Bloomberg’s “Terror Arrest” Blooper: The Red Herrings are at the Fishmarket

Written by Laura Harrison McBride

As a native New Yorker, I suffered my fair share of useless mayors. John Lindsay. Abraham Beame. Thank God I had left before Dinkins did his best to damage the credibility, not to mention the quality of life, in the world’s greatest city. Giuliani? I was on the fence about him. For a Republican, at times he seemed OK. He did clean up some rough spots, notably Times Square. But he also made it into a disneyland, not authentic New York at all. On balance, I think I preferred the Damon Runyonesque feel of the real Broadway, the theatre district and Times Square.

And now there is Bloomberg. There is only one term that expresses it; oy gevalt! Is there anything this putz won’t stoop to in order to assure his place in the Republican Hall of Shame?

Red herrings and other fauna

This morning, reading about Bloomberg’s solo fingering and subsequent arrest of an emotionally challenged Hispanic immigrant as a terror suspect, I came across this perfect phrase by a Huffington Post reader:”Mr. Mayor, you’ll find the red herrings at the fishmarket.”

Indeed. All but one. The one Mr. Bloomberg has pinioned like a slow-moving butterfly when even the FBI foreswore to arrest the man because, they said, Jose Pimentel had mental problems and would probably not be able to carry through any sort of terror plot. Even Fox News seemed to think the Mayor’s rousing apprehension was a teeny bit ludicrous, and possibly ill-conceived; they stopped short of what others have said or implied, that is was an out-and-out diversionary tactic to deflect attention from Bloomberg’s manhandling of OWS.

Fox noted:

Federal officials — who sit on a joint terrorism task force with the NYPD — were noticeably absent Sunday night from a news conference announcing Pimentel’s arrest on state charges, but no federal ones.

I dunno. Maybe the FBI was wrong on this one. A bomb made of match heads, Christmas lights and an alarm clock? Sounds viable to me, a writer with vast experience in lighting candles, putting up Christmas lights and waking up each morning at the appointed hour. Still, as a fourth-grade science project with the match heads representing a fuse, the Christmas lights some plastique I suppose, and the alarm clock as a faux detonator, it might have merit. Might even win first prize at the science fair. The NYPD and Mr. Mayor didn’t note whether these items were connected to each other in a coherent way―providing anyone but a whackjob would know what that mystical and magical way might be―when they rushed the premises and saved New Yorkers from being shocked at the sound of a dozen firecrackers or so (I’m guessing, maybe less) going off among them.

When up is down
Poor Jose. His beleaguered mother apologizing for him, and himself, in a fog of confusion, wondering whether he’s going to get the famous New York wrist-slap at the station house.

Or maybe he’s actually on target there. After all, the OWS demonstrators got the proverbial book thrown at them―handcuffed, booked, etc.―after being beaten by cops who had donned riot gear to enable them to cope with some somnolent, down-jacketed peaceful demonstrators. In the upside-down landscape that is Michael Bloomberg’s New York, maybe Pimentel was right in expecting no more than a friendly hello from New York’s sadly suborned formerly Finest. I expect Bloomberg will now attempt to justify the laughable take-down by finagling a trip to Cuba for the guy. But jeez, if the FBI won’t back you up, and even Fox News presents your action as a less than admirable maneuver in the war against terror…well, maybe Pimentel will just rot on Riker’s Island for a while before some lawyer with a brain and a conscience gets him sprung to a mental institution for some much needed shrinking.

***

I would love to be in New York right now. I think there is only one thing I’d really like to do, except for having dinner at Monte’s in Greenwich Village. I’d like to purse my lips, work up a good glob of spittle, and issue forth a really, really, really big, loud raspberry for the two boobs known as His Honah Da Mayah and his buffoon sidekick, “Book ’em regardless” Ray Kelly.

Laura Harrison McBride

About the author

Former columnist for US newspapers; former editor of US insurance and agriculture industry magazines; former ethical issues columnist for examiner.com. Author of 14 books for mainstream US publishers on a variety of subjects from Ireland to Y2K. Blogging at http://therealcafedeflore.blogspot.com