Thursday 18th of April 2024

Happy Fifth Birthday 9/11

  Last year all we were given for September 11 was an Al Qaeda tape and the arrest of a terror threat named Scott Parkin.  This year I reckon we're in for a suprise party.

A month away, and the celebrations have started already.  People are being made to carry their personal effects onto planes in sealed plastic bags.  What I wan't to know is if this liquid explosive idea was known, why weren't we told.  OK so it might have alerted the would-be terrorists- but it would also have caused a cancellation of plans and perhaps averted the current state of fear that all of those travellers are enduring.  And it might have averted an escalation in hostilities instead of potentially provoking such a possibility.

 Not to mention that now that such a deed has been perpetrated the process is attemptable anywhere, anytime.  I'll be amazed if discussions aren't being had at this minute regarding the possible closure of US airspace to incoming traffic. Copycat terrorist might be on planes from Vancouver,  Mexico City, Jamaica, Adelaide, and a sealing of US borders might be the only form of protection that the Bush Administration could guarantee.

For a while now I've wanted to write on the possibility of a bumper birthday bash, but I couldn't see a likely catalyst.  Voila!  Fasten your seat belts, kiddies, we're in for a bumpy ride.

I was reading a book on sucessful dictators a while back, can't remember by who, which the author prefaced with the statement that the good ones seized power by cultivating and prolonging a state of emergency.  For the commanders of the Coalition Of The Willing, this attack that never happened is pure media gold.  

 

mission accomplished .....

 

 

‘Things aren’t going particularly well in the Middle East. It has been a bad summer, and the winter promises no respite (except in Afghanistan, where guerilla armies usually lay low and rearm until the mountain passes open in the spring).

Osama bin Laden’s plan was to use his attack on America as the matador’s cape. He hoped to draw America into a series of endless insurgent wars that would eventually demoralize the American people and bankrupt our government. In the process, he hoped to show his fellow Muslims that the West has nothing but ill intentions toward the Middle East. 

His plan is moving along quite nicely.’

The Mess They Made

From The US Dept Of Homeland Security

Statement by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff Announcing a Change to the Nation’s Threat Level for the Aviation Sector

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010
August 10, 2006

The Department of Homeland Security is taking immediate steps to increase security measures in the aviation sector in coordination with heightened security precautions in the United Kingdom. Over the last few hours, British authorities have arrested a significant number of extremists engaged in a substantial plot to destroy multiple passenger aircraft flying from the United Kingdom to the United States. Currently, there is no indication, however, of plotting within the United States. We believe that these arrests have significantly disrupted the threat, but we cannot be sure that the threat has been entirely eliminated or the plot completely thwarted.

For that reason, the United States Government has raised the nation’s threat level to Severe, or Red, for commercial flights originating in the United Kingdom bound for the United States. This adjustment reflects the Critical, or highest, alert level that has been implemented in the United Kingdom. To defend further against any remaining threat from this plot, we will also raise the threat level to High, or Orange, for all commercial aviation operating in or destined for the United States. Consistent with these higher threat levels, the Transportation Security Administration is coordinating with federal partners, airport authorities and commercial airlines on expanding the intensity of existing security requirements. Due to the nature of the threat revealed by this investigation, we are prohibiting any liquids, including beverages, hair gels, and lotions from being carried on the airplane. This determination will be constantly evaluated and updated when circumstances warrant. These changes will take effect at 4:00 AM local time across the country. Travelers should also anticipate additional security measures within the airport and at screening checkpoints.

These measures will continue to assure that our aviation system remains safe and secure. Travelers should go about their plans confidently, while maintaining vigilance in their surroundings and exercising patience with screening and security officials.

The United States and the United Kingdom are fully united and resolute in this effort and in our ongoing efforts to secure our respective homelands.


keeping us safe .....

Meanwhile Richard, the Department of Transportation announced yesterday a ‘US government computer loaded with approximately 133,000 drivers’ & pilots’ records - including Social Security numbers - was stolen last month."

John and The Bomber scoring points

Agreed, John it's almost farcical that such a theft could occur.

Just listening to The World Today.  P.M. Howard is saying that "The potential use of liquid explosives brings a whole new menacing dimension to the terrorist threat" and that we'll probably have increased permanent security at airports.  Surrprise, surrprise, surrprise.

What worries me most is Bomber Beazley sounding like Bush "It does show that the war with fundamentalist terrorism is real."  Christ, is the man due for another brain-scan yet?

