October 30, 2010

About those packages — that "credible terrorist threat" — with "all the hallmarks of Al Qaeda" — coming just before Election Day.

It's the big story. I haven't written about it yet. I didn't know what to say as the story was unfolding yesterday. I had the thought — and I immediately censored myself — what does this have to do with Election Day? I cut myself off from that line of thinking because, of course, the war on terrorism transcends the petty vicissitudes of partisan politics. I readjusted my consciousness to suit an image of myself as a decent person.

Last night, I was listening to the podcast of the day's Rush Limbaugh show, in which he was seeing the news in real time and reacting out loud. He started where I did: the timing so close to the election. But he didn't censor himself. And this is what I love about Rush. He keeps going, expressing those thoughts you might get to yourself if you let your mind run free:
No matter how you look at these packages-on-the-airplane stories, it's either done by terrorists as a dry run or all of this is being hyped by our government.  If it's the terrorists, then who are they trying to help right before the election?  What are they trying to affect here?  And if it's the government hyping it, then it's clear the administration thinks that this will help them, that this will help Democrats.  

I mean, this is being the done the weekend before the election.  Who would Al-Qaeda being trying to help here?  Clearly they're imposing themselves on our election.  If it's the government hyping it, then it is clear the administration thinks this will help them.  Right?  One way or another, this is being hyped real big.  All of the cable nets have gone wall-to-wall with this.  Somebody is trying to say something here, and somebody is trying to affect the outcome of something.  
This is thrilling radio, people. Completely unplanned. We get to watch — hear — the gears turn. This is bold thinking out loud, and he doesn't know where he's going.
The question is: Who's trying to help who?  If the terrorists are doing this, are they trying to stop the Republican progress or guarantee it?  If it's the administration, then they must think that this ultimately would help them. 
He's using the classic "who benefits?" approach to reasoning. Why would it help the administration? Or, as Rush says, why would they think it would help them? I'd say that the 2010 elections have been focused on the economy and domestic policy. If we refocus on foreign threats, that at least keeps us from looking at what's hurting the Democrats the most. Even if generally, people think the GOP is stronger on national security, if we suddenly feel very threatened, the reaction would be to unite behind the President, whoever he is, and to want to protect him from any weakening forces, like, perhaps, a hostile Congress.

If the threat of terrorism is present in our minds, then we place a much higher value on continuity and stability. Our hostility to things as they are suddenly flip,s and we love what we have and become vigilant lest anyone tear it away from us. Let's coalesce behind our President and help. I know that's what I felt on 9/11. I had never supported President Bush before that day, but then all I wanted was for him to do well, and I couldn't tolerate the carping and the criticism that made his work more difficult than it already was.

The rest of Rush...


Now, is it a coincidence? The Democrats have always said that "cargo" was a weak spot, that our ports and things like this were the weak spots, and that was the reason they wanted to kill the Dubai Ports Deal, because cargo is our weak spot. So the thing they have always claimed is being shown to be true, so how does this help them?  The only way it can be shown to help them if you have a press conference from Obama saying, "We caught it, we stopped it, we're vigilant, we care. (chuckles) I'm not a Muslim, I wouldn't allow this." Whatever he says.  We'll just have to wait and see how the regime handles this. 

Fortunately, folks, we don't have to worry about the Obama regime using fear of terrorism to help him in the elections like the Bush team did, right?  That was always the charge. Every time we got an increased threat level near an election, the charge always was, "It's not true.  This is just Bush trying to help himself in the election."  Okay. We don't have to worry about this with this bunch, right? They're clean and pure as the wind-driven snow. They would never politicize something like this, right?  So, you don't need to have a bomb to commit terrorism.  That's what all this shows.  Closing down and disrupting so much air travel without a bomb.  This is terrorism, in a sense.  They got everybody terrorized. Everybody's scared now. What's going on here?  We're talking about it.  Everybody's wondering about it.  So clearly somebody is sending a message for some outcome. Somebody's trying to affect something. So we'll see. 

96 comments:

Trooper York said...

How would "credible terrorist threat's" help this Administration?

Unless they take the view that it takes a Muslim President to catch a Muslim terrorist? Just sayn'

America's Politico said...

We have been safe due to the excellent administration led by President Obama and Vice President Biden. A top of the notch SecState, Hillary R. Clinton.

On Tuesday, we will re-inforce this across the nation. Everyone at the Mall today for the rally is committed to this Administration.

On Tuesday, you will know what I already know:

- Reid has won.
- Murray has won.
- Boxer has won.
- Alexi has won.
- Feingold has won.

Yes, O'Donnell will not win.

The House will have at least 224 seats for Democrats and the Senate at least 54.

Let the crying/weeping/headaches begin...

Jim_J said...

Watching the Rally to Restore Sanity on C-Span. Its the whitest gathering I've ever seen; it makes Madison look cosmopolitan.

roesch-voltaire said...

It is no secret that Al Qaeda wanted Bush to win the re-election so we could play into their hand, but this time I think they are trying to strike back against the drone attacks as well as show our special forces in Yemen just how ineffective they are?

carly said...

But since 911 the country's gotten cynical (wise?) and now it's natural for most people to automatically wonder exactly what you and Rush did--"who benefits?". The days of getting all scared and wanting to join together to fight an enemy are over (at least when their attempts fail) This is especially the case since we were told it's "hate speech" to even talk about an enemy... unless it's the Tea Party.

