Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Another terror plot discovered . . . yawn

From the Oregonian this morning:
Authorities have disrupted planning by foreign terrorists who wanted to attack the New York City-area transportation system, the federal government announced Friday.

The planning appeared to be in the early stages, and the tunnels and other transportation routes weren't believed to have ever been at serious risk.
. . .
Lebanese authorities, working with U.S. law enforcement agencies, arrested an al-Qaida operative who admitted to plotting a terror attack in New York City, a senior Lebanese security official said Friday.
. . .
In the latest case, a federal official said FBI agents monitoring Internet chat rooms used by extremists learned of the plot in recent months and determined that tunnels were possibly being targeted after investigators pieced together code words from their conversations.
Guess what? That al-Qaeda operative was interrogated by Lebanese and U.S. officials, and his interrogation generated more leads in this case. If you think that interrogation was just a casual conversation between old friends, if you think it unnecessary to utilize coercion to produce information, you're living in a dream world. This guy knew of a plot to kill Americans and destroy American property simply because the word "American" was the adjective, and I don't care what the U.S. and Lebanese authorities had to do in order to foil that plot.

(You're worried that they won't be nice to us because we might treat prisoners roughly? Hello? They were plotting to kill Americans who were driving to work! You think they'd abandon such a plan if we promised to handle prisoners with kid gloves?)

Interesting thing, that story from the Oregonian -- it wasn't on the O's website for long. It was under the News Flash heading around 9 a.m., but by 10 it was replaced by the death of a Coalition soldier in Afghanistan, and when the New Jersey casinos would reopen. By 11, you had to dig deep into the archives just to find it.

As Max would say, nothing to see. Move along. Just another story

After all, this wasn't a real conspiracy to blow anything up. It was just a bunch of yahoos talking in an internet chat room. No harm, no foul. Just like those guys in Miami who talked about blowing up the Sears Tower. Wanna bet whether the guys who blew up subway tunnels in London one year ago today started in a similar way?

By the way, contrast the tame AP report in the O to the story in today's New York Daily News:
The FBI has uncovered what officials consider a serious plot by jihadists to bomb the Holland Tunnel in hopes of causing a torrent of water to deluge lower Manhattan, the Daily News has learned.

The terrorists sought to drown the Financial District as New Orleans was by Hurricane Katrina, sources said. They also wanted to attack subways and other tunnels.

Counterterrorism officials are alarmed by the "lone wolf" terror plot because they allegedly got a pledge of financial and tactical support from Jordanian associates of top terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi before he was killed in Iraq, a counterterrorism source told The News.
A pledge of financial support from Al-Qaeda. Wanna bet whether authorities were able to gain leads in this case because of the SWIFT program that was recently castrated by the New York Times? Wanna bet whether the same leads will be obtainable a year from now, thanks to the aforementioned castration?

(Oh, by the way, one source told the Daily News: "This is more advanced than the Miami Seven." How many small-time plots are we willing to dismiss as irrelevant to the War on Terror before one of them blossoms into the next New York or London or Madrid or USS Cole or Khobar Towers or . . . )

And how long will it be before the Times publishes a Page One story about a Justice Department program that monitors internet chat rooms, revealing clues that will help terrorists avoid detection in the future?

UPDATE: One thing I thought about, but forgot to mention in the rush to get out the door today, and was reminded of while reading Hugh Hewitt this afternoon: the New York Daily News is not exactly immune from criticism for its decision to print details of this story. Someone leaked the investigation before all the bad guys were rounded up, and now they have advance notice that they're in deep soup.

Mark Mershon, former assistant FBI director in New York, blasted the leaks during a press conference Friday:
The person who leaked the investigation is "clearly someone who doesn't understand the fragility of international relations," Mershon said.

"The release makes the investigation more difficult for us; it has greatly complicated what otherwise would be a very smooth relationship, a very smooth partnership, with a number of overseas allied agencies," Mershon added.

Republican Congressman Peter King of New York, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, added, "It would have been better if this had not been disclosed."
The more the press tries to act as independent oversight of the government, the more its lack of knowledge and lack of accountability become more glaringly apparent.


  • At 7/07/2006 12:11 PM, Blogger DirtCrashr said…

    Excellent idea, we should go castrate the NYT editorial board and reporters!!

  • At 7/07/2006 3:45 PM, Blogger MAX Redline said…

    Um, why bother, Dirt? I believe they've effectively neutered themselves.

    Nothing to see in the Times, people. Move along; no story here.


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