Friday, August 11, 2006


This latest plot by terrorists to blow up planes scares the hell out of me, but not for the obvious reasons.

Sure, the plot itself is scary: carry the seperate elements for explosives on board seperately, then mix them together when the time comes. It's ingenious, the type of thing Jack Bauer encounters every day on 24. In fact, it's so ingenious, you have to wonder why they haven't tried this sort of thing before.

I try not to go in for conspiracy theories. I don't think Bush and his loyal eunuch Tony Blair concocted this threat out of thin air. But I do wonder how far along this plot was, how imminent the threat. How often do workers in intelligence agencies uncover this sort of thing, how many plots have been foiled in the past, plots that weren't publicized because there was no political hay to be made at the moment?

The fact that Joe Lieberman immediately used this threat as an excuse to attack his opponent in the Connecticut senate race makes me wonder. Lieberman, who still calls himself a Democrat, has lately been receiving warm endorsements from the likes of Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. That's business as usual for the Republicans--Lieberman has been a useful idiot for the administration, and if he wins, they win.

Fair enough. But Lieberman's talking points on this issue come straight from the Karl Rove handbook. Almost as if they were written ahead of time, before details of the plot were fully known. As if someone was feeding him information. As if a real but minor threat was being exaggerated for political gain.

Ah, that's just crazy talk. There's no way any politician would ever exploit post-9/11 fears simply for their own purposes. They wouldn't dare. We live in a democracy. If elected officials did such things, the people would throw them right out.

Wouldn't they?