Well we could all be happy that the sharing of intelligence information between U.S. and British agencies successfully thwarted what appears to be an al Qaeda backed plan to blow up as many as 10 jet airplanes bound for the U.S. But our friends on the left are not in the least bit grateful.
A rundown of what liberal bloggers are saying is pretty sad. An Americablog post blares, "Lieberman loses, CODE RED, CODE RED, CODE RED." The blog asks, "And isn't it queer that the emergency is declared within a day of Republican party leader Ken Mehlman launching an all-out offensive against Democrats following Joe Lieberman's loss in Connecticut, an offensive in which Mehlman, the White House and Republican operatives are claiming that Democrats no longer care about national security or the war on terror."
The Daily Kos jumped to the conclusion that the British alone thwarted the plot because their intelligence "is a hell of a lot more competent in wrapping potential terrorism" even as Time reports that the U.S. picked up the suspects' chatter and shared it with British authorities. Apparently the Daily Kos has forgotten that the U.S. has suffered no terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11, while the British were hit by deadly bombings of trains and buses in London just last year.
Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall shares the Daily Kos' sentiments. He writes of today's announcement, "Also a pretty stark reminder that President Bush's War on Terror, the way he's chosen to fight it, is at best irrelevant to combatting this sort of danger." "These are homegrown Brits apparently trying to blow up planes over the Atlantic." "Good thing we've got a 150,000 or so troops in Iraq to take the fight to them." He also writes, "As I've written before, I have next to no confidence that this administration won't pump exaggerated or bogus terror plots for short term political advantage. Especially as we move toward an election they seem likely to lose."
Not to be outdone, Talk Left writes, "With the primary season upon us and the November elections quickly approaching, it's time to raise the threat alert -- to red for flights originating in Britain." Another post reads, "Leave it to President Bush to treat the news as a political opportunity to push his warrantless surveillance progam."
A little closer to home our friend Steph Mineart at A Commonplace Book weighs in with this observation: "Seriously, I'm predicting this is all bullshit whipped up by the U.K. on behalf of their buddy Bush because Leiberman lost the primary. (Let me clarify that -- I don't think they're constructing a terrorist plot out of whole cloth to scare us. I think they're making a mountain out of a molehill, and that we're not really in any danger.)" She adds, "Sure enough, there's the Tail Wagging the Dog. And people are reporting that Bob Orr mentioned on The Early Show this morning that the Bush knew about this plot for days. If so, why wait until now to change the security regulations?" "Why not secure the airlines several days ago to protect passengers?" "Because Lieberman didn't lose several days ago," Mineart concludes.
Now do people have a little bit better idea of why I concluded that Ned Lamont and his supporters were extremists on the issue of fighting the war on terrorism?
It's not the fight on which they're extreme. (Well, maybe some of them are.) The administration has created so much distrust on the issue that folks can't hear the administration say the word "terrorist" without checking to make sure they still have their wallets.
If someone they trusted were telling them about the plot, I doubt we'd see this kind of reaction. As it is, the reports are coming from the same folks who brought us the grave and gathering threat in Iraq and wake up calls in the form of a mushroom cloud.
So, something was broken up in Britain. But, between the political hype and the media terror porn machine, I don't really see anyway of actually knowing what that was.
Now, mind you, I'm not going all conspiratorial on you. I don't believe that the Bush or Blair administrations initiated whatever happened. I just think that they're perfectly willing to spin whatever it was to full political advantage while the cable news stations are willing to present it to the public in the way that helps their advertisers sell the most soap.
Doug is right. Something was discovered. The resulting spin made me First Class dizzy. The seats are wider, but you're still breathing the same air.
Steph was right, too. This administration will stop at nothing to reduce its slide in the polls.
Gatorade bombs. Kinda makes ya think doesn't it?
One good result: if the carry-on restrictions continue, after this "threat" is deconstructed, the idiots who carry their life onto a plane, and take up our coinhabited overhead space, will be more limited. Have you seen the size of some of those "carryons" ? What's in there? A small human?