The "post political" dude in the WH has managed to politicize pretty much everything. Fingers crossed that the result of his perfidy will be payback on "Restraining Order Day" next Tuesday.

Comrade X said...

I can see the administration thinking it would help them. It's the same retarded thinking that made Dems think the rubes would believe John Kerry was more a war hero than a Benedict Arnold. A strong on defense angle has to be credible though.

Hagar said...

and it might also be just another botched operation by some terrorist wannabees in Yemen, or wherever, and the media is just picking up on it because they would rather talk about anything but what the pollsters are saying is coming on Tuesday.
Just anything at all?

Issob Morocco said...

I heard Rush live, while reading the internet and thought the same thing. This harkened back to the Spanish elections in 2004 where Al Qaeda bombed the train just before the election turning what was predicted to be a close race into an overwhelming Socialist victory, that has led Spain into a serious economic situation.

The question is a pertinent one, but unlike many on the left, I will wait to see more detail emerge before committing to one view or the other. Patience can suck, but is necessary when complex and murky situations arise to let the dust settle and do the correct pathology.

Still I am with you Ann and Rush, who benefits from such timing?

My other thought was when Clinton lobbed cruise missiles at Sudan and Afghanistan right after the Lewinsky affair broke into the open. Not quite the same here, but it does make one wonder what our leaders were thinking as well as the terrorists.

edutcher said...

I was thinking the same thing.

One the one hand, people remember The Zero's Apology Tour and all the nonsense with "man-caused disasters", but there is also the fact that he has told the world he wants to do a Jimmy Carter as far as foreign policy is concerned.

OTOH, there's the "rally 'round the flag" thing, which, after 5 years of spitting on it when it was to their advantage to scream, "torture", the Lefties will expect everyone to do.

It may be it hurts the Administration since, coming at the same time as leaks about Dubya's book, comparisons will not be favorable.

One thing to keep in mind, as Ann notes, "what does this have to do with Election Day?". Most cutthroats aren't that smart or worldly; Hagar's point about another botched op by some Atta wannabees is quite valid. Zawahiri, however, is. If this is his work, clearly it's meant to have an effect; perhaps give The Zero a little more rope to create a bigger opening down the road.

Of course, Rush's point about the Administration hyping this is not without merit, either. Is it not so big a deal as they claim? That's a point that needs to be considered. This is Chicago, after all

Mick said...

Done to bolster the Usurper's percieved lack of "gravitas" and his weakness against Islamic terror. Duh!!

Big Mike said...

... the war on terrorism transcends the petty vicissitudes of partisan politics.

Yes, Professor, I agree completely.

As regards the timing relative to the election, Rush seems to be forgetting what happened in Madrid in 2004 and the aftermath -- which included the election of a government that pulled Spanish troops out of Iraq.

If the terrorists were trying to influence the upcoming elections -- and we don't know that! -- then a plausible driver may have been to convince Americans to vote for a party that would pull our remaining troops out of Iraq and bail on Afghanistan. But do they think that that means vote Republican? Or do they think that that means voting Democrat? And do they think that Americans would respond the same way Spaniards did?

In the end it appears we got lucky. According to information presented on network news last night the warning came from Saudi intelligence and was detailed down to package tracking numbers. In other words, outside of maintaining good relations with the Saudis, there's nothing in this that we did right.

Misty said...

Politico, you keep posting these "wins" and I have to wonder - are you some sort of insider and know that all the voter fraud mechanisms are in place? If so, all the party hardliners can just stay at home, since their candidate has won.

But for the rest of us, it is time to think independently about what is best for this country. It can't be all Rep v Dem or blue state v red state, or race or religion either.

To bring up an old question - are you better off now than you were two years ago? Is the country?

People need to get informed and make their own election choices based on information, not what their party or union or some guy at the water cooler or on the internet is telling them. Only then will we have a fair election.

Thank you. Stepping off soap box now to go enjoy my Saturday.

EnigmatiCore said...

Another possibility is that radical muslim terrorists want to kill us, regardless, and were timing it not to match our election cycle but rather to when they saw an opportunity.

garage mahal said...

Terrorist analysis from Rush Limbaugh on Rally to Restore Sanity Day? Oy!

For sanity purposes I think I'll just listen to the The Roots and John Legend, who are just killing it right now, and skip Limbaugh.

avwh said...

"According to information presented on network news last night the warning came from Saudi intelligence and was detailed down to package tracking numbers. In other words, outside of maintaining good relations with the Saudis, there's nothing in this that we did right."

I wondered about that last night, as soon as there was some quote on the screen about how "the system worked". It'd be a needle in a haystack search that never would have succeeded without tracking numbers.

roesch-voltaire said...

Mike I would suggest the last thing the terrorist want is for us to withdraw troops from Iraq or Afghanistan because our presence there serves as a great recruiting tool and easy target to blame for all the problems in the MIddle East.( OF course the Saudi's are a continual target for them). Look at what it costs the US up to wage two wars vs what little it costs Al Qaeda to send a few ink bombs. This can go on forever.

jmmlawyers said...

The timing is very interesting considering european airlines have been blasting US airport security policies.

alan markus said...

