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05 August 2013

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Jane

If I were AQ, I'd certainly have been tempted to try it.

WP

Have they not already pulled off an operation worthy of "Smiley's People" by merely inconveniencing a few electrons.

After all, whoever "they" are, they have shut down a large swath of U.S. assets and made the U.S. look weak even if it's all baloney. The interactions between Congress and the Executive have raised the cost of any failure to keep everybody 100% safe far beyond any reasonable risk analysis and have severely weakened the nation. All that is now necessary to disrupt U.S. foreign activities is just to spin some convincing "Chatter."

The whole nation is pathologically afraid of terrorism when the real risk is quite small. 91 times more people were injured by falling TV sets last year than by terrorists. Perhaps we should spend 91 trillion dollars to stop TVs from falling and suspend all of our constitutional rights in doing so. We could force people to cement all TVs to bedrock with reinforced concrete. That would save countless more lives than the war on terror.

--OR, is the threat just cooked up to make us all very afraid so the Authoritarian Statists can grab more money and power?

robt willmann

Last Friday, 2 August, the New York Times newspaper in its role as a long-time promoter of the terrorism propaganda device, did feel as if it had to include--

"Some analysts and Congressional officials suggested Friday that emphasizing a terrorist threat now was a good way to divert attention from the uproar over the N.S.A.'s data-collection programs, and that if it showed the intercepts had uncovered a possible plot, even better." (Last paragraph on the first page.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/03/world/middleeast/qaeda-messages-prompt-us-terror-warning.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0

ISL

So assuming no threat materializes (and everything points to an belief that all their electronic comms are monitored), the admin looks like chicken little. My suspicion is that to avoid that, and hubris, will lead to a false flag op. I imagine such a plan would quickly unravel given the general way things have been happening over the last few years (or loonger)...

William R. Cumming

The key to the story is that it was issued after Congress left town. What did they know and when did they know it?

seydlitz89

In my opinion, it's about distracting attention from the cascade of information coming out about NSA domestic surveillance. Use the old scare tactics to indicate to the rubes "how important these systems in fact are" . . . not really much thought behind it, more of a panicked reaction. Just another indication of how fragile the whole strategic narrative behind the war on terror in fact is . . .

Brien J Miller

I suspect that there is perceived need by our Orwellian Data Collectors to justify their vast and constitution defying efforts and defend against recent awakening moves to shut them down. I suspect that in their minds, just such a "coup" in data = threat detection would bolster their cause. I smell a electronic false flag operation in this one myself. In short, I agree. The BS flag is thrown.

John Minnerath

Sow fear and suspicion among the populace and they'll more readily accept intrusions into their civil rights in the name of protection.

jonst

I rank NSA distraction # one theory. Two, 24/7 news cycle hunger in Aug as Congress goes on recess and Pres goes on vacation. Three, general tendency to hysteria in US these days.

I would argue that outside of a carrier--and maybe not even then--there is no legitimate "strategically significant" target outside the borders of the US. We've been through all the rest, planes hijacked and blown up, embassies blown up, embassies taken over in the 60s 70s and 80s, basically without skipping a beat, after a week or so. There ARE no "strategic targets" IN Yemen. Nobody in America, but the Benghazi baiters, gives a rats ass about embassies or such the ME or most stuff in the ME.....other than the oil keep running and some crisis does not cost us money or blood there. However, there are those in the ME who WANT US TO CARE, A LOT, about what goes on there. For their own internal purposes.

Fred

I would like to know which of the people in Vermont who have had all their electronic communications monitored by the NSA are connected to these acts of terror; er - soon to be committed acts of terror. Why only yesterday I learned via Facebook that Burlington has a guy who delivers baguettes by bicycle. Surely that is not an ingenious matter of green marketing in a town known for eccentricities but a matter for the FBI. I can see the front of the NYT now: "Wonder bread Gate". Better check on those pesky anti-pipeline people out west, too. No telling when they might do something dangerous (to the incumbents in office) like vote.

NF

Assume for a moment that the threats are/were real...does it make sense to announce, via every Western news outlet, that these embassies are closing? How does that counter the threat? Won't AQ simply wait til the embassies reopen?

