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September 2, 2004
The Symptoms Of Unseriousness

The BBC brings us an update on the lack of seriousness shown about worldwide terrorism in Bali, as a convicted conspirator in the bombing that killed hundreds in a nightclub has been allowed out for a latte break:

Convicted Bali bomber Ali Imron has been allowed on an outing to a Starbucks coffee shop in Jakarta. Reporters spotted him laughing and joking with Brigadier-General Gorries Mere, one of the officers investigating the Bali attacks.

A police spokesman said the excursion was part of an ongoing effort to investigate cases of terrorism.

Did al-Qaeda decide to target baristas in Bali? Does he have some insight into what coffee blend Osama finds irresistable, in order to set up a trap for him at the game tables? Stories like this make Michael Dukakis' prison-release policies look like a Georgia chain gang by comparison. The man has been sentenced to life in prison, which may mean something in Bali, although it's not clear exactly what. Some Bali legislators see it the same way:

A police spokesman told the Associated Press news agency that no laws had been broken by the coffee shop trip.

But Yasril Ananta Baharuddin, a legislator from the ruling Golkar party, said he was "shocked" by the "highly inappropriate" outing.

Not only "shocked", but my guess is that the government will soon add "embarrassed" and "apologetic" as adjectives to describe itself soon. At least, I hope they have the capacity to understand that they have already been embarrassed, and that they have the intelligence to apologize to the families of Imron's victims for treating him like a bar buddy instead of the homicidal maniac he was.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 2, 2004 7:36 AM

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