Speaking of those tracking numbers, I would like to know when those packages would have arrived at the Chicago synagogues if they had not been intercepted.

k*thy said...

I think they just like fucking with us. I doubt the timimg has anything to do directly with the election, except to make us think that it might...then to have us run around like chickens with our heads cut off doubting each other more than we already do.

Big Mike said...

@roesch-voltaire, good point.

garage mahal said...

No matter how you look at these packages-on-the-airplane stories, it's either done by terrorists as a dry run or all of this is being hyped by our government. If it's the terrorists, then who are they trying to help right before the election? What are they trying to affect here? And if it's the government hyping it, then it's clear the administration thinks that this will help them, that this will help Democrats.

So Rush Limbaugh is a Truther?

alan markus said...

America's Politico - when you lifted those numbers off of Real Clear Politics, you got the Democrat House numbers ass-backward. They are projecting 224 Republican, 171 Democrat, and 40 toss-ups. And for the Senate, you actually should be stating 55 are going Democrat: 49 Democrats + 6 Toss-sups = 55, not 54.

Not that I think you are serious in anyway - I'm constantly amused by your "Baghdad Bob" riff.

AllenS said...

I wouldn't worry about any bombs going off. Obama assured us, just a couple of weeks ago, that if we get hit, it will just make us stronger. Remember that?

Big Mike said...

@AP, my own prediction is that at most one of the following list of old Democrat warhorses win their election: Boxer, Reid, Oberstar, Frank.

America's Politico said...

This is embarrassing that people are questioning my analytic powers. It is I not anyone else that has predicted the Democratic victory for a long time.

It is I that said that at least 54 senate seats and at least 224 House seats.

My polling is scientific. My clients expect me to accurate.

On Tuesday, I will celebrate as I will be rich. My girl friend is happy. My future in-laws think I am a genius. So, what do I really want? I want to be in the 2012 re-election campaign consulting business. This 2010 is a warm-up to show everyone how good I am.

Everything is planned (e.g., the Mall rally) to expect a total wipe-out of the GOP. Like a QB who is blind-sided, the GOP will not know what hit them, until polls close on Tuesday.

Already, the absentee ballots are favoring us. How do I know this? Well, it is my business to know.

bagoh20 said...

Some might go for continuity and some might go for the conservative strength on defense and terrorism. If we can't clearly see who benefits (and I can't), then it's a fail anyway.

I think terrorists clearly prefer Democrats in office. I would. They will avoid blaming you, pursuing you, and punishing you if they catch you. They will understand your hatred for America. They are more likely to feel your pain. Simply put, Dems are a less dangerous foe if you are an Islamist.

That said, I don't think the Islamist need any additional reasoning to attack us or test us. They are ready and willing any given day. 10/29/10 was one of those days.

Ann Althouse said...

Issob Morocco said... "I heard Rush live, while reading the internet and thought the same thing. This harkened back to the Spanish elections in 2004 where Al Qaeda bombed the train just before the election turning what was predicted to be a close race into an overwhelming Socialist victory, that has led Spain into a serious economic situation."

I was going to include that in the original post, but looking it up on the internet, I saw that they've never really determined that the Spanish bombing was al Qaeda. But it does support the idea that terrorists -- whether al Qaeda or not -- time their attacks and pick times. Still, 9/11 would have killed a lot more people if it had occurred a bit later in the day.

"The question is a pertinent one, but unlike many on the left, I will wait to see more detail emerge before committing to one view or the other. Patience can suck, but is necessary when complex and murky situations arise to let the dust settle and do the correct pathology."

But Rush was not committing to one view or another. This reminds me of what I said about the head-stomping incident. You see something happening and all the facts aren't in, so you start to ask questions about what might be going on. The key is to be clear that you are speculating and wondering, suggesting new lines of investigation and so forth, and not announcing conclusions. It's annoying when people jump to the conclusion that you made a conclusion when you did not.

"Still I am with you Ann and Rush, who benefits from such timing? My other thought was when Clinton lobbed cruise missiles at Sudan and Afghanistan right after the Lewinsky affair broke into the open. Not quite the same here, but it does make one wonder what our leaders were thinking as well as the terrorists."

Good point. I was trying to come up with a lot of examples of terrorist incidents (or reports thereof) timed in connection with political events.

PatCA said...

I don't think the Obama admin would benefit--but I'm not putting it past them to erroneously think so.

At these announcements, Obama always looks like he's apologizing for a friend who got too drunk last night and barfed at another friend's party. Like he hates that he has to admit the radicals don't like him either.

Anthony said...

"This is thrilling radio, people."

A college freshmen could have made these comments. I don't see what's so thrilling about Rush's perspective on these events.

William said...

Despite their success in Spain, I doubt very much that AQ has a sophisticated understanding of our internal politics. They just want to kill us. In the same way, I don't much care who is in charge at AQ. I suppose some are more competent than others, but all should be killed.

garage mahal said...

Determining what political party will benefit from a terrorist attack is so mind numbingly dumb.

HDHouse said...

Frankly Ann I think you are losing your mind. If you can't tell the difference between real and made up on something that is just right in front of you? For heaven's sake don't even give a thought to the Rushbo play by play -

Of course, thinking back to shortly after the Democratic convention in 2004 with Kerry and the big deal Red Alert and the armed guards around Citicorp (the terrorists were already in the building running things by the way) and if you remotely think of real/fake in the same split second the heaven help you.

marklewin said...

