In almost a footnote to the dismissal of the ridiculous charges against three men for buying and possessing legal products with no other evidence than that they possessed more of these legal products than some bureaucrat thought they should we finally find out how, exactly, they were making money off them. I had been really confused as to why their customers didn’t just go to Wal-Mart and buy the TracFones themselves. Turns out they weren’t selling them as TracFones – they were buying Nokia TracPhones and unlocking them.
The federal complaint said the men defrauded consumers, TracFone Wireless Inc. and Nokia Corp. by buying the prepaid phones and removing TracFone’s proprietary software, making it possible to use the handsets with any cellular provider. But lawyers for the men have said the three, who are Palestinian-American, were victims of ethnic profiling.
Okay, perhaps this is illegal, though I doubt it since you can buy unlocked cellphones lots of different places. But in any case I think the false accusations of terrorism, the several nights in jail, the plastering of their names and faces all over the national news as terrorists should have been sufficient reasons for a Get Out of Jail Free Card weeks ago. Frankly, these guys ought to pass Go and collect a few hundred thousand dollars from the paranoid dimwits who had nothing better to do than dream that a thousand cell phones with no explosives were going to bring down a bridge. Maybe they were going to ring them all at once and set up some sort of oscillation that would destroy it the way the Tacoma Narrows Bridge went down? No, I don’t think so.
Rather ironic that this comes out hours after I wrote a bit about my favorite online retailer, Amazon.com, where, it turns out you can buy unlocked cellphones starting at about $130 for the Motorola V188 (Fashion Purple) Gsm Unlocked Tri-band 900/1800/1900 World Phone with speakerphone and More. (What a mouthful!) So, does this mean Amazon.com is planning to blow up the Mackinac Bridge?
Seriously though, we keep hearing that if we change our way of life the terrorists will have won. I believe that Mr. Bush has said things to that effect. And, he is right. If the length to which this case was initally pursued is any indicator, the battle is going very badly for our side.