Friday, August 11, 2006

Terror Threats & Police Work

Please read the always wise and informed Juan Cole on the links to Pakistan in the current "liquid bomb plot."

Highlights include his speculation that the US may have been kept in the dark:
US authorities were only told about some details two weeks ago, apparently. It may be that the British counter-terrorism community learned its lesson from the loose lips of the Bushies in summer of 2004. I argued then that from what we could tell from open sources, it seemed likely that the Bush administration played politics with information about a double agent in Pakistan who was helping monitor a London al-Qaeda cell. It seems likely that the election-year leak allowed budding terrorists like Mohammad Sadique Khan to escape closer scrutiny, and so permitted the 7/7/05 London subway bombings to go forward.

This time, the MI5 and MI6 and the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) may not have told Washington everything.

So pathetically sad if this is true. Once again, the administration that sells itself as "tough on terror" turns out to be attuned to nothing but its own political advantage. Must stop this line of thought now as its too depressing to continue. If you want more try Billmon.

Juan Cole points out that this plot was uncovered through old-fashioned police work, the "knife" that is required to excise terrorists from the surrounding society without injurying innocents whose deaths creates new recruits to the very cause we need to undermine.
If this operation is as advertised, then it underlines again the importance of plain old fashioned counter-terrorism and police work. An army of 136,000 men in the field can't stop bombs from going off in Iraq every day. What stopped the liquid bomb plot was something superior, a tool fitted to the task.

Juan Cole also directs us to another wise man, John Tirman, with six important insights to be drawn from the current plot. Where are the wise women you might ask? Well, that would be Helena Cobban but she's travelling and has yet to weigh in on the latest news. Her peice on Lebanon is well-worth reading. For amused outrage, try Susie at Suburban Guerrilla.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What, exactly, is your point?

You offer your readers no evidence other than anecdotal to support your claim, or to support what you attempt to marshall evidence in defense of your proposition, i.e. other people's opinions. I do not believe I am unfair in characterizing such opinions as those that converge on a shared view that the current US administration is unpalatable to you and those whose opinions you draw upon.

HOWEVER, what would be far more convincing is a reliance on undisputed facts. As a fellow PhD, even though I acknowledge that this is a mere blog (i.e. your opinions, not a defendable contention replete with empirical evidence) you should at least try to maintain a semblance of scholarly standards in your commenting. Otherwise, please do not advertise that you have a PhD. It only serves to re-inforce the unfortunate reputation of academics as not truly objective.