Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Terrorism that doesn't count

USA Today has a terrible article on the US government and its response to terror threats. The article, titled White House list of disrupted terror plots questioned, outlines USA Today's belief that unless a terrorist is actually caught in the act of terrorism, it really doesn't count. The paper believes that Bush's October 6 "claim" that 10 terror attacks were thwarted isn't really true, because the terrorists were only planning to kill dozens of civilians.

In at least six of the cases, U.S. or allied forces arrested alleged conspirators who divulged details of operations they had been planning. Those plots involved preliminary ideas about potential attacks, not terrorist operations that were about to be carried out.

Of course, these reports come from the usual and ever informative "anonymous sources." What disturbs me the most is the paper's willingness to put these ideas into a printed news article. These are hardly facts. In further insulting US intelligence sources, USA Today claims:

Tips can be unreliable, as authorities learned twice this month when information about possible attacks on New York City subways and a Baltimore highway tunnel proved unfounded.

Oh, is that a fact? The warnings were "unfounded"? Evidently if USA Today's anonymous sources don't report on secret intelligence work by the government it really didn't happen. Does anyone remember Bush's speech on September 20, 2001?

Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success.

Evidently USA Today has it's own understanding of reality - and it's false.

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