I haven't written about it yet. I didn't know what to say as the story was unfolding yesterday. I had the thought — and I immediately censored myself — what does this have to do with Election Day?

Taking a functional or process approach when attempting to interpret the government's presentation of the "credible terrorist threat" only seems to reflect common sense. The problem is, I cannot keep myself from taking such an agenda/process driven approach when presented with Limbaugh's narrative and Ann's as well, i.e. 'What is Ann's (switch out Rush's name or Obama's) agenda when presenting this information, at this time, in this way?

bagoh20 said...

Currently listening to NPR (I know, but market radio is all infomercials on weekends).

They are discussing what's been going wrong. I'm amazed at how unaware they are of both themselves, their message and their opponents'. They seem like they don't actually know anybody that disagree with them. Completely clueless.

bagoh20 said...

They only discuss winning and losing, with virtually no mention of human principles or a philosophy that they care about. It's dead over there.

At least the infomercials claim the pills will improve your life. They are lying, of course, but at least they aren't pitching to buy them just because they want you to.

Cedarford said...

jmmlawyers said...
The timing is very interesting considering european airlines have been blasting US airport security policies.
====================
The Euros have a point. Far too much of US "security", the 100s of billions we have spent - is needless "security theater" in an attempt to CYA and show "cost is no object."

We do look stupid.
We have ignored funding serious medical and infrastructure projects because politicians fear the media will say one life lost to a Religion of Peace follower is more valuable and important than 1500 lives lost to medical misadventures. So we slather 100s of billions on "The Heroes" of Homeland Security, as Bush's initial pork-fest for "hero-protectors" down to the Podunk, Tennessee deputy's office became institutionalized in Homeland, local police force, and military and "counter-terror intel" empire-building.
Not fixing 80 miles of usafe California levees.
Not saving jobs being sent to China and India via productivity investments here.

The Euros believe it is wiser to spend 20 billion for 97% effective security than spend 170 billion for 99.9% effective security "because we have to be perfect everytime" or America would collapse if a mail-bomb got through!

Especially since we seem to have only achieved 97.1% for our extra 150 billion a year in outlays.

Michael said...

RV: The "recruiting tool" needed by these maniacs is a picture of your house or your car or what is in your fridge. They don't need "recruiting tools" to bring pissed off middle class kids to blow themselves to bits because they...hate...YOU. These are not reasonable people as even our dear president has discovered. They will blow YOU up for the reason of your existence. Period.

I would doubt they had much motive other than eliminating some Jews in Chicago. They could care less what day of the week or month or year just as long as the killing took place. Because blood is their ambition, their lover, their desire.

Fen said...

He's using the classic "who benefits?" approach to reasoning

Which, by itself, is of no use. No more so than determining motive in a murder: "the kids stand to gain a big inheritance.. his wife wanted out of the marriage... his co-worker wanted make partner instead, etc."

I'm not sure why AQ chose to attack just before the election - they've misunderstood the American Psyche too many times to predict their intentions.

But I'm certain that this administration is playing politics with the attack. They have a pattern of hamstringing foreign policy to gain political traction, and they are very very desperate right now (Obama is having to fly to Delaware to "save" a senate seat from O'Donnell).

Fen said...

DHOTUS. Out on the links while Americans were irradiated.

(anyone else notice how quickly the news of radiation was corrected?)

Cedarford said...

"AllenS said...
I wouldn't worry about any bombs going off. Obama assured us, just a couple of weeks ago, that if we get hit, it will just make us stronger. Remember that?"

===================
I don't agree with much Obama says, but I happen to agree with him on terror or others (definitely not Obama)on a little oil spilling - that zero tolerance hysteria, costs of perfect safety be damned...sort of thinking is ruinous to America.

We have a small pack of frightened to death zealots who have been "instructing" us for years that American civilization will collapse if a drop of oil is spilled, a plant puts out hamburger with too high levels of salmonella bacteria, or if a single terrorist "gets lucky, even once!!".

Obama is right, we can absorb a ton of terrorist attacks. If civilization collapses if "terrorists get lucky even once" then we should have collapsed from attacks by Indians when we were colonists, or collapsed in mournathons and over-the-top grief and helplessness until the Heroes Save Us All from 19th century Apache raids.

Now we have the craven American. Who would not just take their shoes off, submit to a full body scan...but insist that everyone undergo a full body cavity search and bow to Mecca if "A Hero With a Badge" told them they must do so to be "safer".

As is, Islamoids are a thinking, adaptable enemy that have managed to inflict 40,000 casualties on a lavishly funded group of highly trained, high tech "American heroes" - so the idea that a McDonalds reject in a TSA polyester uniform is an impregnable bulwark of security "perfection" keeping us perfectly safe - is ludicrous.

Fortunately, when Islamoids do succeed, we just have to start ignoring the blubberers drowning in their tears and fears...as we have normally done in our past. Brush by the craven souls and Muslim sympathizers and kill the enemy. Do intelligent strategy to marginalize and eventually defeat the Islamoids. (Ending Muslim immigration to the USA would be an excellent start.) Rebuild. Move on

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

It could also be an economic attack. They may think we are on the precipice (and might be right).

