Saturday, July 08, 2006

Anyone for Charades?

With so many terrorist plots being uncovered and foiled of late, the Bush administration and its allies really appear to be on top of things in this war on terror. I mean, they're just hitting home run after home run in bringing these jihadist thugs to justice.

First we had the group in Toronto suspected of planning multiple attacks around that city. Then we had the radical group from Miami planning to bring down the Sears Tower in Chicago. And now, we have a Lebanese man arrested for plotting to bomb tunnels and bridges in NYC. Who will be next? There's nothing quite like kicking butt and taking prisoners in this effort to stamp out terrorism, both here and abroad. It makes me so proud to be an American.

Now...back to reality.

It's pretty clear that all of this terror-cell-busting activity is nothing but a red herring designed to spread fear and to instill a sense of confidence that our leaders are fighting the good fight to rid the planet of Islamic militants who are intent on destroying America. In other words, it's all a bunch of bullshit!

In the two most recent plots, the authorities have simultaneously warned that the suspects were contemplating horrific attacks — blowing up the Sears Tower in Chicago and setting off a bomb in a tunnel between New York and New Jersey — but then added that as far as they knew, no one was close to actually making such a strike.

In the Miami case, an F.B.I. official said at a recent hearing that the suspects apparently did not have written information on how to make explosives, details on the layout of the Sears Tower or any known link to a terrorist group.

In New York, officials said Friday that none of the eight suspects believed to be planning the tunnel attack were in the United States, and that they apparently did not have bomb materials and had not completed reconnaissance work on their supposed target.

The arrest on April 27 in Beirut of Assem Hammoud, 31, a Lebanese man who is accused of being the mastermind of the tunnel plot, came after the authorities monitored Internet chat rooms used by Islamic extremists who had used coded language to discuss a possible attack. One American official said the members of the group had never met one another.

None of the alleged "terror cells" had either the means or the wherewithal to carry out such attacks. In fact, if the authorities had, indeed, been interested in tracking and infiltrating legitimate terrorist organizations, they wouldn't have exposed any of these groups. Instead, they would have continued to work them and monitor them in order to identify and locate any of the actual masterminds behind such activity.

Instead, press conferences and front page headlines trumpeting apparent victories in the "war on terror" seemed to be our leaders' overriding objectives. All style over substance.

Carl W. Tobias, a law professor at University of Richmond in Virginia who tracks terrorism cases, said the modest evidence disclosed so far in some recent cases related to the ability of the suspects to deliver on their threats had caused him to wonder if politics might be a factor.

"There is some kind of public relations gained by making Americans on the one hand feel concerned that the Sears Tower in Chicago or some tunnel in Manhattan is targeted, yet on the other hand feel comforted that the government is on top of it," he said.

Don't be surprised to see several more of these charades play out in the coming weeks and months. It's all part of the ongoing deception of the American people. Sadly, far too many Americans fall for it hook, line and sinker. And the neo-con core of the Bush administration knows it.