WASHINGTON, March 14 (UPI) -- Since his appointment as attorney general, John Ashcroft's Washington office has issued 2,295 news releases. Not one of them has mentioned the name William Joseph Krar.
Krar's attorney is saying it's all a misunderstanding, and Krar himself is not talking, but his arrest by federal law enforcement in the small town of Noonday, Texas, last April may have stopped the most devastating terror attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11.
Krar, who is affiliated with several anti-government, white supremacist militia organizations, was apprehended after mailing a package containing false U.N. credentials, Defense Intelligence Agency IDs, phony birth certificates and a forged federal concealed weapons permit to a co-conspirator in New Jersey.
The package came with a note that read, "We would hate to have this fall into the wrong hands." It did. It was delivered to the incorrect address.
An alert citizen contacted the FBI, which led to the arrest of Krar and the discovery of a mind-numbing weapons cache: fully automatic machine guns, remote-controlled explosive devices disguised as briefcases, 60 pipe bombs, nearly 500,000 rounds of ammunition and enough pure sodium cyanide "to kill everyone inside a 30,000 square foot building," according to federal authorities.
The arrest of Krar and two associates was the talk of the town in little Noonday, Texas, a sleepy community of about 500 people located 100 miles southeast of Dallas. But outside of a few local news stories and a handful of mentions in several national outlets, the William Krar arrest is the proverbial tree that fell in the woods.
Even more astounding is the stony silence from the Ashcroft Justice Department, which found at least 2,295 occasions to toot its own horn that are apparently more newsworthy than the Krar arrest.
"We don't spend a lot of time thinking about how we announce our activities," a Justice Department spokesman told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Really? This is from a Justice Department that averages two news releases every day and has never been shy to march out every triumph over the arrest or conviction of anyone remotely connected to overseas terror.
No, this Justice Department is obsessed with thinking about how they announce their activities. And that is what is so intriguing about this arrest and the conspicuous lack of comment from Ashcroft.
It is, to quote another famous crime fighter, reminiscent of "the curious incident of the dog in the night-time." "The dog did nothing in the night-time," said Inspector Gregory. "That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
Is there a double standard at Justice between the public pronouncements over arrests that fit our current stereotype of terrorists and those that don't? It is a question deserving of an answer. As for William Krar and his associates, who knows what they were planning? Perhaps they were going to blow up the United Nations or release sodium cyanide poison in the Pentagon. Perhaps they were ultimately going to do nothing -- just stockpile weapons of mass destruction and pass coded communiqués to each other bemoaning the Zionist occupation of the United States.
We don't know because William Krar is not talking. And neither is the Justice Department.
(Jim Kessler is president of the Washington-based consulting firm Definition Strategies. He can be reached at email@example.com.)
(United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)