If Americans were made to fear using the mail, alot of businesses would go under, especially the ones gearing up for Christmas.

A bad 4th Q might keep us on our heels economically.

S.O.L. said...

Watching the gears turn, eh? Really? You mean watching a power-mad, multimillionaire opportunist spread stupid as if it's gospel. Its easy to check the things Rush says to prove they're mostly unadulterated bullshit. But y'all just love him so much, you don't want to know how wrong he is. I bet you think Glenn Beck walks on water too. I'll come back here when you have something rational to say.

Fen said...

In other words, outside of maintaining good relations with the Saudis, there's nothing in this that *we* did right

Do we get some credit for ignoring Libtard calls to invade Saudi Arabia?

Michael said...

Yemen, by the way, is a shithole on steroids. The less enlightened corner of the 13th century, no street addresses, proudly ignorant, dust thick on top of the dirt.

Fen said...

Currently listening to NPR (I know, but market radio is all infomercials on weekends).

They are discussing what's been going wrong. I'm amazed at how unaware they are of both themselves, their message and their opponents'. They seem like they don't actually know anybody that disagree with them. Completely clueless.


"How can that be? No one I know voted for Nixon!" - Pauline Kael, 1972

Lucien said...

Can it really be that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or whoever, is trying to bomb synagogues in Chicago (?!)via UPS (of FedEx, or whatever)?

There is something absurdist in the idea, no? (". . . the second time as farce").

Fen said...

SOL said: blah blah power-mad, multimillionaire blah stupid gospel blah blah blah unadulterated bullshit blah blah bet you think Glenn Beck walks on water blah ...I'll come back here when you have something rational to say

How about you come back when *you* have something rational to say, Libtard.

Michael McNeil said...

Don't forget the USS Cole bombing: October (12), 2000.

ndspinelli said...

Baseball is no longer the national pastime, it's now overanalysis. Al Queda has done this stuff here, and elsewhere, just prior to elections. They just like to mind fuck...there's no strategy, it's chaos v control..get smart!

Michael said...

Lucien: The country of Yemen viewed closely appears to be staged by Monty Python. While there are ultra evil people hanging out there it would come to me as no surprise that they would have a super secret plan to blow up a synagogue in Chicago with a crude bomb shipped via UPS. From the point of view of dusty Yemen this would be a technological marvel from beginning to end.

You could provide the Yemenis with a trillion dollars and the plans and they could not build a bicycle in a hundred years.

Fen said...

Look at what it costs the US up to wage two wars vs what little it costs Al Qaeda to send a few ink bombs. This can go on forever.

Well, now that you guys have given them rights and lawyers, it will.

Thanks for that.

And 10 years from now, you'll be saying: "because putting terrorists on trial serves as a great recruiting tool and easy target to blame for all the problems in the MIddle East"

Alex said...

It's so predictable that on a Rush thread the libtards come in here and trash Rush.

roesch-voltaire said...

I must note Althouse that everything is "hyped real big" in the media these days from Charlie Sheen to Sharon Angle with the purpose of affecting us to watch more of the media, or the blog, or the radio show. To call Rush's observations about this "bold thinking out loud" shows what little expectations we have for bold thinking. The threat of terrorism has been a constant meme for years that usually increases in volume during elections with candidates trying to affect something. And it doesn't take bold thinking to note that. Nor does it take much bold thinking to note that over the period of the past month there has been an increase in terrorist threats- Paris for example, and arrests,so this seems to be part of an on-going series of attempts. What is worth while thinking about is that the bomb design implies there must be a sleeper cell in Chicago that knows the number for the cell phone to detonate the device. The big story has less to do with politics and more to do with investigations.

Alex said...

You know I think we really need to hear for the 1000th time about the time when Rush called Chelsea Clinton a dog. That just so invalidates him.

Alex said...

rv - I agree with you a bit. I also listened to Rush on Friday morning and I didn't find anything he said to be bold or fascinating. It was exactly what I was thinking about the subject. Is there any bold thinking to be had on this subject anyways? We already know that the only way to win this war is nuke Mecca.

bagoh20 said...

"Baseball is no longer the national pastime, it's now overanalysis."

Quite true. And said analysis is no better than random noise. We have far less to talk about than we are willing to admit. We need to get more active in nonverbal activity. I suggest we find something that actually needs done and doing it. Punditry is pretty much handled at this point.

Fen said...

roesch-voltaire: To call Rush's observations about this "bold thinking out loud" shows what little expectations we have for bold thinking. The threat of terrorism has been a constant meme for years that usually increases in volume during elections with candidates trying to affect something. And it doesn't take bold thinking to note that.

Your hatred for Rush has clouded your ability to comprehend what you read:

Ann: "I had the thought — and I immediately censored myself — what does this have to do with Election Day? I cut myself off from that line of thinking because, of course, the war on terrorism transcends the petty vicissitudes of partisan politics. I readjusted my consciousness to suit an image of myself as a decent person.

Last night, I was listening to the podcast of the day's Rush Limbaugh show, in which he was seeing the news in real time and reacting out loud. He started where I did: the timing so close to the election. But he didn't censor himself. And this is what I love about Rush"

Rush gave a voice to the unspoken suspicions of many. Thats all.

edutcher said...

roesch-voltaire said...

