Carol Platt Liebau: The Gruesome Details

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Gruesome Details

They're here,along with speculation here that this might have been intended as "the big one." According to left wing thought, the answer is confined to simply building better walls and employing better airport screening. Defensive measures alone, we're told, can do the job. But that's a failure of imagination, as well as of intellect.

For there will always be new methods of terror -- for instance, the best mechanized screening in the world wouldn't have been able to detect the combination of chemical explosives that were in play for the thwarted attack. Instead, there had to be spying, perhaps phone tapping, asset tracing, and other methods that liberals have from time to time criticized as violations of "privacy." It's worth noting that we may have been lucky that the attack was being planned in Britain -- where there are substantially fewer impediments to robust investigation of suspected criminals.

In fact, when one realizes all the intelligence measures that had to be brought to bear to foil the attack, it makes it clearer than ever why Democrats -- the party of radical civil libertarians, frequently hostile to foreign intelligence gathering -- simply can't be trusted with national security.

16 Comments:

Blogger Editor said...

Unfortunately for Republicans, Bush's failed policies and his Iraq mess became the jihadist recruiting tool with Bush being the poster boy.

Intelligence agents and academic terrorism experts believe it's not the bearded man in the cave or his foot soldiers that are giving counterterrorism officials a headache -- it's young killers from Europe who are radicalizing quickly and almost invisibly.

Israeli al-Qaida expert Reuven Paz also suspects the would-be killers arrested in Britain belong to a "new generation of jihad-seekers," which has taken shape in recent years. These new terrorists are typically "Islamic fundamentalists with a poor Islamic education, but a great deal of motivation for jihad in the sense of terrorism. They're not waiting for al-Qaida to recruit them. They initiate their own operations, in accordance with al-Qaida's strategy. A lot of these potential killers reside in Europe, he assumes.

Ever since the attacks on London last year, this phenomenon has been called "homegrown terrorism." It became shockingly clear after those bombings that events like the war in Iraq could move apparently well-integrated immigrants to commit mass murder among people they live with every day.

6:23 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

What's really striking is that the British police, armed with a suspicion that there would be a terrorist attack, was able to identify, track down, and arrest the suspects before they could strike.

Last I heard from Republicans, this is impossible. After all, there was nothing Bush could have done to prevent 9/11 even if he had paid attention to that "historic document" entitled "Bin Laden determined to strike in US." Seems to me I kept hearing how short of shutting down all air traffic for the entire month, there was simply no way Bush could act, so that he was completely blameless in allowing the attack to take place.

Now it looks like a competent government actually can ward off a terrorist attack. That is, of course, if they care enough to shorten their vacations.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Oh my... Republicans wetting themselves with joy over a terrorist plot. They were so busy today putting their political fortunes over the possibility that actual people could have been killed.

"Weeks before September 11th, this is going to play big."--Unnamed White House Official

"I'd rather be talking about this than all of the other things that Congress hasn't done well."--Anonymous Republican congressional aide.

"In fact, when one realizes all the intelligence measures that had to be brought to bear to foil the attack, it makes it clearer than ever why Democrats -- the party of radical civil libertarians, frequently hostile to foreign intelligence gathering -- simply can't be trusted with national security."--Carol Platt Liebau

Klassy with a K--Ms. Platt Liebau--klassy with a K.

9:43 PM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

Here is an article offering a view counter to Editor's breat beating and mea culpas:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,6-2307863,00.html

I see wrabkin is now blaming Bush because it should have been so easy to catch the 9/11 plotters. Well, the Clinton Justice Dept did forbid the FBI from searching a personal computer that did have relevant information on it. That must be Bush's fault, too.

Oh, and let's not forget global warming. Bush is now responsbile for the weather, as well.

6:48 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Hey, guys, here's a hint:

Clinton was out of office for almost nine months before 9/11. Get it? He wasn't president. He wasn't handed the PDB titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US" only to go back to clearing brush. He didn't tell the CIA briefer who handed him the brief "Now you can say you covered your ass."

Why isn't Bush responsible for anything that happens when he's president?

9:19 AM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

You would have Bush responsible for everything from the first day of his administration. It is neither realistic, nor fair, and I suspect not the position you would take of calamities that happended early in Democratic administrations.

The "cover your ass" comment makes perfect sense if Bush received a generic assessment of threat that was not actionable.

A service provider (whether in public service or the private sector) does his client little good by describing problems or risks without telling the client what to do about it in concrete terms. Failure to do so results in "cover your ass" memos.

Finally, had Bush taken action from the first day of his administration, it would have required policy and legal changes towards information gathering that would have had you screaming about the destruction of your civil rights by the fearful.

Your hindsight is 20/20 but your facts are wrong. Apparently, the British were not "armed with a suspicion"; they received a tip off.

