The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Saturday, July 08, 2006

What's up with the New York tunnel plot?

On the heels of the "Miami Seven" arrests, which quickly disappeared from the headlines when it was revealed what a bunch of bozos the men were, we have another announcement of a terrorist ring broken while in the "planning stages" of an attack. How close were they to taking action?

"The plot had matured to the point where the individuals were about to go to a phase where they would attempt to surveil targets, establish a regimen of attacks and acquisition of the resources needed to effectuate the attacks," [FBI agent Michael Mehrson] said.

That's pretty vague, and it could describe anything from "Hey, I've got an idea..." to "Now let's go case the joint and buy some weapons." But administration shill Michael Chertoff would prefer it if you were scared:

"The distance between planning and actual operations is a very short distance," he said.

"Sometimes, that causes skeptics to say the threats are not really serious," he said. "But mixing a bomb in a bathtub does not require rocket science."

The trouble with these claims is that we've heard them before from the White House-- like a few weeks ago concerning the Floridians. And in 2004, just a few months before that election. It was later revealed that the upticks in the terrorist alert level were ordered by the White House with no supporting intelligence. It was an election tactic, pure and simple.

So we have no idea when the White House is serious about threats, and when it's just making stuff up. And the total politicization of national security has become the norm. Terrorist plots are scary-- but what about a political climate where citizens can't even be sure that the government is being honest about the dangers we face? It's cruel, shamefully irresponsible, and a hallmark of 20th century fascism.