Perhap this is a price that the administration pays for misleading us on WMD. I personally rely on what I'm hearing moderate Democrats say, who support a bipartisan approach to foreign policy in the tradition of the late Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson, to assuage any concerns I have that the administration is engaging in hyperbole. If these extremists have their way, the moderates will be driven out of the Democrat Party. They are already setting their sights on the likes of Evan Bayh and Hillary Clinton, both of whom have largely backed the administration's war on terror.
The far left is going off the deep end these days similarly to the far right going off the deep end when Clinton was in the White House. During the 90s, those on the far right were frothing over Janet Reno, Waco, militias, secret alien contacts within the Clinton inner-circle, etc. Whenever any party sits in power for 2 terms, the opposition party goes ape over it. Call it jealousy, if you will.
What's going on now is the exact same syndrome, only now the roles are reversed.
As for those questioning making a bomb out of commonly found liquids, just go ask a local high school chemistry teacher on how easy it is to do. My father taught chemistry for 37 years and often wondered out loud why liquid carry-ons weren't banned from airlines decades ago. As for the Gatorade bottle? The key word is "bottle."
Right Jay--exactly what the teen-agers up in Fishers were using recently to blow up mailboxes.
The idle rich in Fishers, however, included small fragments of metal, a/k/a schrapnel, which would've made a real mess of discharged on someone.
As for deep-end left wingers, everyone will come home for the election this year, if not by 2008.
Where else are the far left going to go?
Except for the war, Hillary is about as far left as you can get. I like her, but she's no moderate.
And those who initially supported the war, don't ever forget, were fed bullshit like the rest of us. How many times in your life have you said, after hearing new information, "I'd like to have known that earlier, before I _____________" (Fill in the blank)
You're so right, AI--W is paying the price for the initial runup to Iraq and the most poorly-executed war in modern history. As a solid Dem., I hope nothing changes before 2008 at the Pentagon. We love having Rummy right there in the thick of it.
Another great post, Gary.
The reaction of the lefty blogosphere says a lot more about the Left than it does about the Bush administration.
Their default reaction is to blame Bush and Blair for everything, to assume the worst about our country while assuming the best about our enemies, to minimize the terrorist threat, to apply dime-store pop psychology to Islamic fascists, etc etc.
I wasn't aware Garrison was blogging here.
No, 10:59, I DON'T assume the worst about my country and the best about our "enemies." By the way, a defintion of enemies, in this "war," is difficult, at best, because of the way it's been prosecuted.
Here's what I do assume about our president, because history is a fine teacher: He'll do anything to prove this mistake in Iraq is worthwhile. Note I do NOT assume that about my country, but I do assume it about my president. Thankfully, he'll be gone in two years or so. Our country, which is me and you, will be here forever.
The only enemies I have are the enemies of freedom. And they exist everywhere, including the Attorney General's office, as well as multiple terrorist camps worldwide.
Please stop the Garrison/Hannity/Rush anti-liberal blathering. You have no idea what I'm assuming unless you ask.
My only assumption about you is that you love to group people together, label them, and ignore the real problem. That's fun for awhile, but not very productive.
Your headline's a bit wrong. I don't see a "conspiracy" in the "thwarting of a terrorist attack" I see a conspiracy in the publicity and reporting of an intelligence investigation of some sort.
From the miniscule detail provided amongst all the hyperbole and hysteria, I don't think there's enough information to conclude there was actually a real terror attack in the works (any more than the boondoggle in Miami) and the details that are available don't seem to stand up to scrutiny.
They certainly don't merit the kind of hysterical headlines provided -- "Mass murder on an unimaginable scale" was the headline in over 20 mainstream media outlets, per Google News. As I pointed out on my blog, I've seen pictures of the holocaust aftermath, so what constitutes "unimaginable" to me is pretty large, and no matter what the scope, this didn't fit that.
As I see it, murder is murder. Whether a Nazi is doing it, or a jihadist Muslim. Wanting to blow up thousands of people over open seas is as horrible and "unimaginable" as watching my partner's godfather try and scratch the missing arm the Nazis ripped off for him being from the wrong country.
I wonder how the lefties feel about the [cue dastardly villian music]:
"ILLEGAL DOMESTIC SPY PROGRAM"
now that we know this very program helped US and UK authorities derail a significant terror plot.
