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Peculiar silence

Needless to say, this has pretty much dominated the entire news cycle today. I guess it's pretty big news if Britain thwarts the biggest terror attack since 9/11.

It's odd, because in perusing the leading lefty bloggers Kos and Atrios, I see nary a mention of this news (Kos's big story seemed to be how the Michigan GOP's website lacks a picture of Bush.) It seems to me that this would be an excellent opportunity for the new intellectual leaders of the Democratic Party to convince us that they take terrorism very seriously. You'd think a story like this would at least merit a mention, right? Sadly, I guess they just don't see it that way. Infer from that what you will.


No, I think they realize that a thwarted terrorist attack is just too much good news for the current administration. Besides, these aren't "terrorists," from the Liberal perspective, they're "freedom fighters," fighting bravely against "American Imperialism"...you've got to get with the program.

Now if there were some way for them to be able to cry about "coerced information," or perhaps "Pakistani torturers" forcing the information that thwarted this attack out of a would-be co-conspirator, THAT might be something for the Left to rail against.

Unfortunately for them, the Left's in the unenviable position of having to root against BOTH the current healthy American economy and against the WoT, while, of course, denying that they'd ever be so crass as to "root against America."

Yeah, of course they wouldn't.

There is silence fo several reasons, Barry.

1) This conflates the Lamont message somewhat as it reminds voters that this is more than just Iraq.

2) The early reports I am hearing is that the Brits and the US used phone conversations to monitor this monstrosity. (Oh no!)

3) The Dems would kill their first born before ever acknowledging anything positive achieved by the Bush administration.

Everybody knows that the "terrorist plot" is just more bullshit and lies from the Corporatist propoganda machine.

They were probably all Republican campaign workers.

Hey! It's Ali Haji Hanging, a poor man's "Baghdad Bob."

Compound explosives...NSA warantless wiretaps of calls from the U.S. to other conspirators in Pakistan...over two dozen arrests...10 planes targeted...and as Nigel Briddlemain of the BBC breathlessly pronounced in an almost play-by-play reportage, "All very exciting, very exciting indeed...it could just prove Bush and Blair right all along."

Hmmmmm, maybe Nigel's beginning to get it.

No chance for Ali Haji Hanging though. He says he don't fly.

JMK said:

" I think they realize that a thwarted terrorist attack is just too much good news for the current administration"

Now how sick is that -- that continued terrorism is good for the current administration? So what you're saying, then, JMK, is that this administration wants MORE terrorism, because it's GOOD for them.

So why should we believe that what they are doing is designed to STOP terrorism, when terrorism has been their best friend?

You want to know why we're skeptical -- especially when such threats ONLY seem to happen when Bush is in political trouble? That's why.

You can't have it both ways on this -- either he's fighting terrorism or it's good for him.

So which is it? And why would he want to stop something that benefits him so much?

I don't think Americans are going to buy it this time. Fool me once, etc.

Mal wrote:
"The Dems would kill their first born before ever acknowledging anything positive achieved by the Bush administration."

What do you them to do, to lie? They leave that for Bush and company. There is not one (1) good thing that Bush has done for the country. He has been disastrous in everything.

Jill wrote:

"I don't think Americans are going to buy it this time. Fool me once, etc.

Well said. In fact, one could argue that the republicans are incompetent in fighting terror, as they believe they do so in Iraq.

from the looks of things (Bailey and BW's response) mal might be right.

As usual Jill, you've got that completely WRONG, so once again, I'm glad I'm here.

Every time a terrorist event is thwarted it's to the greater glory of this administration and to a lesser, but very real degree to the "post-9/11 Guiliani time" that's become our new socio-political reality.

Sad to say, but there is ONLY one Party in the U.S. that's at all engaged in the WoT and that's the Republicans. They're in effect THE anti-terror Party by default.

Sure, there are a few good old boy Democrats, like Harold Ford Jr, but hardly enough and none in any of the leasership positions of that God forsaken Party.

Those NSA wiretaps came in handy with this event, tracking calls FROM the U.S. TO conspirators in Pakistan, leading to arrests in Pakistan and leading the British to move in on this group a little sooner than they'd planned.

Here's a primer for you;

TERRORISM or a "terrorist event," is one that is succesfully completed...those would be bad for the current administration - very embarassing.

A thwarted terrorist event, like this one, is VERY GOOD for this administration because it shows they're on top of things and are busy "Gettin' it done."

It also had the side-effect of validating the NSA warrantless wiretap program.

For those who are blithely unaware, there is NO expectation of privacy for anyone making ANY international call...except when using a "secure line," which are usually reserved exclusively for government use.