Mike I would suggest the last thing the terrorist want is for us to withdraw troops from Iraq or Afghanistan because our presence there serves as a great recruiting tool and easy target to blame for all the problems in the MIddle East.

Roesch is snorting the Kool-Aid Biden and Pelosi have been peddling. When the Tangos come back home in pieces or a box, it actively discourages the others.

That's why Al Qaeda's been so quiet the past few years. It was gutted in Iraq.

You don't see people from all over the Islamic world running to join the Taliban, either.

Look at what it costs the US up to wage two wars vs what little it costs Al Qaeda to send a few ink bombs. This can go on forever.

The logic of the Lefties during 'Nam. The money was much better spent on the Great Society and the War on Poverty.

By all means, pull out and we can have another Carter era in foreign policy (AP can tell us how that ushered in a time of world peace). Besides, all that money is needed for Stimulus XX and the next round of bank bailouts.

David said...

My first reactions:

1. If these had been real bombs, the plane would have been blown up. So they can still blow up planes if they want to.

2. They did not want to blow up these planes.

3. Bringing "explosive material" directly from the Middle East to NY is an invitation to get caught.

4. If you really want to bring explosive material into the USA, you take it across the southern border or the northern border.

5. Maybe a probe, but more likely a misdirection. The real threat comes from the south or the north.

Alex said...

David to add:

6 - Rush Limbaugh is a bloated, drug-addled, pompous gasbag.

you must have forgot!

David said...

"9/11 would have killed a lot more people if it had occurred a bit later in the day."

I put this one down to cultural ignorance of the terrorists. They thought New Yorkers were at work by 9:AM. The lower level service employees and financial types are, but the rest are not there yet.

Judy said...

This whole thing was a tempest in a teapot. The analogy I used with my sister:
Imagine if I came home to and empty house and was surprised/shocked/scared when you came out of the kitchen. For a brief second I think you are an intruder, but, great relief you're not! But then, I still call 911 and tell the police I was almost surprised by an intruder!

Suspicious package, turns out to be nothing, big story not.

roesch-voltaire said...

1.Spewing uncensored political rhetoric is hardly bold thinking, and while Althouse censored herself it lasted just long enough before posting an equivocating blog asking who benefits (my answer-no one). 2. Al Qaeda never was a strong presence in Iraq as no love was lost between bin Laden and Saddam Hussein so to claim we have crushed them ignores the numbers. and 3, I agree that few people from the Islamic world are rushing to join the terrorist, not because of our occupation, but because most Muslims do not support terrorist acts, but for those who do join terrorist groups our occupation is continuously cited as the reason.

former law student said...

if we suddenly feel very threatened, the reaction would be to unite behind the President, whoever he is, and to want to protect him from any weakening forces, like, perhaps, a hostile Congress.

Has Rush become a 9/11 truther?

Almost Ali said...

Hagar said...
it might also be just another botched operation by some terrorist wannabees in Yemen

We won't know until at least Monday, when synagogues around the country turn on their printers - and the lasers (heat) ignite (detonate) the "toner" (PETN).

Almost Ali said...

if we suddenly feel very threatened, the reaction would be to unite behind the President, whoever he is...

Not this president, with whom another Islamic attack would more likely bring immediate articles of impeachment.

Penny said...

David said, "The real threat comes from the south or the north."

Except for those internal to the USA threats that Homeland Security keeps warning us about.

gregory said...

only one party in this corporatocracy

marklewin said...

Good point. I was trying to come up with a lot of examples of terrorist incidents (or reports thereof) timed in connection with political events.

One time I was taking a dump when we received a 'credible terrorist threat' and I realized.....those insidious terrorist demons, they're trying to screw up our countries gastrointestinal system.

Fen said...

roesch-voltaire said: 1.Spewing uncensored political rhetoric is hardly bold thinking

You were so eager to use the word "spew" that you didn't read again. Geez. No one has said it was "bold thinking". Here, again:

He
keeps
going,
expressing
those
thoughts
you
might
get
to
yourself
if
you
let
your
mind
run
free:


Which word are you having trouble with?


2. Al Qaeda never was a strong presence in Iraq

Sure, lets pretend we didn't almost lose Iraq to an Al Queda sponsored civil war. Your side sure talked it up when you were rooting for us to lose. Funny how quickly you've ditched that narrative.

as no love was lost between bin Laden and Saddam Hussein

They negotiated a non-aggression pact.

Fen said...

Judy: Suspicious package, turns out to be nothing, big story not.

That attitude is why so many in New Orleans decided to hang around for Katrina.


"Although a dose of just 25 rems causes some detectable changes in blood, doses to near 100 rems usually have no immediate harmful effects. Doses above 100 rems cause the first signs of radiation sickness including:

nausea
vomiting
headache
some loss of white blood cells

Doses of 300 rems or more cause temporary hair loss, but also more significant internal harm, including damage to nerve cells and the cells that line the digestive tract. Severe loss of white blood cells, which are the body's main defense against infection, makes radiation victims highly vulnerable to disease. Radiation also reduces production of blood platelets, which aid blood clotting, so victims of radiation sickness are also vulnerable to hemorrhaging. Half of all people exposed to 450 rems die, and doses of 800 rems or more are always fatal. Besides the symptoms mentioned above, these people also suffer from fever and diarrhea. As of yet, there is no effective treatment--so death occurs within two to fourteen days.

