2006/08/12

Exploiting the airplane plot discovered in Britain

It's been a few days since police and investigators broke up a ring that was planning to smuggle explosive liquids aboard planes crossing the Atlantic and to then detonate the explosives onboard several of the aircraft simultaneously, but the political exploitation of the would-be plot has been non-stop ever since.

First has been the attempt to make it seem as though the Bush Administration's warrantless NSA spying program has had something to do with discovering the bad guys:

Who is for aggressive and secret initiatives to monitor terrorist groups and suspects, trace their finances, interrogate captured combatants thoroughly and detain combatants as long as necessary?

Wow, quite a lot of hands today - even in Connecticut. Thank you.

And who is for prohibiting all the above, and revealing as much as possible about what intelligence and covert initiatives we have underway, because the public (and, oh, yes, our enemies, too) have a right to know?

Ned Lamont, thank you. Mr. Sulzberger and Mr. Keller, thank you, as well. The gentlemen and gentlewomen from the ACLU, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Gov. Dean, Mr. Moore, Ms. Sheehan, Mr. Baldwin — loved you on Saturday Night Live! — thank you all so much.

Notice of course, that Mr May doesn't specifically, precisely say that "aggressive and secret initiatives" had anything to do with foiling the plot. Nor does he specifically, precisely accuse Ned Lamont of being a traitor nor that Democratic voters of Connecticut are dupes or that any of the other named persons don't care about whether Americans are secure or not. But it's all strongly suggested.

Senator Rick Santorum is a bit more explicit:

"Leaking this type of information [about the warrantless NSA spying program] is traitorous," Santorum said. "The traitors must be pursued aggressively."
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At his news conference, Santorum said the British arrests confirmed that the terror threat was continuing and that the administration's widespread electronic surveillance was an appropriate response.

So it was amusing to see that Fox News is concerned about people trying to politicize the problem:

This week's experience reminds us of a hard fact: The terrorists have to succeed only once to achieve their goal of mass murder, while we have to succeed every time to stop them. Unfortunately, some have suggested recently that the terrorist threat is being used for partisan political advantage. We can have legitimate disagreements about the best way to fight the terrorists, yet there should be no disagreement about the dangers we face.

Not that Fox News isn't claiming that Republicans aren't trying to polticize the news, they're just suggesting that liberals and Democrats shouldn't do so.

It's extremely impotant to notice that breaking up the plot owed absolutely nothing to what in the US would have been un-Constitutional means. The police in Britain had obtained warrants for each and every target of their surveillance. The US assisted the British, but were entirely capable of doing so via the lawfully-constituted FISA courts.

Only Bush followers could point to a successful law enforcement operation which, by all appearances, complied with the law, and try to use it to argue how necessary it is that the law be broken.

And of course, one has to wonder how really important and scary and urgent the whole issue was in the first place when President Bush remained on vacation throughout the "crisis" and attended fundraisers instead of heading back to Washington DC. AmericaBlog notes that airports gave away unopened liquids to the homeless, suggesting that they knew the liquids were harmless.

Fortunately, Democrats appear to be picking up on the fact that the media is not their friend and that the media can't be expected to attack Republicans on their behalf. Democrats have spoken out strongly about VP Cheney's attempt to use the British plot to paint Democrats as weak on security.

POLITICIZING THE PLOT: A SAMPLING OF WHAT THE GOP HAS DONE SO FAR
Cheney Knew About Terror Plot When He Attacked Dems in Rare Conference Call. In a rare conference call with reporters on Wednesday, Cheney suggested that the results of the CT primary might encourage "the al-Qaida types." The AP notes, "As Cheney made those comments, the administration was aware of the plot unfolding in Britain..."

To Democrats: "More of this, please!"

UPDATE: The DCCC has a timeline for August 9th and the Republican political exploitation of the British bombing plot.

3 comments:

jay lassiter said...

yeah, this is definitely fishy and nausiating.

I am so glad that I am not headed anywhere on a plane anytime soon.
(sigh)

Rich said...

Is the preznit off vacation YET? Is the terror alert STILL at red?

That tells you all you need to know about how serious this alert is.

Yup, glad my vacations for the summer are done! Well, not really glad as there are places I'd like to go, but, ah y'all know what I mean.

mhelal2 said...

I think it's all non-sense, where was the alret colors after the second presedntial election for Mr. Bush, amazingly it comes back again before the election. Blair and Bush fooling the American people. They want to distract people from what's going on in Lebanon where the Israelian terrorist attacking the civilians, and the other thing they want to give justification for the war in Lebanon, the other thing it's going to make Bush looks like hero. I hope one day Bush experience what war means, which he never seen war except at the movies.

Thank you