By thwarting this event, the Bush/Blair alliance (with an assist from Musharef's Pakistani Intel) won this particular battle against terrorism.

As an American, you should be proud and glad that an appeaser like Al Gore isn't in the WH at this point.

As an anti-Bush, anti-GOP Liberal, you should be very disappointed. You'd have needed an actual "terrorist event" (a successfully carried out terrorist event) to be able to accuse the current administration of not fighting terrorism correctly.

I sure do hope that primer is at least a little helpful.

"From the looks of things (Bailey and BW's responses) mal might be right." (Rachel)

An astute observation, Rachel!

You are correct.

Rachel, thank you. It's called knowing the players as I was one of them for many years.

JMK, I am glad you brought up the way the intelligence was collected on this case -via phone taps. The Times and its minions on the left are more concerned with the 'rights' of these cretins rather than the pre-emption of their horrific plans.

Jill, as one who sees nefarious plots in every news story (she still believes that the Bush administration killed Paul Wellstone and tried to kill Chelsea Clinton), your comments are rather disingenuous, bordering on irrelevant in your criticism of JMK's observations.

Until you can admit that you were wrong on those issues, who can take your comments seriously on any other matter.

That's one of the astounding things about all this Mal!

A program the Dems would've scuttled (the NSA warrantless wiretaps of targeted international calls) helped break this incident.

And now there are people who want you to believe that "the Dems are the better choice for fighting terrorism???"

Based on what?!

Their opposition to using the Military to fight the various rogue states that harbored and sponsored international terrorism?

Their opposition to the Patriot Act, which has yet to be successfully challenged over even a single example of abuse???

Their opposition to pattern analysis as "racial profiling" at airports?

Their opposition to the NSA warrantless wiretaps of targeted international calls.

OK, on their trust in the UN and their belief that "we can negotiate with terrorists, and trust the results."

Hmmmm, that really doesn't sound like much of an anti-terror plan does it?

Today was a huge victory for Bush and Blair and a severe slap in the face to all those numb-nuts who inanely claimed that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are greater enemies of America than Iraq, Syria, Iran and Afghanistan.

Um. Sorry to disrupt these hostilities, but I have a small question. From what's being slowly revealed, it seems that the British have had these particular people under surveillance for about a year. Did they tumble onto this through regular police work? Or was it made easier by some Patriot Act like loosening of civil liberties? Did Britain ever do that? I am genuinely curious and would really like to know, since it might be nice to replicate something like that here.

K, from what I've been able to understand so far, the U.S. initially picked up the chatter and then shared it with the British. I also seem to remember that the British did adopt some set of tougher new anti-terror laws in recent years, but I don't remember the details, nor do I know to what extent it did or didn't resemble the ill-named Patriot Act.

"...warrantless wiretaps of targeted international calls.

"OK, on their trust in the UN and their belief that 'we can negotiate with terrorists, and trust the results."

I HAVE googled and yahooed, trying to find which Democrat stated that we can negotiate with terrorists...please supply name or whether words were just being put in someone's mouth.

K, I believe the British have said they had this group under surveillance and possibly infiltrated for some time, but apparently they used NSA-type surveillance, data-mining, and SWIFT subpeonas, all toolls opposed by America's Liberals.

"In the initial stages, counter-terrorism officers watched from a distance. By sifting telephone records, e-mails and bank records, the MI5 officers built up what insiders call "concentric circles" of information, gradually connecting each suspect to others and building up a detailed picture of the conspiracy."


I believe one main difference is that England's threshold of "suspicion," rather than "probable cause" is a huge difference, Barry and K.

They also seem to have their own SWIFT program and data mining, like our NSA program (" By sifting telephone records, e-mails and bank records, the MI5 officers built up what insiders call "concentric circles" of information, gradually connecting each suspect to others...")

That "suspicion" standard makes it much easier to get warrants, for instance, there you can go to a magistrate and say, "X is a bad guy and Y is hanging out with him, we don't know what they're doing, or what we're looking for, but we want to ge access to Y's residence to see what we can find."

There are people here who support that standard limited to terror investigations. I'd suppport it, specifically for terror investigations (Britain's far from a "police state"), but you know where the opposition comes from.

Fred, anyone who opposes the Military solution to the WoT is favoring "verbal negotiation," actually some sort of capitulation, as Military force is also a "negotiating tool."

In fact, what we've said to the rouge states like Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, etc is something like, "We want you to cease and desist your harboring, supporting, sponsoring and in any way assisting the jihadists," and we want you to hand over any of them within your midsts, to which they, at least in the beginning collectively replied, "Uh, go f*ck yourself!"

