For the last 65 years, the Hanson family of Daleville, Alabama has celebrated America’s independence and entertained their small farming community with an elaborate fireworks display. This year did not go as planned.
Jebediah Hanson was arrested on terrorism charges after police found his annual two-ton load of explosives and, under President Obama’s extensions to the Patriot Act, declared them weapons of mass destruction.
At 4:20 p.m., Hanson was preparing his yearly firework show when Alabama S.W.A.T. units raced onto his private farmland. They brandished assault rifles and riot gear, and immediately subdued the 83-year-old cotton farmer.
Alabama State Trooper Herb Bush told the Daleville Sun-Courier, “He had the proper permit to be running his 4th of July fireworks show, but we prefer to err on the side of caution. That’s when we had to call in the FBI.”
Hanson was charged by federal agents with three counts of conspiracy to engage in terrorist activities and one count of possession of weapons of mass destruction.
F.B.I. Agent Dirk Diggler told the local newspaper, “While we don’t have what you might call proof of terrorist ties, on a holiday like this, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“How do we know what his intent was for those explosives? Sure, he’s been holding a firework show for six decades, but how do we really know how was going to have another one? With that in mind, Mister Hanson is currently en-route to Guantanamo Bay where he’ll be question properly. Prevention is the key to the war on terror.”
Pick a Bail of Cotton
Townsfolk arriving for Jeb Hanson’s yearly firework spectacle were shocked to hear of his arrest.
Dorothy Hanson, Jebediah’s wife, told the Sun-Courier, “All we wanted to do was celebrate America’s independence like we do every year. For as long as I can remember, we’ve been putting on the fireworks display. The kids love it. And with this being a small town and with the economy, we’re the only ones holding a fireworks show this year. I even baked my famous Bourbon apple pie.
“I just need him home. He needs to take his medication at seven and no one will listen to me. They won’t even let him near his lawyer. That agent Diggler says lawyers only slow things down. And he says Jeb will just be gone longer if I start some ruckus.”
Susan Little, who first attended Hanson’s firework show in 1974, says, “All of a sudden, I see a dozen black armored vehicles with these huge guns and a bunch of helicopters, with missiles on them.
“Then they start asking all these questions. What was planned for today, all that. And we told them, fireworks for Independence Day. We got detained overnight. It was scary. Even the little kids, without their parents there were asking them questions. I don’t understand why you’d point a big gun at a little kid.
“When one little girl, Annabelle, started crying, this soldier threatens to charge her with obstruction of justice and obstructing a police investigation, and tells her none of her friends like her.”
A local recently honorably discharged soldier, requesting to remain anonymous, told the Sun-Courier, “It looked like Iraq. It was the same equipment we used in the battlefield. I have no idea why that type of equipment would be used in rural Alabama, and especially against Americans.
“While I didn’t get to see any fireworks, it was sure a hell of a lot better than being in Fallujah. That place sucks.”