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The details af this investigation are emerging.  Operation Overt was a one-year intelligence effort, British security carefully shadowing the plotters.

Until, according to The Advertiser....

"There ... were suggestions American authorities, tipped off to impending raids in Britain and chasing leads in the U.S., jumped the gun and forced the hand of investigators in the UK."

Originally posted to Hootenanny on Fri Aug 11, 2006 at 02:52 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  well, well, well (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stand Strong, ignorant bystander

    and this had absolutely nothing to do with "timing"........snark

  •  Blame America first (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I am so sick of this crap.

    •  Blame America? I Don't Think So (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snakelass, rearlgrant

      We Americans (that's where I live) are the ones who have been occasionally bamboozled by Bush administration coverups of its own incompetence.  When the truth comes through, let's not blame America.  Let's find the problems and correct them.

      •  did you even read the article? (0+ / 0-)

        If so, please explain the content of your diary.  You either failed to comprehend the article, or, you are just needlessly trying to find some way to show how the U.S. is at fault in this situation.

        •  Guess you didn't see the OTHER article (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          josephk, Hootenanny, snakelass

          by Juan Cole today that said that the UK KEPT THIS SECRET from the US because the Republicans ALSO jumped the gun to score political points in 2004 and enabled the 2005 London subway bomb planners to escape and succeed in killing people.


          British authorities say that they have been investigating the group behind the airplane bombing plot for "about a year." The Scotsman says that the investigation began in 2005.

          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.

          •  No, Skiddly, I hadn't seen that... (0+ / 0-)

            ...and Prof. Cole, who devotes so much attention to these issues, still is handicapped by the fact that what most of us can glean is often just a portion of the iceberg, maybe the tip, maybe the bottom, maybe the middle.  Piecing it together is not easy, and I'm not about to ascribe "wrongness" or some other aspersion to someone who draws a different picture than I do from the same puzzle parts.

            (Or maybe that's the same ice chips??)

    •  Blind Nationalism is so much better (2+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      amsterdam, snakelass
      Hidden by:

      "Typical American Arrogance" or "Blind Nationalism" -- take Your pick ... in either case, this tactic which the US has been engaged upon hasn't worked too well -- except on controlling the bleating sheep who scream out USA USA USA -- We're Number 1!!!

      Pretty much, all that is being asked in this diary is that we look critically at our actions, and especially those of the Bush administration.  I have no problem in stating outright that the BushCo crowd have proved themselves incompetant and irresponsible -- there is plenty of evidence for that.

      ... and there You bleat "i am sick of blame america first" -- just like the sheep that You are ... and how do i know that You are a blindly nationalistic sheep ... because Your bleat is obviously identified as such.

      •  no, the point of the diary (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snakelass, anthonyLA

        is to point out a sentence in a article that says that there were "suggestions" that the US may have "jumped the gun" (of course, not saying how) forcing the british to arrest the terrorists, despite the fact that earlier in the article, the british stated that they felt that the evidence they were gathering required them to act now.

        Daily Kos hit 100,000 registered users at 11:17pm eastern time on August 9, 2006

        by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Aug 11, 2006 at 03:24:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fleet Notices I Highlighted The 'Suggestions' (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And the faux Admiral is right, because this is the part of the story that refers to US actions, not the British or Pakistani roles, and it warns that there may be more to the story.  I think we need to take note of it.  

          I also recognize that it is unsourced and vague ... as are many other elements, so far.

      •  i'm a sheep? (0+ / 0-)

        get a clue. First, read the article, then reread the diary and tell me what the point of the diary is again.  

        •  The Sheep Comment (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          snakelass, anthonyLA

          ..That isn't called for.  I agree that we shouldn't assume America is "wrong" when we are attacked.  But, I also think we need to be alert to how our part of this investigation, small though it may be, has been handled.  If we have known for some time about the ability to mix a bomb in midair and use a disposable camera as detonator, as some stories are reporting, wouldn't earlier attention to carry-on liquids and cameras have been advisable?  Because we did NOT change the security rules until yesterday, it's possible that we did not understand the plot to the same degree that the British did.  We're not going to learn more about this by dismissing reports out of hand.

