The FBI had better find a pile of corpses in John Street's crawl space. Or a massive cache of heroin and shoulder-launched surface-to-air-missiles. Or a graduation certificate from an al-Qaida training camp. Or something else really, really, really bad.
Because if the FBI doesn't produce some evidence of staggering corruption after raiding and bugging the Philadelphia mayor's offices in the weeks before an election, then this whole fiasco amounts to evidence of staggering corruption in the FBI itself.
The only excuse for the FBI abusing its power this way is for them to produce evidence that John Street has been abusing his power. Until I see such evidence, I can't dismiss the conspiracy theories that see this high-profile, low-detail investigation as simply the attempt to alter the outcome of an election in the largest city in an important swing state.
The FBI has inserted itself into an election campaign. To justify this, they need to produce not merely a smoking gun, but a smoking gun with John Street's personal fingerprints on it, and evidence of the powderburns on his hand.
Meanwhile, in Santa Cruz, Calif.:
Santa Cruz Mayor Emily Reilly is warning her constituents in this liberal beach town not to jump to conspiracy theories about several unusual events involving her bakery in the days since the city council decided to challenge President Bush.
Four days later, a sophisticated burglar pried moulding off a window at Emily's Good Things to Eat bakery, evaded a motion detector and stole an old computer hard drive and the hard-drive backup.
Then, on Sept. 17, Emily's Good Things To Eat bakery was visited by an agent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, who introduced himself, showed his identification, and looked around. …
June Hoffmann, who co-owns the downtown Hoffman's Bakery Cafe, said that in almost two decades of shaping marzipan and kneading breads, she's never been visited by the FDA.
Bakers were baffled as well at the House of Bread. "Not one of our ten House of Breads has ever been visited by the FDA," said Sheila McCann. "I'd say this sounds a little bit suspect."