Thursday, August 10, 2006

Warning Red, Will Robinson

Yesterday, responding to Joe Lieberman's loss in the Connecticut Democratic primary, Dick Cheney said the victory of anti-war candidate Ned Lamont will encourage al Qaeda and other enemies of America. "The thing that's partly disturbing about it is the fact that, [from] the standpoint of our adversaries, if you will, in this conflict, and the Al Qaeda types, they clearly are betting on the proposition that ultimately they can break the will of the American people," Cheney said.

White House press secretary Tony Snow talking yesterday about Lamont's win, invoked the phrase "a white flag in the war on terror."

Then lo and behold, we wake up this morning to find our country has gone to security alert Code Red in response to a terrorist plot discovered in Britain. MSNBC reports that Bush has known about it for "several days," and British security has been tracking the situation for several months.

Timing is everything, eh?

"This is a nation at war"

Young Mister Bush gave a quick speech at noon eastern time.

"We're at war with Islamic fascists." Kudos to embattled British Prime Minister Tony Blair. U.K./U.S cooperation was excellent. Cooperation within America's agencies was excellent. "It is a mistake to believe there is no threat to America." "We will take steps necessary to protect the American people."

After making his remarks, Bush took off to attend a GOP fundraiser.

Please note: I am not suggesting that this foiled terrorist plot was a hoax. But it certainly was a grand opportunity for Rovewellian manipulation, and this administration has taken and will take full advantage of it.

Not until after the arrests were made--21 Brits of Pakistani origin, from the latest reports--did the administration decide to announce knowledge of the plot and set alert condition Code Red for "flights originating in the United Kingdom bound for the United States" and Code Orange for "all commercial aviation operating in or destined for the United States." All this, of course, after the immediate danger has passed.

Which means that for all the months leading up to the arrests, as the danger was mounting, crummy old Code Yellow was security enough?

GOP luminary Pat Buchanan and MSNBC's new anchor Michael Smerconish, a former Philadelphia right wing radio host, are talking right now about how, hey, we need to be able to torture these guys we arrested so we can find out what else they know. They're all het up about immigration and border security. Michael asks if the American people will finally have the stomach to profile suspected terrorists.

Stand by for the right wing noise machine to attempt use this latest exposed terror plot as a panacea to deflect any and all criticism of the Bush administration. NSA domestic spying? Hey, this proves we need it. Same thing with torture. Same thing with Iraq. Same thing with Afghanistan. Same thing with Iran. Same thing with Israel. Same thing with everything. The same old thing, only more of it.

Son of a gun, Smerconish just reported a story about two kids in Ohio with Islamic sounding names getting busted on terrorism charges. Funny how that story's just now bubbling to the surface, isn't it?


Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.


  1. The problem with the Lieberman defeat, in my mind, is that Lamont isn't all that liberal from what I've seen of his admittedly scant record. He looks more like an opportunist to me. People are so single-issue focused that they don't look past that to anything else, and I think if Lamont wins in November the Democrats in CT are going to be sorry before his 6 years are up, when they want to count on him for issues other than Iraq and he fails to deliver.

  2. Nice rewrite of the talking points, Mus. But this article wasn't really about Lamont, was it?

  3. You led with Cheney's comment on one effect of the Lamont win, so it seemed like fair game.

    I know when you don't have a response you like to trot out the talking points comment, but just because you use talking points doesn't mean everyone does.

  4. Jeff, this morning I suspected something fishy was afoot with these arrests, but now it seems that Bush apparently knew about this plot since a few days. Check out Booman's tribune on the post.

  5. Anonymous5:09 PM

    Lamont an opportunist? Are you nuts? A guy using some of his own money to take on a 3-term incumbent Senator with tons of insider DC help? How in the hell is that an "opportunity"? Sounds to me more like a super long shot that was worth the chance because he actually believed Lieberman was wrong. Opportunity...simply amazing.

  6. Anonymous3:28 AM

    Who said "timing is everything?"

    Left Coast

  7. LC,

    I think that saying predates Homer. ;-)

  8. Mus,
    I'd hold judgment on Lamont. Lieberman's "crime" wasn't the war, as much as failing to pay attention to what his constituents were saying. As a "newbie", Lamont will probably listen a lot more, even if he delivers less.

    As far as opportunism goes, through his independent run, Lieberman is equally opportunist, and has let the "Liberals" down more than Lamont could.

    On terrorism, shampoo bombers, and such, my only thought was "Elections are getting awfully close". Who here didn’t expect "incidents"? Was it a hoax? Who cares? It was foiled and it’s over, or it was Rove and never existed. Driving to work every day still puts me in more danger than terrorism, and I’m not a Republican, shaking in my shoes every time the administration cries wolf. Bush’s boogymen don’t scare me.

  9. Anonymous10:02 AM

    There is another beneficiary of this terror alert: Tony Blair, now desparately fighting for his political life (the Brits are not as intellectually neutered as all too many Americans.) How convenient that the plot was uncovered in his capital.

  10. Yeah, and Bush sure was careful to give him a pat on the back. Heckuva job.

  11. Nice to see you back (finally) Musmanno. I think you're wrong about Lamont. The facts are that CT voters are just tired of being ignored. For the majority of the state's voters who bothered to vote in the primary, Lieberman was just wrong on too many issues. I won't insult your intelligence by detailing them all, but the list runs into double digits.

    If it makes it easier for you to accept something that happened in a jurisdiction you don't live in, think of it as an anti-incumbent election, rather than a pro-Lamont choice.

    Or, if you want to take an elitist (Republican) view, the bigger millionaire won.

  12. William and Lurch:

    I hope you are both right. I'm afraid that on issues other than the War, Lamont isn't going to be as desirable, and that a senior position is given up for little return (Lamont by himself isn't going to make a difference in the Iraq war - I doubt anything will until Bush leaves office).

    Meanwhile, the Republicans are busy saying stupid things like Lamont is the al-qaeda candidate, or that he's the leftist defeatist candidate. But contrary to those typically Republican views on it, I wonder if he isn't too conservative.

    Time will tell though, eh?