Thursday, March 15, 2007

BUNCHES OF CLOWNS: Startling admission in war on terror

It's March 16 (DD's b-day) in Malaysia and the nation's Star newspaper published a delightful piece, written by a Reuters reporter, on the state of terrorism.

Triggered by Khalid Sheik Mohammed's admissions that he was responsible for everything terror-related -- yeah, sure buddy -- the wire agency entertained the possibility that al Qaeda wasn't so invincible. Further, it might have been dealt a crushing blow when it was driven from Afghanistan.

"This doesn't mean they don't continue to plot and don't continue to plan and don't have the capability to do damage -- they do. But there has been an erosion of leadership and operational experience," said one U.S. anonymoid for the article.

Why anonymous?

Your friendly neighborhood GlobalSecurity.Org Senior Fellow informs that if you dare to go against the religion that al Qaeda is on the march for the record and sign your name to it, you'll be fired.

It's almost like these guys are clowns," said another former intelligence man, who was named. "That's probably why we haven't been hit since Sept. 11."

It's a bit like witnessing the town whore filling out correspondence courses for the Church Universal and Triumphant. One can't help but be impressed but immediately wonders how long the change will last.

Readers know the standard script is the opposite. The terror organization is supreme in all things, according to the usual thrasonical gasbags passed off as national security experts, as written in the pages of dailies and delivered on television.

Al Qaeda's terror operators are canny and clever, not ever chowderheads who think they can make dirty bombs from smoke detectors and and explosives from chapati flour and beauty salon peroxide.

No one considers that expending your best men in one remarkable kamikaze operation might have cost a dear price in leadership.

60 Minutes, for example, says jihadis are beating the pants off us in cyberspace and that must be true!

And here's yet another gnomic assessment on the subject, one in a deluge of analysis and prognostication.

Plus Ted Koppel informs that our national struggle is just beginning for the Discovery Channel, right between two hour-long segments on "Futurweapons," the show devoted to making inspirational entertainments of the B-2 bomber, the Virginia attack submarine, Multiple Rocket Launcher Systems, Tomahawk missiles and the Steel Rain machine gun that can fire a million rounds a minute!

How could Ted ever be wrong? Easy. Screw Ted. Read here. (And we'll have more to say about this benighted fellow and his wretched show later today, too!)

The Los Angeles Times reported this morning that KSM "said he took part in plans to kill former presidents Carter and Clinton, as well as the late Pope John Paul II."

However, the Times, although its editors cannot come right out and say it, know the US government has turned the proceeding into an intelligence-insulting farce. KSM is surely a very bad man but by taking on the role of dungeonmaster, the United States government and military have destroyed the value of putting him through any process having to do with justice.

Times editors signalled this in big print, below the headline "9/11 Planner Confesses to Many Plots." "He Says He Was Tortured" read a subhed.

The Reuters original, in the Malaysia Star, is here.

In other news from the war on terror, the trial of the Chapati Flour Gang cranks on in England.

Their bombs fizzled and failed.

However, this never confutes terror experts. If the bombs were duds, the work of incompetents, boffins will strive to bring all resources to the table in reconstructing how they could work.

The United Kingdom's Forensic Explosives Laboratory went well beyond the usual strapped-down chicken test for the trial of the gang.

"Six men are accused of plotting to carry out a series of explosions on the London transport system, using home-made hydrogen peroxide and chapatti flour rucksack devices," wrote the Telegraph newspaper.

"[A Forensic Explosives Lab scientist] said he conducted ... tests using different concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and different ratios of peroxide to flour. He concluded that one particular combination of the materials exploded more effectively than others."

The FEL-made bomb was detonated, filmed and shown to the jury. The originals, which didn't explode, were destroyed by the lab.

Reconstructing them was considered too dangerous, it was maintained. Or perhaps too screwed-up so the lab went ahead and empirically determined the correct way to make a bomb out of concentrated peroxide and flour.

The Telegraph piece and a court video are here.


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