Thursday, August 10, 2006


Here we go.

The British have reportedly foiled a plot to blow up jetliners travelling from the U.K. to the U.S. The Dept. of Homeland Security has responded by raising the terror threat-level to red.

In addition to the highest alert for flights from Britain, the alert for all flights coming or going from the United States was also raised slightly. The government banned beverages, hair gels and lotions from flights, explaining only that liquids emerged as a risk from the investigation in Britain.

Multiple flights to multiple American cities were put on alert. Specifically, these airlines included United Airlines, American Airlines and Continental Airlines Inc., the two counterterrorism officials said. American and United flights were turned into terrorist weapons on Sept. 11, 2001, when they were hijacked and crashed.

It is the first time the red alert level in the Homeland Security warning system has been invoked, although there have been brief periods in the past when the orange level was applied. Homeland Security defines the red alert as designating a "severe risk of terrorist attacks."

"We believe that these arrests (in London) have significantly disrupted the threat, but we cannot be sure that the threat has been entirely eliminated or the plot completely thwarted," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in announcing that the threat level for flights from Britain to the United States has been raised to the highest "severe or red" level.
Now, I would love to believe that British authorities really have stopped a truly life-threatening plot to blow up airplanes, but considering the way previous terror "plots" have been oversold by the Bush administration, I reserve my right to be skeptical.

Likewise, I would prefer to believe that my president would not raise the terror-alert level to a hot, shrieking RED without a good reason. But again, my president has not earned the benefit of the doubt.

The Bush administration periodically put the USA on high alert for terrorist attacks even though then-Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat level, Ridge now says.

Ridge, who resigned Feb. 1, said Tuesday that he often disagreed with administration officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or "high" risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled.
Forgive my cynicism, but I cannot help but notice that this RED ALERT terror warning comes as the Bush administration has had a day to absorb:

  • the real meaning of Ned Lamont's victory over Bush enabler Joe Lieberman, and

  • the bone-jarring shock of a Washington Post/ABC News poll which shows the Republican majority in congress is in real jeopardy.
I cannot help but notice also that this RED ALERT terror warning is, apparently, open-ended.

"These measures will continue to assure that our aviation system remains safe and secure," Chertoff added. "Travelers should go about their plans confidently, while maintaining vigilance in their surroundings and exercising patience with screening and security officials."
How long will these measures continue? We're not told, but I can guess. I'm thinking the threat will recede right after the polls close on November 7th.

Maybe I'm too cynical, but if I am, it is because my president has taught me to be.


~*Beats*~ said...

I Believe that this soon to be World War Three is Nonsence. I think that people who have that much time to come up with a plot as big is this one is crazy. i find it very unfortunate that the british are willing to harm people by using liquid explosives on airplanes. innocent people who have nothing to do with this could be very hurt. this "World War III" could affect many people. i'm a teeneager right now and this will affect me very much..but just think how much m kids and their kids will be affected as well.

betmo said...

i had this exact conversation with my mother. this is as much of a threat as the mentally ill morons arrested in miami for allegedly 'masterminding' a plot to blow shit up in chicago. please- rove- move forward. the same stuff that worked 5 years ago- perhaps even 2 years ago- not so much now. time for some new material.