In time, for survivors, diseases such as leukemia (cancer of the blood), lung cancer, thyroid cancer, breast cancer, and cancers of other organs can appear due to the radiation received.

There is currently no effective medical treatment available for potentially fatal radiation doses. The case of the Japanese boy mentioned above illustrates an important fact about radiation sickness. The boy had probably received a dose of 450 rems or more, yet his symptoms were about the same as those of a person who received about 300 rems. Medical science has no way of telling the difference between people who have received fatal doses and will die despite all efforts and others who received less radiation and can be saved."

http://library.thinkquest.org/3471/radiation_effects_body.html

Alex said...

rv - so Rush Limbaugh is a "spewer". Obviously the NPR folks are the ones who give out real analysis in a thoughtful way right?

garage mahal said...


Has Rush become a 9/11 truther?


He is at least Truther Curious, isn't he?

Alex said...

garage - so you rely on Media Matters to tell you everything about Rush Limbaugh. Do you ever listen to him on a regular basis like Ann does to really learn? I have listened to Air America, I don't rely on "elites" to feed me my opinions on everything like you do.

Michael Haz said...

These three questions have been nagging at me. Yesterday's failed (or dry run) terrorist attack makes those questions bother me all the more.

1. Why did Obama say two weeks ago that America can withstand a terrorist attack? Did he know that such an attack is imminent, and that it could be severe? Were his words supposed to reassuring in advance in case the attack occurs?

2. Why is Obama leaving the United States for a lengthy trip to India? India, of all places, why there and why at this time?

3. Why is Hillary Clinton embarking on a three week trip to Asia at the same time Obama is in India? Is the intent to have the President and a cabinet member far from the US at the same time in case the terrorist attack we supposedly can withstand occurs?

I can't shake the feeling that something bad is about to happen in the US.

Issob Morocco said...

Hi Ann,

In terms of Al Qaeda, good catch, I should have said Islamic Terrorists, although I am not sure one can make the point of what actually constitutes an Al Qaeda group or not.

As for Rush not commiting to one view or not, I didn't say he did, but I did give my opinion that I will wait. So I am not sure if your comment to speculation was a general one, one directed at me or in relation to what Rush said. Anyway, if directed to me, I will say that was not my point and apologies if I gave that impression. I don't know have enough info to make that call.

Penny said...

"I can't shake the feeling that something bad is about to happen in the US."

Actually, I was pleased that both Obama and Clinton were spending some time in Asia. The heavy lifting has already happened on our upcoming election, and I expect my leaders to keep multiple balls in the air, including foreign relations.

former law student said...

lets pretend we didn't almost lose Iraq to an Al Queda sponsored civil war.

There was no al-Qaeda in Iraq, till after the US invaded, at which point one of the local groups of thugs decided to become "al-Qaeda in Iraq."

It was a bit like the local youth gang in Appleton deciding to call itself "the Appleton Crips." Or "Hells Angels (of Appleton)."

Bruce Hayden said...


There was no al-Qaeda in Iraq, till after the US invaded, at which point one of the local groups of thugs decided to become "al-Qaeda in Iraq."

It was a bit like the local youth gang in Appleton deciding to call itself "the Appleton Crips." Or "Hells Angels (of Appleton).
"

Except that AQII quickly got the blessings of AQ International and got a number of shipments of arms and a lot of foreign fighters from AQ International.

You are almost correct though about AQ not being in Iraq when we interceded there. There were some AQ hiding there, but I don't think that we have seen any evidence of organization there before that time - Saddam Hussein kept the AQ in Iraq at that time on a very short leash.

Fen said...

lets pretend we didn't almost lose Iraq to an Al Queda sponsored civil war.

There was no al-Qaeda in Iraq, till after the US invaded, at which point one of the local groups of thugs decided to become "al-Qaeda in Iraq."

Sure, thats why they had to come in from the Syrian border, they were "locals".

O said...

I'm so glad that both you and Rush have kept at it these past ten years, always pointing out when the government gins up a terrorist threat for political purposes. That's what I love about you two, your totally non-partisan approach to political issues that leaves the electorate knowing that political manipulation is a constant of the governance, not just something that people you don't like do.

Keep up the good work. Any idiot can point to the crimes of the "other side". It takes true ethics and moral intelligence to point out when both sides are doing it. Just like you and Rush both have done since the Bush administration was in power. Our political discourse is so much the better for it. And it shows.

Penny said...

"Our political discourse is so much the better for it. And it shows."

Oh? I saw it more like political intercourse. Hard thrusting under soft, yet dirty, sheets.

"Soft thrusting" is an oxymoron, except in the ever so capable hands of Elena Kagan and her Kaganites.

Some guy named Tribe told us that in an earlier Althouse um, "entry"? Could the Tribe possibly be wrong?

Could Althouse possibly be a closet Kaganite, or is she merely Kaganish?

Do we need a poll to know for certain, or can we dispense with poles?

One thing we know for sure...she isn't our laundress. haha

If you need clean sheets? Buy new ones, or get your damn washing machine cranked up.

Do we need a poll to know for certain, or can we dispense with poles?

John said...

