By now, plenty of voices in the info-sphere have picked up on the remarkable timing of yesterday's announcement of the foiled terrorist plot originating in Britain. It gave Dick Cheney, Tony Snow and other Bush echo chamberlains just enough time to condemn Joe Lieberman's defeat in Connecticut as a blow to the "war on terror" so they could turn around and say "See?"
But the latest administration stratagem is about a lot more than just defeating Ned Lamont in November. The right wing feeding frenzy between Pat Buchanan and Michael Smerconish on MSNBC yesterday was a first volley in the GOP message we'll be hearing until Election Day. Torture is necessary. Unwarranted domestic electronic surveillance is necessary. Profiling is necessary. Extraordinary rendition is necessary. Big honking walls at the border are necessary. Guantanamo Bay is necessary. Unlimited executive powers are necessary for Mister Bush to protect America.
And if you vote the Democrats into power come fall, they're going to take away Mister Bush's unlimited powers, and he won't be able to protect you.
See, we're in a war. You don't believe it, just try and get onboard a commercial flight with a bottle of spring water. That's how you know you're in a war, when you have to drink the airlines' water.
And you know those terrorists Bush's pal Tony Blair had arrested in Britain? They were Pakistani. That tells you just how big of a war we're in. It isn't just Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Lebanon, or Palestine. It's all over the darn place. Initial punditry has pointed at al Qaeda as being behind the British plot with little evidence to support the claim. (Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff said it "could" be al Qaeda.) But just wait and see: it shouldn't be long before we start hearing "mumble-mumble-Syria" and "Hamina-hamin-Iran."
We're hearing now that the two young Muslim men arrested in Ohio for buying too many cell phones (also conveniently announced yesterday) are part of a larger network within the United States. Shudder!
I'm not sure how the Rovewellians will keep this scary campfire story on the radar for the next two and a half months, but I'm confident they'll find a way. I can't wait to hear the next installment.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.