"It's a borderless war.. it's different" says  Howard, going on to invoke the memories of New York and Bali, just as Downer invoked New York before Bali happened.

This, as far as I'm concerned, is far from over.


 

just business .....

Whilst our lord high protectors run hither & thither, sowing fear & alarm, whilst promising to "keep us safe" with even more draconian "protections", I wonder if any of them will bother to enquire which branch of the secretive military-industrial complex invented the stuff & how it found its way into the hands of the alleged terrorists?

But we wouldn't want to interfere with "business" now, would we?

Soon, every sexual deviant alive will be queued-up to work in airport security, so they can play with the full body x-ray machines that will inevitably be introduced.

No doubt next year we'll have the "body fluids" threat to contend with. 

Weak links

The lack of hard (physical) evidence in relation to the suspects in this latest bombing plot lends credence to the views of Gwynne Dyer, as in Who benefits from new hysteria about security?:
... Maybe it was those explosive "liquid chemicals" they were planning to smuggle aboard the planes. After all, it's only 160 years since nitroglycerine was invented. It's a mere 11 years since al-Qaeda associate Ramzi Yousef plotted to blow up 12 airliners flying across the Pacific at the same time with nitro carried aboard in contact lens solution bottles. Who could have foreseen this? Quick! Bring in new security measures! ...

So far, instead of photos of criminals with guns, drugs, masks or stolen goods, we have a front-page photo of a British convert to Islam, and nothing much else. There may well be emails and logs from internet chat-rooms. There may well be very bad intentions in the minds of members of a cult. But lawyers would be asking where is the real evidence on which a jury will convict. A single jihadist video seems inadequate, in a world where there are thousands of the same sort of item.  ABC TV News reports (Aug 12th, 7pm) the police have a "mountain of evidence" to sort through, when what they meant was a lot of confiscated material to examine for evidence. One location under surveillance for months was nothing but a storeroom full of cakes and biscuits.

The police may be reluctant to reveal too much, because they are still in pursuit of the rest of the gang. But, so far, all we have is a claim that Public Safety has been assured on the evidence of increased inconvenience to innocent travelers, and a bunch of people in detention for questioning.

The British justice system relies on real evidence, not dreams of plots. These young men could have been led into their heinous folly on the promise that they would be supplied with the means at some point in the future. In other words, a clever person could have seduced them into a secretive cabal, and then left them out to be picked up. Prospective members of a cult are groomed on trust. They may be convinced they are on a true path, through the provision of financial or other help to their relatives.  Secret cabals exist as pockets of corruption in our police forces, as numerous inquiries have revealed. Same principles of operation - amorality, coercion and 'brotherhood'. And entire justice systems have been subverted into apparatus of the political State.

If, as the police chief said, this was a plan for 'Mass murder on an unimaginable scale', would it have been bigger than Hiroshima? Must have been worse, according to the convenient rhetoric. Sort of leaves the fabled 'dirty bomb in a suit-case' without a credible superlative, since 'unimaginable' is a trump.

Does he mean that there are thousands of bombs on the assembly line? If the plot was masterminded by al-Qaida then there should have been a back-up. Are there another 20, ready to set off bombs in crowded public places?

If the trail cools off in the next couple of days, and public curiousity remains unsatisfied, Tony Blair will have to get out and spin a tale. Either that, or resurrect Roland Freisler for a show trial.

Saner voices can be heard, and that's a relief. From Let's treat the plotters as common criminals, not soldiers in a global war:
... We should reserve special scepticism for those who claim that the rules of the game need to change, on the supposed grounds that fanaticism and zealotry have created a new kind of danger. Such people seem to insinuate that our criminal law is designed only to deal with criminality of the self-interested sort — as though the Theft Acts were virtually the sum of it. But since lawmaking began, the State has had to police crimes, often terrible crimes, of passion, of envy, of hatred, of unselfish madness and of zealotry.
Or it is insinuated that what distinguishes these new dangers from the old is that they are “coordinated” by a “shadowy network”. But throughout history much serious criminality has involved conspiracy, including conspiracies of an international sort. Have we forgotten the Cold War so fast? The laws and the law-enforcers, as well as our intelligence services, have centuries’ practice at cracking codes, tracing associations, and monitoring communications across the country or the world. Let this continue, but let us not pretend the need or the skills are new. Watch out for the commentary that “after this week’s discoveries, nothing will ever be quite the same again” — and prepare to spit. There is nothing new here, only new configurations of ancient troubles. ...

complicity?