Now through the use of superior fire power we've in effect said, "OK, we're just going to beat the living hell out of you for awhile and wreck your countries and see if we can't chnage those hearts and minds a little."

Afghanistan's Taliban is out of power, Saddam's Iraq has fallen and Libya has simply thrown in the towel.

In short, if nothing else, our Military actions have proven to be the most effective "negotiating tool" available...and we have many Democrats supporting moving from a "Military model in dealing with terrorism, to a Criminal Justice model."

Given the extreme-Left's victory in the Connecticut Primary the other day, I think it's safe to say that the Michael Moore, George Soros, MoveON, Kos policy of "There is no terrorist threat, thus no need for any WoT" is very close to becoming the Democratic Party's official policy.

The JMK lie machine is running full-tilt.

EXISTING, legal wiretapping, with OVERSIGHT, would have absolutely accomplished the same things without violating the Constitution. There is utterly no need for Bush's illegal secret spying. I doubt if even you are stupid enough to think absolute presidential power is a good thing, lord knows people like you coudn't stop blabbering about Clinton's BJ for years and years on end.

Bush and the Republicans deserve ZERO credit for foiling this plot, because they had nothing to do with it. ENGLAND, which has OVERSIGHT of spy programs, did all the work, mostly with the help of Pakistan and their own Muslim population.

Absolutely NOTHING Bush and the Republicans have done has helped do anything except INCREASE terrorism.

It is truly sickening to see excited dittoheads like you cheering the terrorists on. Republicans can't get enough fear and terror, because that is the only thing that can sometimes convince people that they should be happy in a police state with a dictator.

WRONG yet again, Ali Haji Hanging!

England does not require court orders for such wiretaps in terror investigations.

England CAN get warrants to search the premises of terror suspects based only on "suspicion," NOT "probable cause," as we require here.

Many law enforcement groups in America point to England (it's far from a "police state") and argue that "suspicion" should be adopted as the legal standard here.

I'd support that, at least for terror investigations - that's investigations into suspected international terrorist plots, the activities of ALF & ELF, etc). You can Constitutionally have a different standard for different crimes. In fact we already do. We allow police to use techniques when going after drug dealers and child molesters that they aren't able to use in the investigation of other crimes.

I'm going to repeat this FACT until you either fully understand it, or try and figure some way to refute it (using actual court transcripts would be the only way....good luck in finding some) - Four federal courts (including the FISA court) have long upheld the NSA's "right" to track/"wiretap" calls/emails FROM suspect foreign portals INTO the United States. The flip-side, tracking calls/emails originating IN the U.S. TO suspect foreign portals has not been legally challenged until recently.

Since there is no reasonable expectation of privacy while making an international call (as few foreign governments have ANY restrictions on monitoring the satcoms that transmit such calls), it's a vapid argument to attest, in effect, "I don't mind England, China and Togo listening in on my international calls, I just don't want my own government doing that."

8-11-06 was a great day!

That single thwarted event marginalized the Michael Moore-led sheeple (like yourself) who kept on insisting, in the face of a mountain of evidence to the contrary, that "There is no terrorist threat."

JMK, you AGAIN try to tie Bush's illegal secret spying program to legitimate programs with oversight.

Bush has granted himself the power to spy on anyone, anywhere, anytime, for any reason without any oversight. He has lied repeatedly about on whom he was actually spying (everyone, not just INCOMING blah blah blah) how, and for what reason.

You are simply lying about British law if you think there is no oversight. Tony Blair doesn't have a secret program like Chimpya.

Bush is a criminal. He is making Nixon look like a boy scout.

There is and never has been any "expectation of privacy" when making international calls - not receiving them FROM international destinations, not in making them TO international destinations.

There has been no charge that the Bush administration has ever spied on domestic-to-domestic calls/emails...UNLESS you're scooping that right here.

Please provide detailed proofs please.

The British not only can track domestic communications, there standard for obtaining physical search warrants is much lower than America's.

They merely have to articluate a "vague suspicion" of a link to terrorism, while America, still requires "probable cause" even in terror investigations.

Ray Kelly is right that the U.S. should adopt the "suspicion" standard for terror-related investigations.

Wow dumbass. I guess arrested three Arab guys on "Terrorism", setting their bail at $750,000 each, and keeping them jailed for three days without probable cause ISN'T USING THE SUSPICION STANDARD, eh?

"Um, well, they had a lot of cell phones and they took a picture of the Mackinac bridge! Terrorists!"

