A terrorist plot to attack transit tunnels under New York's Hudson River was broken up in its early planning stages, U.S. authorities said yesterday, with three suspects arrested overseas, including a Lebanese man the FBI said was an al-Qaeda follower.
FBI assistant director for New York Mark J. Mershon said investigators had disrupted the plot before the suspects could come to the United States and begin to gather intelligence and explosives for the attack. He said there was no threat now to the PATH commuter lines, which carry tens of thousands of people between New York and New Jersey each day.
One said the alleged plot was "not as far along" as described and was "more aspirational in nature." The other described the threat as "jihadi bravado," adding "somebody talks about tunnels, it lights people up," but that there was little activity to back up the talk.Uh, WTF? Secretary Chertoff, maybe you didn't get the memo from Charles Krauthammer, we are at War. Not little "w" war, by golly. But big, bad, testosterone fueled, red meat chomping, capital "W" War. We ain't got time for that sissy Anthony Kennedy, and we sure as hell don;t have time for some pansy-assed Secretary of Homeland Security derisively dismissing our oustanding operations. Doesn't he know it puts the troops in greater danger? Grrrrrrrr.
Speaking to reporters, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said, "It was never a concern that this would actually be executed. We were . . . all over this."
Of course this was a Big, Important, "when I leak it, it isn't illegal" kind of operation. We stopped Al Qaeda from blowing up the entire Eastern seaboard. They were also gonna kick your dog. Hard. Well, they were gonna if they had they chance. And thought about it. And owned boots. Whatever. Just hug your damn dog and be thankful, ok?
Mershon said officials had not planned to announce the arrests yesterday and criticized the leak to the media, saying it upset cooperation between the United States and six foreign governments assisting in the investigation.Now why would the United States government leak information about stopping a terrorist plot, instead of announcing it in a planned and coordinated way so that all agencies involved in the operation could protect their programs and assets from being exploited by future Warriors of Terra? And will Right Blogostan be calling for the public hanging of the leaker? All I can say, six countries' work disrupted, huh. Bravo. Bravisimo.
Why leak this arrest? Why turn this into "NEXT 9-11 PLOT PREVENTED"?
The Hudson River tunnel threat appeared to combine several themes that have emerged as sources of anxiety for U.S. authorities over the past 18 months.Oh. I see. It's gonna be like that. "They" (whomever "they" are) are simply going to synthesize American's buzzing under-layer of fear into archetypal plots of evil from brown people. And immigration fear-monger is so May. Time to whip out the pre-election Al Qaeda reminders. Even if they involve rounding up the equivalevent of "The Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight." I feel much safer.
To sum up is just too depressing. My snark only affords so much protection from these sweeping Friday announcements of epic accomplishments in the arena of the inane. But, just in case (when) the NSA reads this, here's a few tips I feel patriotically obligated to offer up:
1) When you do arrest terrorists, don't disrupt operations in six countries to announce it for political convenience.
2) Don't shut down the group tracking Osama Bin Laden, this will forestall the above mentioned "political convenience" from arising in the first place.
3) Iraq - shit, if you don't know at this point, and it seems you don't, there's not much I can say.
4) Perhaps to win the War on Terra we may want to just consider the possibility of maybe addressing some of what causes people to discuss wildly fantastic, yet shockingly deadly, plots to destroy us. You know, stuff like how our foreign policy supports vicious dictators and stuff. Just throwing it out there.
5) Oh, yeah, maybe put some time and money into things like port security, nuclear nonproliferation, law enforcement, etc. Things that actually make us safer, as opposed to things that make people with very few critical thinking skills feel safer.
That is all. I eagerly await the next announcement of the arrest/capture/death of Al Qaeda's Number Two Man.