 

"While the British terror suspects were hatching their plot, the Bush administration was quietly seeking permission to divert $6 million that was supposed to be spent this year developing new homeland explosives detection technology."

Congressional leaders rejected the idea, the latest in a series of steps by the
Homeland Security Department that has left lawmakers and some of the department's own experts questioning the commitment to create better anti-terror technologies.

Homeland Security's research arm, called the Sciences & Technology Directorate, is a "rudderless ship without a clear way to get back on course," Republican and Democratic senators on the Appropriations Committee declared recently.

"The committee is extremely disappointed with the manner in which S&T is being managed within the Department of Homeland Security," the panel wrote June 29 in a bipartisan report accompanying the agency's 2007 budget.

Rep. Martin Sabo, D-Minn., who joined Republicans to block the administration's recent diversion of explosives detection money, said research and development is crucial to thwarting future attacks and there is bipartisan agreement that Homeland Security has fallen short.

"They clearly have been given lots of resources that they haven't been using," Sabo said.

 

Bush staff wanted bomb-detect cash moved

 

Flea: Which makes the Whitehouse complicit in any attack that might have occurred. It is clear that the Bushites WANT another 9/11 before any election can be held because they KNOW that even their election rigging voting machines can not protect them from this generation of voters who have had enough. While FOX continues to brainwash on war, domestic issues can't be so well hidden. With poverty levels rising faster than sea levels, unemployment (true numbers, not manipulated) at record levels, over crowded schools begging for funds, tens of thousands of Katrina victims still homeless and seniors paying more and more for needed medications the American voters are rebelling. Another major attack would enable the president to declare marshall law and suspend the constitution. They must be FUMING at the Brits for staving off this alleged attack. 

 

You just need to be a flea against injustice. Enough committed fleas biting strategically can make even the biggest dog uncomfortable and transform even the biggest nation. ~~ Marian Wright Edelman

Consulting for chaos

It looks like Bob Carr has been sipping the kool-aid at Despair Inc..

From Carr says nuclear terror attack threat is real

THE prospect of terrorists carrying a nuclear bomb in a suitcase or a shipping container and detonating it in a major city is the world's ultimate nightmare, says former NSW premier Bob Carr. ...

Who needs Uncle Dick or Yo Blair, when Bob is available for $2500 a day to stoke the fears?

From Paul Krugman's Hoping for Fear:

 

Just two days after 9/11, I learned from Congressional staffers that Republicans on Capitol Hill were already exploiting the atrocity, trying to use it to push through tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. I wrote about the subject the next day, warning that “politicians who wrap themselves in the flag while relentlessly pursuing their usual partisan agenda are not true patriots.”

The response from readers was furious — fury not at the politicians but at me, for suggesting that such an outrage was even possible. “How can I say that to my young son?” demanded one angry correspondent.

I wonder what he says to his son these days.

We now know that from the very beginning, the Bush administration and its allies in Congress saw the terrorist threat not as a problem to be solved, but as a political opportunity to be exploited. The story of the latest terror plot makes the administration’s fecklessness and cynicism on terrorism clearer than ever.

Fecklessness: the administration has always pinched pennies when it comes to actually defending America against terrorist attacks. Now we learn that terrorism experts have known about the threat of liquid explosives for years, but that the Bush administration did nothing about that threat until now, and tried to divert funds from programs that might have helped protect us. “As the British terror plot was unfolding,” reports The Associated Press, “the Bush administration quietly tried to take away $6 million that was supposed to be spent this year developing new explosives detection technology.”

Cynicism: Republicans have consistently portrayed their opponents as weak on terrorism, if not actually in sympathy with the terrorists. Remember the 2002 TV ad in which Senator Max Cleland of Georgia was pictured with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein? Now we have Dick Cheney suggesting that voters in the Democratic primary in Connecticut were lending aid and comfort to “Al Qaeda types.” There they go again.

More fecklessness, and maybe more cynicism, too: NBC reports that there was a dispute between the British and the Americans over when to make arrests in the latest plot. Since the alleged plotters weren’t ready to go — they hadn’t purchased airline tickets, and some didn’t even have passports yet — British officials wanted to watch and wait, hoping to gather more evidence. But according to NBC, the Americans insisted on early arrests.

