"The job of Washington journalists should be to expose and challenge spin, not relate it admiringly. And yet the White House talking points on the foiled British terror plot have been repeated much more than refuted these past few days.(sounds like LeeB)
The marching orders were clear. The Chicago Tribune Web-published a National Republican Congressional Committee memo which stated: "In the days to come, you should move to question your opponent's commitment to the defeat of terror, and in turn, create a definitive contrast on the issue."
William Greider writes in the Nation: "An evil symbiosis does exist between Muslim terrorists and American politicians, but it is not the one Republicans describe. The jihadists need George W. Bush to sustain their cause. His bloody crusade in the Middle East bolsters their accusation that America is out to destroy Islam. The president has unwittingly made himself the lead recruiter of willing young martyrs.
"More to the point, it is equally true that Bush desperately needs the terrorists. They are his last frail hope for political survival. They divert public attention, at least momentarily, from his disastrous war in Iraq and his shameful abuses of the Constitution. The 'news' of terror -- whether real or fantasized -- reduces American politics to its most primitive impulses, the realm of fear-and-smear where George Bush is at his best. . . .
"The White House men wear grave faces, but they cannot hide their delight.""
* krugman (unleashed):
"Just two days after 9/11, I learned from Congressional staffers that Republicans on Capitol Hill were already exploiting the atrocity, trying to use it to push through tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. I wrote about the subject the next day, warning that "politicians who wrap themselves in the flag while relentlessly pursuing their usual partisan agenda are not true patriots."
We now know that from the very beginning, the Bush administration and its allies in Congress saw the terrorist threat not as a problem to be solved, but as a political opportunity to be exploited. The story of the latest terror plot makes the administration's fecklessness and cynicism on terrorism clearer than ever.
"Guarding its legacy and the success of its war against terrorism, the Bush administration of late tends to lump al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorists into one "Islamo-fascist" camp. "
"If liquids are a threat to airline safety and not just a prop in Michael Chertoff's press conference, then why hadn’t Homeland Security and TSA dealt with them months ago, when the intelligence agencies became aware of the British investigation (July 2005)? Why not after 9/11 in the first place? After all, there’s the already thwarted "Bojinka" plot, originally hatched and planned by al-Qaeda in 1995, to blow up airliners simultaneously over the Pacific Ocean.
If the TSA and Homeland Security KNEW that liquids could be used as explosives and they did nothing, particularly if they did nothing so as not to disrupt the British investigation, then indeed little has changed since 9/11. The government has promised us is that it is no longer going to hoard information and investigate endlessly If it comes upon actionable intelligence, the government claims, it is going to use it to protect citizens first.
The flying public should be incensed that a threat known to the security types since at least 1995 has slipped through the cracks. The flying public should be incensed that after five years, the Department of Homeland Security hasn’t solved some the most basic airline security screening tasks and still depends upon panic and over-reaction as the primary means to get the desultory screeners to go beyond their rote routines."