in a black school, and decapitate an obscurely significant number of victims about as seriously as most of the reputed terrorist plots that the government has boasted of smashing in the last seven years.
We have two knuckleheads, one still a teenager, who brainstormed this spectacular conspiracy over the course of a month's acquaintance facilitated by the internet. The authorities claim there was an intention to rob a gun store to boost their arsenal prior to the assumed suicide run, though it is unclear whether they also meant to hit a tuxedo shop to acquire the white-tie outfits they supposedly wanted to wear to the fatal affair. They seem to have been arrested mainly for writing racist graffiti on their car. They may have been ratted out by a girlfriend who drove a car for them while they cased potential robbery locations. The Smoking Gun website has posted the actual criminal complaint for our perusal. There's some evidence that they should be taken seriously as potential burglars, but beyond that we're in the realm of thoughtcrime. Their thoughts are indisputably repulsive, but let's ask again whether bloodthirsty thoughts automatically render people an imminent threat to the people they hate. Is it really a crime to wish public figures dead? To fantasize about killing them? I can understand why authorities don't want to take chances given the unprecedented circumstances that will follow should Obama win the election, but each of these assassination or terror plots should be scrutinized with great care so we can satisfy ourselves that essentially harmless people haven't been jailed to polish some bureaucrat's record. For now, though, let's hope these idiots get scared straight by their experience.