          •  i agree with you there (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It's a little pathetic that we are constantly playing catchup.  I think it's time to x-ray, examine, etc. every piece of luggage placed on a plane and individually search every passenger.  If it takes 5 hours, it takes 5 hours.  Safety first.  

  •  By the way (4+ / 0-)

    Your diary is totally bullshit.  From the article:

    "There still were many gaps and investigators wanted to hold off before pouncing on the apparent terror cells, for fear some people involved in the plot might get away. That changed when security chiefs discovered the plot could be enacted within 48 hours and was, in fact, so advanced in planning that, if successful, it could have been worse than the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in the U.S.

    Prime Minister Tony Blair was telephoned at his holiday retreat and gave the go-ahead for Britain to go on "critical" terror alert."

    •  yeah i noticed that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Halcyon, anthonyLA

      he took one paragraph near the end and pretended it was the highlight of the article, despite what the rest of the article said.

      Daily Kos hit 100,000 registered users at 11:17pm eastern time on August 9, 2006

      by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Aug 11, 2006 at 02:51:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  exactly (0+ / 0-)

        the article even seems dismissive of the diarists assertions by using the word "suggestions" and not stating who exactly made these suggestions.  

        I am sooo tired of people who try to find any little way to blame the U.S. for everything, without a thorough explanation.  This is the way to become a permanent minority party.

      •  One Paragraph Near The End (0+ / 0-)

        That is, indeed, what I am highlighting.  And I'm saying that the administration is awfully quick to take credit for the work of the British investigators, but mighty slow to reassess our approach to terrorism.  We suffer from Bull In A China Shop syndrome.

        •  so you're blasting the bush administration (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          over some vauge "jump the gun" quote in the bottom of an article which clearly states elsewhere that the British felt like they had to act right then?

          Daily Kos hit 100,000 registered users at 11:17pm eastern time on August 9, 2006

          by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Aug 11, 2006 at 02:56:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Blasting Bush (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Part of the reason the British felt they had to act, the article is telling us, was that the leads being followed from the US side were threatening the operation's secrecy.  Thence the "jumping the gun," and the overall theme from the very start of the piece:

            "OPERATION Overt was not supposed to come to the public's attention quite so soon."

            As a result, not all of the conspirators were arrested, and are still being sought.

            The British knew the first attempt would be a dry run, and they were following the plotters.  If the U.S. investigators forced their hand and and helped prevent the arrests of all involved, we should be interested in learning what we can do better the next time.

            •  the lead is because of this (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              There still were many gaps and investigators wanted to hold off before pouncing on the apparent terror cells, for fear some people involved in the plot might get away. That changed when security chiefs discovered the plot could be enacted within 48 hours and was, in fact, so advanced in planning that, if successful, it could have been worse than the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in the U.S.

              not from the US jumping the gun

              I can't even tell how the US supposedly "jumped the gun"

              Daily Kos hit 100,000 registered users at 11:17pm eastern time on August 9, 2006

              by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Aug 11, 2006 at 03:09:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  no (0+ / 0-)

              you are totally misreading the article.  You're correct about how the article starts, see my excerpt above for why "operation overt" came to the public's attention when it did.

              •  There Are Contradictions (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                All of the stories as the details become clearer are telling us that authorities believe this first excercise was "a dry run."  This contributes to the confusion.  If the "dry run" theory is true, there was opportunity for more investigation.  The first priority must be catching the remaining plotters.  But the early stories in any emergency vary widely in accuracy.  We will eventually find out to what degree the investigators felt they were watching an exercise as opposed to an attack.  And, we should learn more about whether they felt pressured to grab the plotters before they believed they needed to.