That's really probable cause?

"Er, they could have taken out the cell phone batteries and used them to make crystal meth!"

At $20 a phone? That is some expensive meth, isn't it?

See, the police already do whatever they like, a lower standard would have them cavity searching your little sister at every stop sign.

OK, so you don't know the difference between "suspicion" and "probable cause." That's OK, I'm pretty sure I can explain it.

As luck would have it, the example you used as "suspicion" is, in fact, (gulp!) "probable cause," "Um, well, they had a lot of cell phones (1,000) and they took picture(s) of the Mackinac bridge! Terrorists!"

While collecting hundreds of cell phones, in this case appx 1,000, IS, in and of itself, a "suspicious activity," that coupled with the pictures of the Mackinac Bridge, raises that mere suspicion to the level of "probable cause," as things like the Mackinac Bridge constitute "high value targets" for terrorists.

Suspicion would allow ANYONE buying more than a dozen cell phones retail (wholesale distribution would be another matter) to be questioned by police or the FBI. In fact, the "suspicion" standard would allow anyone who even unwittingly associates with a "person under suspicion" to be put under surveillance.

The standard of "suspicion" wouldn't make it any easier to CONVICT someone of a crime, merely to talk to them and find out what they're up to.

In England (unlike here), Billy ( a naive convert to Islam) might join a Mosque, that's unbeknownst to him, a place deemed "radicalized" by the local authorities.

In that Mosque he meets Abdul, who is already being surveilled by British police. Now the police, armed only with a vague "suspicion" - "We don't know what Billy is up to, but he's associating with other suspicious characters (Abdul) and we'd like a warrant to search his premises and bring Billy in for questioning.

The good news is that it's no easier to convict Billy of any crime. If they don't find anything incriminating in his home, and there's nothing criminal gleaned from his interview, he'll be free to go.

THAT'S "suspicion," and while it's certainly a lower standard than what we currently have here, it probably should be adopted if ONLY for terror investigations.

Now, there are some very good signs lately. Those eleven Egyptian exchange students who didn't show up at their Montana campus (two were still missing as of last night), will all be deported even though the government claims there is no link between any of those students and terrorism.

I know, I know, why do we even allow Arab/Muslim exchange students, etc. into the country post-9/11?

I don't know either.

But the deportation of these kids NOT based on any known "terror link," to me, is a positive step.

LOL, so basically you support a Nazi police state, or the old Communist "Where are your travel papers, comrade?" way of life, is that right?

Finally you admit to what you really are: a frightened little man who wants to feel the warm loving embrace of totalitarianism enveloping your life.

If I legally purchase 10,000 cell phones it's none of your or anybody else's fucking business.

Just because you can't wait to be cavity searched by every new young cop who putters by on his way to another donut doesn't mean the rest of the country is so weak and frightened that we want to live in a police state with you.

You must be 80 years old.

Wrong again, BH!

If you purchase 10,000 cell phones it certainly is MY business and it's the government's business as well.

We've all lived with such restrictions for a very long time.

The burgeoning illicit crystal meth industry is the reason you can't buy more than one package of various pseudoephedrine-based cold and allergy products at a time anymore.

Law enforcement officials want to reclassify pseudoephedrine-based products as Schedule 5 drugs. "Sherry Green, executive director of the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws, recently interviewed cops and prosecutors in the Midwest for a survey about state meth laws, and she didn't interview "one person who deals with this problem on a daily basis," not one cop or prosecutor who doesn't want to try reclassifying pseudoephedrine. Law enforcers want Schedule 5 badly even though they know it won't shut down the other source of meth, the West Coast superlabs."

NOT things pushed by the Bush administration...DUI & pseudoephedrine-based products crack downs began back in the late 1990s.

These things have NOT created a "police state" here and England with its standard of "suspicion" instead of "probable cause" is "far from a police state," as well.

Learn to use words the right way. It'll help you make a point, when you have one.

JMK, you are just a Nanny State Liberal with a coat of red paint. You are no better than the Thought Police liberals who tried to have Political Correctness legislated.

You aren't really American. Why don't you go live in Europe, where the government will take care of you and keep you safe. You can smile patiently while they let priests strip search your daughter behind closed doors. Hey! It's all to keep you safe!

Try dealing with the issues BH...it takes a little focus.

We ALL (I'm presuming you as well) SUPPORT the random DUI checkpoints, the legion of street cameras and even the restrictions on pseudoephedrine-based products.

NONE of those things violate ANY of our Civil Rights.

