Tuesday, August 15, 2006

 

Required Reading

It's a little, um, indiscreet, but it's also DFOT.

Kung Fu Monkey

Highlights:

I am absolutely buffaloed by the people who insist I man up and take it in the teeth for the great Clash of Civilizations -- "Come ON, people, this is the EPIC LAST WAR!! You just don't have the stones to face that fact head-on!" -- who at the whiff of an actual terror plot will, with no apparent sense of irony, transform and run around shrieking, eyes rolling and Hello Kitty panties flashing like Japanese schoolgirls who have just realized that the call is coming from inside the house!

I may have shared too much there.

To be honest, it's not like I'm a brave man. I'm not. At all. It just, well, it doesn't take that much strength of will not to be scared. Who the hell am I supposed to be scared of? Joseph Padilla, dirty bomber who didn't actually know how to build a bomb, had no allies or supplies, and against whom the government case is so weak they're now shuffling him from court to court to avoid the public embarassment of a trial? The fuckwits who were going to take down the Brooklyn Bridge with blowtorches? Richard Reid, the Zeppo of suicide bombers? The great Canadian plot that had organized over the internet, was penetrated by the Mounties on day one, and we were told had a TRUCK FULL OF EXPLOSIVES ... which they had bought from the Mounties in a sting operation but hey let's skip right over that. Or how about the "compound" of Christian cultists in Florida who were planning on blowing up the Sears Tower with ... kung fu?

And now these guys. As the initial "OH SWEET MOTHER OF GOD THEY CAN BLOW US UP WITH SNAPPLE BOTTLES!!" hysteria subsides, we discover that these guys had been under surveillance, completely penetrated, by no less than three major intelligence agencies. That they were planning on cell phones, and some of them openly travelled to Pakistan (way to keep the cover, Reilly, Ace of Spies). Hell, Chertoff knew about this two weeks ago, and the only reason that some people can scream this headline:

"The London Bombers were within DAYS of trying a dry run!!!"

-- was because MI-5, MI-6, and Scotland Yard let them get that close, so they could suck in the largest number of contacts (again, very spiffy police work). The fact that these wingnuts could have been rolled up, at will, at any time, seems to have competely escaped the media buzz.

This is terrorism's A-game? Sack up, people.

Again, this is not to do anything less than marvel as cool, well-trained, ruthless law-enforcement professionals -- who spent decades honing their craft chasing my IRA cousins -- execute their job magnificently. Should we take this seriously? DAMN STRAIGHT we take this seriously. Left unchecked, these terror-fanboy bastards would have gone down in history. These cretins' intent was monstrous; they should, and will, all go to jail for a very long time. This is the part where we all breathe a sigh of relief that there are some actual professionals working the job in some countries.


(skip)

Maybe it's just, I cast my eyes back on the last century ...

FDR: Oh, I'm sorry, was wiping out our entire Pacific fleet supposed to intimidate us? We have nothing to fear but fear itself, and right now we're coming to kick your ass with brand new destroyers riveted by waitresses. How's that going to feel?

CHURCHILL: Yeah, you keep bombing us. We'll be in the pub, flipping you off. I'm slapping Rolls-Royce engines into untested flying coffins to knock you out of the skies, and then I'm sending angry Welshmen to burn your country from the Rhine to the Polish border.

US. NOW: BE AFRAID!! Oh God, the Brown Bad people could strike any moment! They could strike ... NOW!! AHHHH. Okay, how about .. NOW!! AAGAGAHAHAHHAG! Quick, do whatever we tell you, and believe whatever we tell you, or YOU WILL BE KILLED BY BROWN PEOPLE!! PUT DOWN THAT SIPPY CUP!!

... and I'm just a little tired of being on the wrong side of that historical arc.


Yup.

Comments:
DFOT? urbandictionary has failed me.
 
It failed me, too. But no matter. I just love that last bit as a master example of historical perspective.
 
Sorry. It's Dead F'ing On Target.
 
I got DFOT from the context. 'Wheel of Fortune' here I come.
 
So which side of the story arc was Theo Van Gogh on? Just curious.

When you note "(again, very spiffy police work)" please remember we are now learning that torture was a key element in breaking this case, as were intercepted international telephone calls and tracking of international financial transactions. None of this qualifies as "spiffy police work" in the U.S., and we all know that and don't want to change it, which accounts for the fear.
 
"intercepted international telephone calls and tracking of international financial transactions" certainly do count as "spiffy police work" in the U.S. when done legally. But our admin prefers to try to scare the shit out of everyone rather than follow the law. Which accounts for the anger and distrust.
 
anonymous said:

"intercepted international telephone calls and tracking of international financial transactions" certainly do count as "spiffy police work" in the U.S. when done legally.

Has a single "illegal" instance been identified yet? None was even alleged in tracking financial transactions, and in the case of the phone calls no actual violation was ever identified. But we can be confident that enough sand has been tossed into that air that these techniques have been all but abandoned by our "intelligence" services.

The main post made an important point about how amateurish all the "terror cells" are that have been identified to date in the U.S. You can either believe that those cells are the best the terrorists in North America can do (why are they smarter in Britain?), or that our government doesn't have the competence to find the real terrorists. To date we have no evidence, but the latter seems far more likely.

The root problem remains, the plot to blow up the airliners was discovered in substantial part due to torture of a suspect in Pakistan. Are we glad that it was stopped or not/
 
anonymous said:

"intercepted international telephone calls and tracking of international financial transactions" certainly do count as "spiffy police work" in the U.S. when done legally.

Has a single "illegal" instance been identified yet? None was even alleged in tracking financial transactions, and in the case of the phone calls no actual violation was ever identified. But we can be confident that enough sand has been tossed into that air that these techniques have been all but abandoned by our "intelligence" services.

The main post made an important point about how amateurish all the "terror cells" are that have been identified to date in the U.S. You can either believe that those cells are the best the terrorists in North America can do (why are they smarter in Britain?), or that our government doesn't have the competence to find the real terrorists. To date we have no evidence, but the latter seems far more likely.

The root problem remains, the plot to blow up the airliners was discovered in substantial part due to torture of a suspect in Pakistan. Are we glad that it was stopped or not?
 
DD, sorry for the double posting, blogger was acting up. Please delete one--thanks.
 
"The root problem remains, the plot to blow up the airliners was discovered in substantial part due to torture of a suspect in Pakistan."

After all the lies we've been told, why would we believe this?
 
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