                •  you're digging for treasure (0+ / 0-)

                  just because you found an X on the ground in hopes of using the bombing to further attack bush.  in other words, your first concern is to attack bush for pushing the british into arresting people who were very seriously committing terrorism, basically despite any and all evidence that might be contrary.

                  Daily Kos hit 100,000 registered users at 11:17pm eastern time on August 9, 2006

                  by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Aug 11, 2006 at 03:35:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •   TATP, the terrorists' explosive of choice (0+ / 0-)

    We've had our own peroxide alert in Texas last month...FBI was all over this event.  Maybe you remember reading about Texas City, petrochemical plants, and possible home grown terrorists.....

    Let's just hope to hell our government always takes the high road and warns the public.........

    This is not a new method for making bombs......just one more thing we learn about.....used to be just fertilizer!!!!!!! Scarey.

  •  I was stopped last week at a fair (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hootenanny, snakelass

    and told to empty all containers of liquid I had with me in my backpack! Now I know why! I had asked and the guard said it was a Homeland security measure.....

  •  I had heard of the airport security... (0+ / 0-)

    ...making mothers drink the bottled formula or breastmilk before boarding, but have never noticed it, and I fly twice weekly.  It is strange to me that the systems are designed to find the explosive mixtures in the checked luggage, but not in carry-ons.

    •  i think the problem (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hootenanny, snakelass, SoCalLiberal

      is that there is no device capable of detecting liquid explosives.  they cannot be mixed by the person if they are checked in the cargo part of the plane (they detonate immediately after being mixed).  They can, however, be mixed if they are in someone's carryon (and they cannot be detected).

      •  That's not good. (0+ / 0-)

        Some idiot is probably working on an automatic mixer to fix that "problem," which is why all the technology in the world is no subsitute for alert human intelligence.

      •  Note that while this invesigation was ongoing... (0+ / 0-)

        ..The administration was trying to avoid spending $6 million in the homeland security budget originally planned for explosives detection technology!

      •  This really bugs me (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I had no idea they could even use these things as weapons to kill us.  I always bring a bottle of water on the plane with me, sometimes a bottle of milk too.  I would do this because I got so sick and tired of the food on the plane (and first class tickets are just too expensive plus I've heard the food isn't good there) that I would just make myself a nice picnic lunch for the plane.  Now I'm not sure what I can bring on the plane.  I usually like to take a small bag with me besides my carry-on where I put my picnic lunch with a bottle of water, a book to read, a small bottle of advil and maybe some Pepto-Bismol.  I guess I'll have to go back to drinking the stuff they have on the plane.  

        It's scary to think about how many people could have been killed if not for the UK.  You know it's funny, the U.S. authorities under Bush look for every reason in the book to violate the constitution and yet to date have been unable to thwart any terrorist attack anywhere.  The British and Canadians have authorities have now thwarted terrorist attacks just through good police work and not violating their own constitutions (or well the Brits don't have a constitution but without violating their legal traditions).

  •  It'll come out like the Downing Street Memo (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hootenanny, snakelass

    They jumped in to try and make political hay out of a true British investigation. Hope they didn't blow it for the Brits. The last time they did that, there was a bombing in the subways.

    lead, follow, or get out of the way.

    by cabinetman1 on Fri Aug 11, 2006 at 04:15:59 PM PDT

  •  NBC says... (0+ / 0-)

    LONDON - NBC News has learned that U.S. and British authorities had a significant disagreement over when to move in on the suspects in the alleged plot to bring down trans-Atlantic airliners bound for the United States.

    A senior British official knowledgeable about the case said British police were planning to continue to run surveillance for at least another week to try to obtain more evidence, while American officials pressured them to arrest the suspects sooner. The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case.

    In contrast to previous reports, the official suggested an attack was not imminent, saying the suspects had not yet purchased any airline tickets. In fact, some did not even have passports.

    The source did say, however, that police believe one U.K.-based suspect was ready to conduct a "dry run." British authorities had wanted to let him go forward with part of the plan, but the Americans balked.

    At the White House, a top aide to President Bush denied the account.

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