A visibly agitated John McCain was roused from bed early this morning in an FBI raid. Senator McCain, who makes his Washington home in a tony section of Georgetown, could be seen arguing with the agents as he stood on the pavement in slippers, crew shirt and lavender Senate boxers.
Prior to leading McCain away, agents were seen removing computers, file cabinets, a PlayStation 4 console and related joysticks as well as World Series of Poker and Water-Board 3 game-boxes from the Senator’s residence.
The arrest relates to violations of the USA Patriot Act (18 U. S. C. §2339B), specifically “providing material support to terrorists”. Moreover the bill is quite specific and unyielding in its definition of the term (emphasis added):
“…’material support or resources’ means any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, undisclosed gaming proceeds, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (1 or more individuals who may be or include oneself), and transportation, except medicine or religious materials”
While no one has accused the Senator of providing a safehouse in the Nation’s Capitol for al Qaeda, McCain openly and vigorously fraternized with known al Qaeda operatives in Syria in May of this year.
[US Senator John McCain (C) poses with infamous kidnapper in Syria, Mohamed Nour (seen with his hand on his chest and holding a camera)
In fact during a marathon, all-night Texas Hold-em session, he reportedly lost his shirt and his Senate gym pass to one. Considering journalists get tossed in jail for merely writing about these same folks, the FBI is only being consistent. What more could one ask of a stultifying police state?
“It’s the poker clause that could really hang him up”, suggested one Patriot Act expert.
“You cannot leave chips on the table with a known terrorist organization. Even more damaging, by the Senator’s own Twitter admission he’s no expert at the game.”
Of course he was referring to McCain’s widely reported gaming on the Senate floor earlier in the month.
What about the ‘expert advice’ condition, we asked.
“Fortunately for the Senator, flying off the handle is not a recognized expertise. So he should be okay there.”
Normally a separation of powers claim would be invoked except the Constitution is largely in tatters and no one knows this better than Senator McCain. His one best hope is that the rendition state has gaming capabilities or that his newly-acquired al Qaeda associates can mount a reprisal attack on key American installations in a bid to win his release. But as McCain is a Baptist congregant with a bad temper, such a reprisal is bound to be half-hearted and fraught with internal dissension.
Asked to comment on his colleague vanishing like a thin vapor trail. Senator Lindsey Graham clucked, “I sure hope his friends don’t launch a nuclear attack on the Kennedy Center. But this is what happens when we go easy on terrorists after going hard on them after going easy on them.”
Norman Ball is a businessman, author and poet whose essays have appeared in Counterpunch, Asia Times, The Western Muslim, The Glasgow Herald and elsewhere. His new book is “Between River and Rock: How I Resolved Television in Six Easy Payments” is available here.