The beaver

TTG

I guess with the killing of OBL, the govt can't use the bogus video or recordings of "paid FBI informant Rita Katz" of SITE "scarry Muslims threats".
With the emergence of her outfit from an institute to an intelligence after May 2011 ( when the money dried out I would assume) she may be selling her "stories' again to whomever believes in her "prouesse" about AQ and in particular Yemen.
Remember her story about the threat of the kidnapping of the US Ambassador in yemen back in 2012.

Jay

NSA propaganda. I saw an interview with Saxby Chambliss and Lindsay Graham, two enthusiastic NSA/military-industrial promoters, giving tantalizing clues about "disturbing chatter" just like the kind "before 9/11" that justifies all sorts of "precautions."

You could just tell by what they were saying and how they were saying it that they were stoking another "orange threat level" fearbubble a la 2004.

The first rule of NSA club is you don't talk about NSA or its work product. The second rule of NSA club is . . . .

Unless you need to protect NSA club's funding and mandate. If congress limits NSA's scope, it doesn't need $Trillions to gather everything. If there were a serious and credible threat, Saxby Chambliss wouldn't be talking about it. He might not even be briefed on it. This is just TPTB blowing smoke up everyone's ass to protect NSA. You don't announce Japan's intention to bomb Pearl Harbor on December 1 on the front page. We cannot rely on anything officially released to the public about this program. It's just not credible, and never was.

twv

First, didn't the boy king tell us , over and over, that "Al Qaeda is on the run"?
Must have been a different Al Qaeda.
Second, close these building for a week.
What happens next week when they are re-opened?

Benghazi showed gross incompetence followed by pervasive dishonesty and blustering weakness.
This latest show of weakness (along with the leak of the sources and methods) is more of the same from a community organizer whose only skill is mirror-kissing.

People get the government they deserve.

FB Ali

Does the Yemeni AQ need al Zawahiri to tell them to attack US targets? If he did in fact make that "open" call, it was obviously to have some fun.

As happened with 9/11, AQ plots to get the US involved in senseless and self-defeating campaigns suit powerful interests in the US as they allow them to further their own agendas. It is the American people who lose both internationally and domestically.

steve g

twv

People get the government they deserve.

Absolutely. We got that gov in 2000
to 2008 in spades. From Burning Bush
to Boy King I cant see much of a dif-
ernce especially the competence factor.
BK is making a slow and half-hearted
attempt for that change we can believe in.
The lobbyists and coporatists, one in the
same?, have taken us over on a permanent
basis I am afraid. Can anything be done?

Babak Makkinejad

The biggest losers have been not the American people but Muslims; I think AQ-like extremists have hurt Muslims internationally and domestically.

dan bradburd

I see this as the administration's response to the beating they took over Benghazi. The politicization of that attack has created a situation where they have to (make a) show that they are tracking and responding to all threats. All risk becomes a political issue and so the response is based not on what will unfold on the ground there but in the media here.

turcopolier

All

The underlying phenomenon is undoubtedly the desire of the IC to push back against attempts to limit NSA surveillance programs. the method being to exaggerate the threat. there then followed the fuse lit by Susan Rice. pl

Jay

When is the FBI going to investigate the traitor(s) who leaked this sensitive national security information about sources and methods to NYT, WaPo, and McClatchy, the world wonders?

Oh, no investigation?

Hmmm.

mbrenner

There is now this embroidery. An unidentified senior intelligence official (likely John Brennan, narrator of the Shoot-out At the Abbottabad Corral tale) has told the NYT that Washington had evidence of AQAB's development of an "ingeniously" diabolical explosive device - a shirt soaked in some highly combustible material that, upon drying, becomes a bomb. The ignition? perhaps lemon juice, perhaps a splash of airline coffee, perhaps a match. In the light of past experience, the perp may abort the whole mission by having it ironed before setting out.

Quite an experience to have the great affairs of the nation in the hands of juju men.

The Twisted Genius

mbrenner,

This technology has been around since the 70s. Back then it was called the polyester leisure suit. I've heard they're often sighted in retirement communities in the Miami - Boca Raton region of Florida. Who said disco is dead?

The Twisted Genius

Jay,

I was thinking the same thing. Talk about spilling the details of an ongoing, above top secret, technical collection operation. Where's the outcry of the Snowden-Greenwald bashers?

JLCampos

The blood soaked tunic, Nesso's, that burns on contact has been around since Hercules and Deianira.

Babak Makkinejad

Isn't this the "cotton Gunpowder"?

I first read about it in "From Earth to Moon" by Jules Verne.

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