Surely law enforcement's ability to take dangerous drunks (all drunks are dangerous behind the wheel) of our roadways, cameras that ticket cars that run red lights that can also be used to identify people during the commission of a crime and the limits on multiple purchases of pseudoephedrine-based products, in order to make Crystal Meth manufacturing harder DON'T violate ANY of your "rights," do they?

Of course NOT!

Likewise laws that make it easier for law enforcement to HOLD and to investigate suspected terrorists DON'T violate any of our Constitutional Rights either.


You have to at least make an argument to make a point BH.

Hint: In your case that would require you explaining how any or all of the above things actually DO "violate your rights."

Good god, dumbass, read the Bill of Rights.

Random stops CLEARLY violate the very letter of the BILL OF RIGHTS, written by the founding fathers to stop EXACTLY such things as random searches.

You truly are ... well, just plain retarded.

RANDOM stops DO NOT violate the Consititution.

They've been challenged in no less than six federal cases and have stood up to scrutiny in every ONE!

We ALL (that's YOU & I included) have a duty to put public safety (ie. getting dangerous drunks off our roads) above personal inconvenience.

That's part of the price of living in a civilized society.

There are people who would thoughtlessly endanger others without a modicum of regret...and ALL these folks are enemies of society, no matter what their educational level or income level is.

Likewise Pedophile stings (the kind made famous and broadcast for our amusement by Dateline), where online undercovers (some police and some civilian groups like Perverted Justice) lure online predators to houses, ostensibly for sex with an under-aged child, only to have those pedarists arrested upon arrival.

THAT too is entirely Constitutional.

You'd better read the LAWS today, or you could find yourself in some serious trouble.

None of these things diminishes your freedoms or mine. They're meant to make it easier for law enforcement to get dangerous predators incarcerated as expediently as possible.

When I see a DUI stop...and I ran into one just a couple weeks ago, I say, "Thank God for MADD."

When I see those pedophile stings on Dateline, same thing - I'm thankful that those kiddie-rapers won't be preying on another child any time soon.

Those engaged in those online stings aren't engaged in "entrapment," (as misguided ACLU types claim), they're actually doing "God's work."

At any rate, I would be very interested in hearing your passionate defense of the rights of child molesters and drunk drivers. I'm sure it would be fascinating.

I'm waiting....

Drunk drivers aren't random, you boob. They are weaving all over the road. You don't need to cavity search grandma on her way home from church to stop drunk driving. Drunk driving is rather obvious.

If grandma is weaving all over the road, by all means investigate. That is sensible and constitutional.

Random illegal searches also wouldn't do much to stop child molesters, since they are such a tiny portion of the population. Instead, police officers pretend to be 11 year old girls online. Nobody makes the pedophiles offer to meet them at a motel for sex. It isn't a random search, and it isn't entrapment. I guess we agree on that one.

Entrapment would be soliting a pervert with pictures of naked 11 year old girls and then arresting him when he decides to buy one.

Entrapment is not going into a chat room and saying "Hi, I'm an 11 year old girl who is very naive and foolhardy."

Now if a police officer typed, "Hi, I'm an 11 year old girl looking to have sex with an old man" well, that might be closer to entrapment.

Random stops are a waste of time and a violation of the constitution, no matter what courts say about them. If you want to catch drunks, pull them over after they leave the bar. That's reasonable. But why harass everyone?

I don't know why I'm so intnet on saving you from yourself, but I'm simply NOT going to let you ignore the facts.

Random stops - random DUI stops, random stop & frisks for illegal guns, etc have all been challenged in court...NUMEROUS TIMES.

They've stood up to every challenge because they are indeed Constitutional.

"Now if a police officer typed, "Hi, I'm an 11 year old girl looking to have sex with an old man" well, that might be closer to entrapment."

I believe that both police and groups like Perverted Justice simply troll such chat rooms acting as kids, writing as kids write and bagging who ever makes a move on the decoy.

Again courts have not only upheld this practice (as NOT entrapment), but have held that sending pornographic images to a 40 year old decoy, IS as much a felony as sending them to that 11 year old, as that was clearly the intention of the pedarist.

Random stops, DUI checkpoints, street and in-store cameras, online pedophile stings and limits on things like pseudoephedrine-based cold and allergy products is the reality we now live with.

ALL those things have been upheld by our courts, with little, if any chance of ever going back.

Maybe Kos didn't post anything on the thwarted terror attack because they figured that like the shoe bomber, the Sears Tower bombers, Hamdan, etc, etc, it would turn out to be a lot of hype over nothing. (This isn't the final version of history, but the ball has been in the government's court for a while and they've come out with nothing damning.)

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