Amazingly, neocon warmonger nitwits continue to claim that “no innocent person has been hurt by the USA PATRIOT act.”

Well, take a look at our latest terrorist–a sixteen-year-old from North Carolina who looks like he was teleported right out of one of those Hardy Boys Mysteries from the 1970’s.

Here, in brief, is the story. Ashton Lundeby, a boy brought up in a patriotic North Carolina home, had his identity stolen through his computer. Whoever stole his identity, it seems, issued a prank bomb threat against Purdue University in (of all places) Indiana.

Now, in the old days, a competent police investigator would immediately suspect a prank. First of all, how is this 16-year-old going to get to Indiana from North Carolina? How is he going to procure the bomb-making materials? And most importantly, why on God’s Green Earth would he choose Purdue University? Why not, if he really is a terrorist lunatic, at least choose a local target more appropriate to his limited means?

In the old days, a competent policeman might call on the kid’s mother, ask some questions, maybe even ask permission to check out the boy’s room. He would find zero bomb-making materials, would verify that the boy’s identity had been stolen by a prankster, and would file his report. End of story.

But that’s not how it works, today. Ashton Lundeby was taken in handcuffs from his home two months ago. Of course, no bomb-making materials were found. His computer was taken, but our heroic anti-terrorist Heimat Sicherheitsdienst (that’s “Homeland Security Office”, in the original German) has produced not a shred of evidence against the poor lad. Of course, he sits in a prison, not in North Carolina, but in Indiana.

Ashton Lundeby has no right of Habeas Corpus. That went bye-bye during the Bush Administration. The allegedly different Obama Administration, in charge when the whole nightmare started, has shown no inclination to drop the charges.

Oh yes. Did I mention Ashton Lundeby is (shudder!) home-schooled? In the Obama Administration, that may well classify him as a terrorist, according to the latest Napolitano guidelines.

So, a single mom and her small family has been completely shattered by the heroic USA PATRIOT (sic) Act.

Now, it may be that Ashton Lundeby really is a dangerous, dreaded terrorist. I am, at this point, willing to place a gentleman’s bet that charges will have to be dropped, if this poor family is able to make enough noise, politically, to force the issue. Otherwise, with Habeas Corpus out the window, this sixteen year old kid might well be imprisoned until the declaration of the end of the War on Terror. That is, forever–because a war on a tactic cannot, by definition, ever be decided.

Welcome to the heroic new Amerika of the 21st Century!

UPDATE March 9, 2009: I picked up this story originally from William Norman Grigg’s article at Lew Since then, new information has come out that the Patriot Act may not have been invoked in this case (Ashton’s mother, her attorney, and WRAL all indicated it had been–we’ll reserve judgment until all the facts come out), and that Ashton may have made anonymous bomb threats, either as a school prank, or to be paid, or both.

On the other hand, Grigg’s initial article might indeed be closer to the truth than the new information would indicate. It may be that Ashton is guilty of nothing more than having his IPC address stolen and used for others’ pranks.

A first hearing on this case is slated for May 22. Until then, I’ll keep watching to see exactly what happened in this case. My instincts still lean towards extreme police/FBI over-reaction, but now is a good time to just be patient and see what comes of all this.

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