Suspicions that the Bush administration might have had political motives in wanting the arrests made prematurely are fed by memories of events two years ago: the Department of Homeland Security declared a terror alert just after the Democratic National Convention, shifting the spotlight away from John Kerry — and, according to Pakistani intelligence officials, blowing the cover of a mole inside Al Qaeda.

But whether or not there was something fishy about the timing of the latest terror announcement, there’s the question of whether the administration’s scare tactics will work. If current polls are any indication, Republicans are on the verge of losing control of at least one house of Congress. And “on every issue other than terrorism and homeland security,” says Newsweek about its latest poll, “the Dems win.” Can a last-minute effort to make a big splash on terror stave off electoral disaster?

Many political analysts think it will. But even on terrorism, and even after the latest news, polls give Republicans at best a slight advantage. And Democrats are finally doing what they should have done long ago: calling foul on the administration’s attempt to take partisan advantage of the terrorist threat.

It was significant both that President Bush felt obliged to defend himself against that accusation in his Saturday radio address, and that his standard defense — attacking a straw man by declaring that “there should be no disagreement about the dangers we face” — came off sounding so weak.

Above all, many Americans now understand the extent to which Mr. Bush abused the trust the nation placed in him after 9/11. Americans no longer believe that he is someone who will keep them safe, as many did even in 2004; the pathetic response to Hurricane Katrina and the disaster in Iraq have seen to that.

All Mr. Bush and his party can do at this point is demonize their opposition. And my guess is that the public won’t go for it, that Americans are fed up with leadership that has nothing to hope for but fear itself.

victory fueled by liberal bloggers

 

(USA)ABC News 13 August 2006

 

WASHINGTON - Democratic Senate nominee Ned Lamont, the anti-war candidate who toppled Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut primary, says he was surprised by Lieberman and Vice President Dick Cheney's claims that his victory could embolden terrorists.

"My God, here we have a terrorist threat against hearth and home and the very first thing that comes out of their mind is how can we turn this to partisan advantage. I find that offensive," Lamont said in an interview Sunday with The Associated Press.

After British officials disclosed they had thwarted a terrorist airline bombing plot on Thursday, Lieberman warned that Lamont's call for a phased withdrawal of troops from Iraq would be "taken as a tremendous victory" by terrorists.

Cheney suggested Wednesday that Lamont's victory might encourage "the al-Qaida types" who want to "break the will of the American people in terms of our ability to stay in the fight and complete the task."

Lamont said Lieberman's swipe at his candidacy "sounded an awful lot" like Cheney.

"It surprised me," he said. "It seemed almost orchestrated. It's sort of demeaning to the people of Connecticut. ... I thought the senator and the vice president were both wrong to use that attack (strategy) on the voters of Connecticut."

The Lieberman camp Sunday brushed aside Lamont's comments.

"All Lieberman did was point out an important difference between his approach to national security and Ned Lamont's, which is what campaigns are all about," said Lieberman spokesman Dan Gerstein.

Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride said Lamont was the one seeking to score political points with the terror war.

"Sounds like he's the one playing politics at a time the president is trying to build national unity and cooperation in fighting a determined and murderous enemy an enemy whose tactics and hatred we got to glimpse again last week, an enemy that continues to plot in the shadows and to probe weaknesses," McBride said.

Lamont's upset victory last week, fueled in part by liberal bloggers, was viewed by many as a referendum on Iraq and President Bush's handling of the war. The debate has placed his candidacy in the national spotlight.

 

Lamont: Lieberman Sounded Like Cheney

 

Flea: That's us, folks, us and thousands more like us fighting the good fight. Rage ON!

 

You just need to be a flea against injustice. Enough committed fleas biting strategically can make even the biggest dog uncomfortable and transform even the biggest nation. ~~ Marian Wright Edelman

keeping us safe .....

PS Richard .....

‘More than 24,500 government security passes giving access to military sites and sensitive Whitehall offices have gone missing in the past three years, fuelling fears about the British state's vulnerability to terrorism.

The startling number of government identity documents unaccounted for has been revealed in a series of internal audits conducted by Whitehall departments and seen by The Scotsman.

Since last week's foiling of an alleged UK terrorist plot to bomb US-bound airliners, all government facilities have been placed at a high state of alert, and opposition MPs said the loss of so many security passes was deeply troubling.

The majority of the missing security passes were issued by the Ministry of Defence to members of the armed forces. In all, the MoD has lost track of 22,731 forces passes since the start of 2004. More than 4,600 military passes have gone missing since the start of this year alone.’

Government Loses 24,000 ID Passes