The barbarians don't care if they're killing democrats or republicans. They want to kill Americans. They don't care about midterms. They just want to kill us. Don't think this is 'keyed' to anything. The terrorists don't care who wins. Ultimately, they want us all to die.

John said...

The barbarians don't care if they're killing democrats or republicans. They want to kill Americans. They don't care about midterms. They just want to kill us. Don't think this is 'keyed' to anything. The terrorists don't care who wins. Ultimately, they want us all to die.

John said...

The barbarians don't care if they're killing democrats or republicans. They want to kill Americans. They don't care about midterms. They just want to kill us. Don't think this is 'keyed' to anything. The terrorists don't care who wins. Ultimately, they want us all to die.

John said...

The barbarians don't care if they're killing democrats or republicans. They want to kill Americans. They don't care about midterms. They just want to kill us. Don't think this is 'keyed' to anything. The terrorists don't care who wins. Ultimately, they want us all to die.

HDHouse said...

bagoh20 said...
They only discuss winning and losing, with virtually no mention of human principles or a philosophy that they care about."

Ahhhh Dear butthead.

that's called fair and balanced and unbiased. the real fair and balanced. just the facts.

you are an utter moron.

JAL said...

Well what I heard in passing on Friday was how Americans have pretty much forgotten about terrorism, but Not.This.Administration (!!!) [CNN, whaddya expect?]

Americans are worried about the economy, but Not This. Administration (!!!) <--- OK, so I made that last part up.

Actually, it shows how OOT (out of touch) CNN continues to be.

The reason the Ground Zero mosque created such a firefight was because Americans *are* worried about terrorism, and quite aware of who's behind it. For that, they are called Islamaphobes.

But now, we need to be reminded by This.Administration that they are working very very very hard to keep the Evil Bomb Makers away, as if we ididn't know that was important.

Me? I'm glad we're using drones (thank you POTUS & Co.) and we have secret guys tracking down bad guys in Warizistan or Whereveistan.

But I'd like to have the sense that POTUS is more than The Accidental Commander in Chief.

(In all honesty, I don't think that's going to happen since he appears to have no pride is who we are and what we do so well as Americans. Sad.)

HDHouse said...

JAL said...
"The reason the Ground Zero mosque created such a firefight was because Americans *are* worried about terrorism"

the "firefight" was brought about and put center stage by the Faux Noise types of the world who never found an issue that they couldn't distort.

Omaha1 said...

I'm pretty sure it would be racist to "question the timing."

salvage said...

Once again Ann you earn your reputation.

Keep drinking sweetie, it really helps the brain cells!

jim said...

"He keeps going, expressing those thoughts you might get to yourself if you let your mind run free"

Letting your mind "run free" may be helpful when you're utterly stumped for a functional solution - it's the cardinal rule of brainstorming - but the overwhelming majority of "outside the box" ideas you will come up with that way are useless garbage.

Anyone claiming legitimacy as a political commentator who is unable to distinguish between an elected government & a "regime" is wasting their listeners' time - as is anyone spinning wool about a nefarious secret Obama "regime" plotting to use terrorist mail-bombs as vote-getters.


Fortunately, folks, we don't have to worry about the Obama regime using fear of terrorism to help him in the elections like the Bush team did, right? That was always the charge. Every time we got an increased threat level near an election, the charge always was, "It's not true. This is just Bush trying to help himself in the election."

The charge was correct. Tom Ridge has repeatedly confirmed that he was pressured by his superiors to raise alert levels in the total absence of any new & relevant information from either domestic or foreign intelligence sources. Limbaugh's attempt to rewrite recent history may be ideologically noble-minded but it is also intellectually bankrupt. It's also pretty obvious that he's recycling the "EVIL ECO-TERRORISTS DID DEEPWATER HORIZON WITH THEIR DOLPHINS OF DOOOOOOOM" agitprop from four or five months ago. Perhaps he can blame the next such event on crazed anti-war activists ... because the pacifist menace will stop at nothing to destroy America!

The Paranoid Style In American Politics said everything anyone needs to know about Rush Limbaugh long before he became a national celebrity.

ETS said...

"I cut myself off from that line of thinking because, of course, the war on terrorism transcends the petty vicissitudes of partisan politics"

Reading this post, it's pretty apparent that you didn't and it doesn't.

Dhalgren said...

Professor WInebox should avoid blogging while drinking. But then again, she always does. Why do you people come here, again? Do fans of Althouse think the way she does, or do they come here to see a middle aged woman destroy herself?

veni vidi vici said...

Wow, Jim at 10/31 1.26pm; talk about missing the boat!

Jim agrees with Rush but, Rumplestiltzken-like, can't hack it and stomps his foot through the floor in anguish. Dude, he's saying exactly what those guys all over the "Reality based Community" and/or left were saying all the years about Bush. Somehow, it appears that to you it's ok to say about Bush ("The charge was true") but counterfeit now that Rush brings up the same idea w/r/t Obama. That's gotta be a tough line to sell, especially out of season.

OH, and you do realize that Rush's riffing on the "Obama regime" is directly in response to the legion of folks sporting "Regime change begins at home" bumperstickers and mindsets, right? Do you get the joke now?

Seriously, did you even think before typing or was the invocation of "Rush" a red velvet cape before your steaming bull?