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


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

(Hopefully Not) Strike Three

The GOP just hasn't been able to catch a break in the last two weeks or so-- not only are the headlines all about their lying, incompetence and greed abroad and at home, but things just keep getting worse in Iraq and (not that anyone's paying attention) Afghanistan.

Normally, that sort of situation calls for a little bit of the ol' Routine 5 from the powers that be, but that nicely timed report of al Qaeda bigwig Abu Ayyub al-Masri's death in Iraq blew up in their faces. In spite of the best efforts of Drudge, et al.

Then there was this lamer, more transparent attempt to swipe the news cycle:

A glance at newspaper headlines suggests the Pentagon's story was taken by some in the press as breaking news. London's Times Online seemed to think so. It ran a present-tense headline, "7/7 'mastermind' is siezed in Iraq." "Al-Qaida aide a big catch, says Pentagon," announced the Chicago Sun Times' story, and Stars & Stripes' front page blared, "Al-Qaida leader at Gitmo after capture."

But read a bit further, and you'll discover that al-Iraqi was captured "late last year" and has been held and interrogated by the CIA since then.

Oops. Not nearly as effective as raising the terror-alert level used to be, but America already knows that was fake. In spite of the winger blogs' attempts to sell it, no one was buying.

Then there was the story about a group of radical foes of the US government who were busted with truckloads of explosives and other dangerous stuff. Unfortunately, the bad guys who were nabbed were white red-staters. Pass.

So now we have another one. And it sounds pretty good... until it starts sounding like a rehash of the Florida shampoo salesmen. Oops, I meant radical Muslim terrorists. Hopefully they aren't lying for once, and we actually did catch some bad dudes. But all those years of watching the GOP lie about their accomplishments tends to make a guy a little skeptical.

The plan, first reported this morning by New York's WNBC television, involved four ethnic Albanians from the former Yugoslavia, one man from Jordan and one from Turkey, Justice Department officials said. They intended to storm the World War I-era post and kill as many military and other personnel as possible.

Man, sounds pretty serious, huh? But, the Washington Monthly points out some slightly less chilling information from the same article:

Let me get this striaght: these guys dropped off jihadi videos at a local store, talked to Philly cops about getting a map of Ft. Dix, were still trying to procure weapons after 17 months of planning, and practiced for the attack by playing paintball.

This reminds me of that guy who planned to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge with a blowtorch. Or those dudes who wanted to destroy the Sears Tower but couldn't even afford to buy boots and rental cars, let alone explosives. Or Jose Padilla, who, it turns out, was a deluded schmoe who didn't really have serious plans to do much of anything.