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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Does a president have to allow a terror attack to get credit for "keeping us safe" afterward?
Posted by Jill | 5:00 AM
Unfortunately, I haven't been paying as much attention to the terror plot allegedly being cooked up by Najibullah Zazi and others. I think this all started while I was in Germany, where the upcoming national elections in that country were of more concern. Since I've been home, I've been getting settled back in, including a new office location following a move of my entire department to the local corporate headquarters. This has involved a sizable adjustment, as my group now is spread out over a huge floor instead of crowded into one floor of a smaller building, so we've lost the sense of being a small company instead of just one cog in a huge one. In addition to now being a full-fledged cube rat, I have the worst cube location in the building -- right in front of two managerial offices, so I feel much of the time as if I'm on the other side of the one-way glass in a psychological experiment. Now we deal with things like weekend raids by security of "unauthorized electronic equipment", which means anything from coffeemakers to electric fans, which are not returned to you until a guard follows you to your car to make sure you take the offending item home. But whatever -- it's a living.

After eight years of George W. Bush ratcheting up the terror alerts every time he was in political trouble, it's difficult to find much other than skepticism about the new terror plots. We've heard about threats against sports stadiums, shopping malls, and other places designed to work the South and the flyover states into a frenzy while New Yorkers go about their business because they don't have the luxury of fear. But with Barack Obama having far less to gain than Captain Codpiece by ginning up phony terror threats, and without a pattern of such things (yet), let's assume for a minute that the plot has been real and the Justice Department is in the process of breaking up a ring that was more sophisticated than the penny-ante ninja wannabes that constituted the average Bush Administration-era terrorist threat. Suppose that something big and imminent has been broken up here. Does the Obama Administration get credit for "keeping us safe"? Or does "keeping us safe" only matter after a spectacular, made-for-TV attack is allowed to play out?

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney received warnings of plots by Osama Bin Laden -- and did absolutely nothing. George Bush fussed at CIA agents who delivered him a briefing because he didn't want to be disturbed while on vacation. Dick Cheney said nothing about terrorism until after the 9/11 attacks, even though the World Trade Center had been attacked in 1993. And yet the World Trade Center site is now a hole in the ground, and has been for eight years.

If a terrorist plot falls in the forest and does not happen, does anyone hear it? Does it "count" if you actually prevent anything from happening, or only if you say "Whoops! Now we'll take action" after thousands of people die?

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Blogger Bob said...
FBI cranked up the noise machine as loud as it could go. That agency always tries for max publicity anyway. But does it warrant all the heightened alerts? Why is the situation more alarming this week than last? It's not. Al Queda didn't just discover the existence of baseball stadiums & large subway stations. Maybe there's something to this "plot," maybe not. I just hope the FBI is watching the homegrown right wing crazies, too.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hey my instant reaction about anything that has to do with the War on Terror, is to ask what is going on that they need a distraction for?

Little sneaky PR going around a couple of blogs, no mainstream that Bush III was asking for increases in the power given under the legislation in the Partiot Act.

Wonder if he did with a signature act? Two bit little weasel, gutless on top of that.