Thursday, September 06, 2007


"How US foiled a 9/11 repeat" was the laughable headline in the Hindustan Times. If you are the suspicious sort, you might think the Bush administration, desperate for good news as the anniversary approaches, has resorted to planting stories in the foreign press on great victories you have missed.

An assortment of wind-up toy terror experts no one has heard of or who are now known mostly for being expert witnessess with jobs as contract employees of the US government, on call to rattle juries, are trotted out to deliver wondrous claims.

"It is a 9/11 anniversary ritual," writes the newspaper. "With the date approaching, Bush administration officials are everywhere pointing out it’s now been six years and the US has yet to experience a sequel to Al Qaeda’s first spectacular terrorist attack ... Vice-President Dick Cheney attributes it to administration policy: 'There has not been another attack on the US. And that is not an accident.' But experts say the source of US immunity is more complex."

One alleged "inhibitor: Al Qaeda’s own psychology."

Cue the replay of the pleasing tale of the Mubtakkar of Death.

It is claimed: "Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a vice-president of the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies [and terror expert for a think tank you've never heard of] says, 'Al Qaeda set a very high bar for itself: Zawahiri cancelled a chemical attack on the New York subway because it wasn’t on the level of 9/11.'"

Ridiculed by an assortment of people when famous journalist Ron Suskind rolled it out in 2006 for his "One Percent Doctrine" book, the story was shotgunned into US news agencies. But even with the extra media gunpowder it still crashed. Suskind's collection of anecdotes from the US-led war on terror failed to set bestseller lists on fire.

We dare you to ask someone in the street, "What was the Mubtakkar?"

"However, few US analysts are complacent about the future," it is wisely said. "Gartenstein-Ross says, 'Our weakest link is that we are losing ground overseas. Al Qaeda has regained a safe haven in Pakistan's tribal areas.'"

So "India is a country most believe should be at the forefront of ... US anti-terrorism efforts."

"The solution is not a charm offensive, the US should pursue its national interest," claims one nobody.

Stay the course! Stay the course!

While the military has been overused, now is no time for America to be overly concerned with what the world thinks of it even though "we have lost the sense of shared purpose we enjoyed with much of the world."

"America Effective!" shouts the Hindustan Times, in case you still haven't gotten the point.

Translated: "Bush Effective!"

Pathetic terror cases are trotted out as measures of effectiveness: the patsy old man with the alleged plan to blow up the "fuel line at JFK," the loquacious crew alleged to be plotting to shoot up Ft. Dix, and a nebulous Manhattan train tunnel plot.

"Experts ascribe the US ability to avoid the sort of low-level terror attacks that trouble the UK, Indonesia and India to a number of reasons."

You see, "US authorities ... incorporate common people into their counter terrorism network. Truck drivers, garbage men, sales clerks and building security men are urged to report anything unusual to law enforcement officers."

Yes, it's true, DD has seen many suspicious types lurking in Pasadena and I've ratted them out. Three terror plots you haven't yet heard of have been averted by my actions. I expect to be awarded the Medal of Freedom next year.

"Many receive basic training on what to watch out for," it is claimed. "New York City pays for television ads thanking the over 14,000 people who reported suspicious activity to the police last year."

And now -- drum roll, please: "Most experts feel the 'war on terror' has done little damage to civil rights, at least within US borders."

Next, the ludicrous and unsupportable assertion from the radically right-wing and pathologically authoritarian-supporting think tank windbag: "The best attribute of US counter-terrorism, says terror analyst James Carafano of the conservative Heritage Foundation, is it does 'a very good job of protecting and respecting the civil liberties of individuals ... It does a poor job of defending itself against spurious allegations of abuse or incompetence."

Try not to laugh cynically. I heard you!

Civil rights have been protected and "[the] judiciary's assertiveness is a key reason."

"Intelligence is the spearhead of counter-terrorism," says Rohan Gunaratna to the newspaper.

Gunaratna has become one of the professional witnesses tapped by the US government to shake the chains and wail for juries. He was recently on hire for the atrocious Jose Padilla case.

"By investing in intelligence, the US, Canada, Europe and Australia have prevented over 100 terrorist attacks since 9/11," it is claimed, a figure which even the Bush administration wouldn't repeat to the press. (Well, I could still be proven wrong on that.)

"The US, with 16 separate intelligence agencies with a spook budget of at least $50 billion, maintains an easy global lead in electronic and signal espionage."

Yes, the CIA is always doing a bang-up job and no one's snooping on Americans in defiance of the law. Our civil liberties are safe and the intelligence agencies are the best in the world.

Everyone knows that.


Anonymous Dunc said...

Homer: Not a bear in sight. The "Bear Patrol" is working like a charm!
Lisa: That's specious reasoning, Dad.
Homer: [uncomprehendingly] Thanks, honey.
Lisa: By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
Homer: Hmm. How does it work?
Lisa: It doesn't work; it's just a stupid rock!
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: But I don't see any tigers around, do you?
Homer: (pause) Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

4:50 AM  

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