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Terrorists, Treason and Truth
By Bill E. Branscum
Copyright 2002

As a Private Investigator, you deal in a valuable commodity known to man, and valued by mankind since the beginning of time. What I am talking about is truth.

Sadly, we live in a world of of individual prejudice and collective agenda where the truth is often deliberately obscured by those who would pervert it for their own ends. Individual, local, regional, national, international . . . the truth is a baseline from which postures, positions and politics divurge.

As I write this, I am angry and disappointed. I have the pervasive feeling that my community and I have been betrayed, and sense that I am looking at the tip of an ice berg. I suspect that we are all going to be seeing a lot more of this as the USA PATRIOT Act and Homeland Security take over.

On Thursday, October 10, 2002, I was taking my kids to the bus stop as the radio announced that our Region 6 Domestic Security Task Force had arrested twenty "potential terrorists" right here in Naples, Florida. As I listened to the story, I had the pronounced feeling that someone was blatantly misleading our local community - something about the story did not ring true.

You can read the news article HERE; and I would suggest that you read it carefully, and form your own conclusions, before proceeding to review what I have to say. Personally, I think it may just be the finest example of political propaganda as anyone would be likely to find in a local newspaper; it was a wonderfully vainglorious news conference they had too.

The twenty arrestees were described as "Ripe for terrorist recruitment," and two of them sought commercial licenses and one even went so far as to try to get the "endorsement to transport hazardous materials." Our Sheriff described that as, "particularly ominous."

Our Sheriff, the highest law enforcement authority in our county, went on to say, "We've been careful not to suggest they are terrorists,but they certainly represent the potential for recruitment."

Steve Lauer, the chief of Florida Domestic Security, said, "We may never know...we could have stopped a terrorist attack."

It's a sad thing for a Sheriff to lie to his community, sadder still when the lie is self-aggrandizing and terribly derogatory to people denied voice to object. I personally found this to be particularly contemptable since many of these "terrorists" were little more than kids.

Being detectives, you did notice the ages of the arrestees didn't you?

It took less than an hour to verify that my suspicions were true. Given names and ages, it was a simple matter to identify the people and contact their families.

In Florida, and probably elsewhere, illegal immigrants are no longer allowed to obtain driver's licenses or renew the ones they have. If you cannot establish that you are legally here, your license will be revoked as soon as you appear at DMV for renewal even if you have had one for twenty years.

I wrote a Letter to the Editor - it was the first time I had ever written a Letter to the Editor in my life. I did manage to make myself reasonably clear. The Naples Daily News published my letter, pretty much unedited, the following Monday, October 14, 2002. Click HERE

Much to my surprise, the Sheriff's Department responded and maintained the pretense saying, "You may believe the existence of a terrorist cell in your community is a civil right. Sheriff Don Hunter does not." Read it for yourself, click HERE.

Frankly, I don't know what strikes me as more asinine - making the ridiculous representations to begin with, or sticking to the story and trying to make it sound as if questioning this nonsense makes you a terrorist sympathizer. I wrote my second Letter to the Editor, published Thursday, October 24, 2002. Click HERE.

Having spent my law enforcement career here in Naples, I know more than a few members of our local law enforcement community. I did not receive a single negative call.

One member of our local community did speak up in a Letter to the Editor of their own. Although they joined me in demanding answers to my questions, no further response was forthcoming. You can read their letter HERE.

Ladies and Gentleman, during the tremulous times to come, I think we can expect to see more and more of this sort of nonsense. You and I are in a unique position to expose it, denounce it, and defend those who are oppressed under the new rules as promulgated in this awful piece of legislation they are calling the USA Patriot Act; I suspect that less than 10% of Amerca realize that it should, in fact, be USAPATRIOT Act as it is an acronym for the true name of this legislation, "Uniting and Strengthening America [by] Providing Appropriate Tools for Intercepting and Obstructing Terrorism..

"USA PATRIOT Act?" I wonder whose bright idea it was to come up with this egregious oxymoron.

Be vigilant.

Bill Branscum is a licensed Private Investigator and owner of Oracle International, an investigative agency he established in Naples, Florida following his career as a federal agent. His experience includes investigations related to narcotics smuggling, money laundering, securities fraud, the unlawful exportation of critical technology, the sexual exploitation of children and contract murder.

Oracle International maintains a web site at http://www.OracleInternational.com.

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