My guess is that you will all simply ignore it, pretend that it didn't happen, or minimize the threat itself. Anything to avoid facing reality.
Steph--Please don't take it personally. You were the only local blogger at the time I did the post who had written on the subject. I wanted to add a little local flavor to it. I think we all should be skeptics when it comes to anything our government is doing. That's a freedom we have that they don't have in many of these countries which breed these terrorists. I think it is important that we never lose sight of who the real enemy is, though, no matter how much we disagree with the way the current administration is carrying out its policies.
I don't see anything wrong with questioning the reports. When I hear news such as this, I wonder about the validity while I subdue a bit of anxiety. In this day and age we are all a little more savvy when it comes to spin and something called wagging the dog. Any news out of the current administration always gives me pause. And when I do pause regarding the latest news, I have to think about the 9/11 anniversary coming up - as well as elections. I question my government and if that makes me a lefty extremist so be it.
1:26, here's your answer:
(Cue whatever music you like) (I prefer a soft Handel...)
I just heard Secretary Cherthoff on the news. For evidence in this case, on our side of the big pond, a FISA-obtained warrant was used in each and every instance.
Warrants. Due process. Probable cause.
Are you listening, Mr. Atty. General? Mr. President? Mr. Cheney?
I will reserve judgment of the overall plot, and the effectiveness of these arrests, until we know more. But clearly, from the Secretary's comments today, proper warrants can be obtained in time to thwart violent attacks.
What else 'ya got?
Steph adds this over at A Commonplace Book about this post:
"And here's a big funny: Gary Welsh says "But our friends on the left are not in the least bit grateful" regarding the intelligence work the UK (sorry, no real US involvement there) did in "thwarting the plot." What exactly am I supposed to be grateful for? No one's trying to blow me up. I can see where people in London who might get on the target planes would be grateful, but what does that have to do with me? As far as I can see, the only person keeping me safe these days is me. On the other hand, the government is doing a fine job of inconveniencing me, which I'm not inclined to be grateful for, unlike Gary."
Please my friends on the left. You are making it way too easy for me to make my case when you say things like this.
I'm never quite sure if I'm on the left or in the middle of most issues. And, sometimes, on the right (but not often)
But nothing about these threats was good. The choreography...well, it's frightening.
I am greateful to all who helped subvert this plot. I do want to wait a little while and not rush to judgment, but from all appearances, it was an Al Qeuida-type plan.
The arrests have something for everyone. Bush and his crowd claim they got the bad boys. The civil libertarians among us believe proper warrants were sought and served, so the prior arguments from The AG/Cheney, et al are ridiculously funny now.
(Count me in the last group)
We can't be everywhere and stop every plot, I'm afraid. So it's just a matter of time, unfortunately.
But we can adhere to our Constitution.
It seems you've placed your readers into two categories: those who are questioning the government on the topic at hand and those who are not. The previous are on the left and the latter are on the right.
Perhaps it's okay to be on the left if you are against GLBT discrimination, but bad if you question the validity of reports out of Washington regarding terrorism? I would imagine, then, that it's good to be on the right regarding terrorism, but bad to be there regarding its general sentiment about GLBT discrimination?
In categorizing and generalizing, you seem to be making "left" a dirty word in the context of this topic.
Pepper--questioning the government in this context doesn't place you on the left or right. As I have said, people should be skeptical. But you can be skeptical without automatically accusing our government of making up a terror plot before you have any evidence to support your claim. Listen to what they are saying. Lieberman lost, ergo the terrorist plot is exposed to shift public opinion. What do these people want-another 9/11 to convince them the terrorist threat still exists?
Speaking for myself, questioning the government on this particular issue doesn't mean that I don't believe terrorist threats don't exist. They've existed for a long time - well prior to 9/11. But our government seems to want to pick and choose what to exploit. I could spend half the day talking about the liquids and why our intelligent government didn't think of the possibilies in respect to liquids and bombs long before now - esp in this post 9/11 world. It's the timing and the exploitation that is in question - not whether or not terrorist threats exist.
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