How do you distinguish your criticisms of Bush with similar criticisms of FDR and Pearl Harbor or JFK and the Bay of Pigs?

10:06 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Wile:

JFK and the Bay of Pigs? You might want to revise that comparison. Because JFK went on national television after that disaster and apologized to the American people for making a terrible, foolish mistake. He also took full responsibility for the invasion. And he didn't spend the rest of his term saying that the Bay of Pigs was a great success and that everyone should vote for Democratic candidates so that the great victory of the Bay of Pigs not be wasted.

Oh, but JFK, for all his flaws, was a man.

As for whatever you're trying to suggest about FDR, all I can say is that when Japan attacked the United States, FDR didn't order our troops to invade Mexico. He chose to fight the enemy, not use the attack to fulfill some insane neocon fantasy.

11:58 AM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

The question was about responsibility for the intelligence failure prior to the event, not the aftermath.

(Also, under your "man" JFK, the US began sending military advisors to an obscure Indochinese country called Vietnam. Were the Vietnamese our enemy at that point?)

12:31 PM  
Blogger eLarson said...

Hey, guys, here's a hint:

Clinton was out of office for almost nine months before 9/11.


That's amazingly quick planning for al Qaeda, don't you think?

12:46 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

It's notable that FDR didn't invade Mexico, but he didn't invade Japan, either. He did invade somewhere, though, didn't he? And it's a matter of strategy which determines where an invasion should take place. For example, was Normandy in Germany? No, but it was a strategiv initiative to strike in France on our way there.

And I would argue that 9/11 was a bigger recruiting tool for jihadists than our response to it was, because 9/11 made us appear to be less impregnable. Now, the wackjobs, whether from the Mid East or wherever, want to be known for topping 9/11. Every victory for these scumbags embolden them. Every defeat, particularly when they are devastating, makes them think twice. Surely, some are recruited as they tend to listen to the leading scumbags and believe their rhetoric, much like editor and wrabking do with their leaders. Fortunately, their are others who see clearly and base their decisions on real events and act accordingly.

1:44 PM  
Blogger eLarson said...

Wrabkin wrote:
all I can say is that when Japan attacked the United States, FDR didn't order our troops to invade Mexico. He chose to fight the enemy, not use the attack to fulfill some insane neocon fantasy.

He did indeed engage the enemy. After declaring war on Japan, he ordered the troops into North Africa of all places. Why? Because he recognized that the enemy included more than just Japan, but also Germany and Italy. north Africa is where the enemy was, and it played a big role in controlling traffic in the Mediterranean.

2:20 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Hey, Marshall and Larson:

Do yourselves a favor. Read a history book. Japan and Germany were allied. When Japan declared war on us, so did Germany. We were forced to fight on multiple fronts. We started in Africa to elimate Axis strength there and worked our way towards Berlin and Tokyo.

Saddam and Al Qaeda were not allies, and in fact were enemies. Invading Iraq did nothing to slow Al Qaeda except make them stronger.

As for Normandy, again, read some history. There were strategic reasons for going through France. There were no strategic reasons for going after Al Qaeda by invading its enemy.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

Hey wrabkin, read more than just Michael Moore crap. Try the blog at Captain's Quarters where he's analysing the docs found in Iraq, much of which shows just what ties there were between these "enemies". You seem to want to ignore the fact that despite their "principles", the extremists can bite the bullet between themselves for their bigger enemy which is Israel and us. In such a way they are indeed allied against us, thus rendering your retorts idiocy.

10:38 PM  
Blogger eLarson said...

Straight question to wrabkin: What do you believe is Iran's role in the Middle East?

5:56 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Marshall:

I don't read Michael Moore, but I certainly don't waste my time with losers like the Captain's Quarters. If they want to paw through phony translations of fake documents, let them have fun.

What, I dare call them fakes? Where's my proof? Here's a hint -- if we found evidence of a real link between Saddam and Al Qaeda in papers taken from Baghdad, the information wouldn't be dribbling out on some loser blog. The administration would be screaming it from every rooftop. This document dump had one purpose -- to keep the slavering faithful in line a little longer. I assumed you were smart enough to figure that out.

eLarson:

I believe Iran's main role in the Middle East right now is to try to take leadership over the whole area. Something they could never have dreamed of before, when Saddam's Iraq held them in a stalemate, and when America was not widely seen as an occupying force dedicated to wiping Islam off the map. Now Iranian stooges are in the process of ripping Iraq into a civil war which they will probbaly win... and the United States has no moral currency in the area at all.

Guess what -- geopolitical strategy is hard. And claiming that you're good and the other side is evil does not necessarily lead to automatic victory, no matter how many times you say it.

7:48 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

I believe Iran's main role in the Middle East right now is to try to take leadership over the whole area.

I believe you are right. What can be done about it?

8:54 AM  

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