Sunday, August 13, 2006

Never Mind The Coifed Man Behind The Curtain

BoingBoing this morning here is pointing to a piece at MSNBC that suggests that much of the terror and attendant inconvenience (as selfish and short-sighted as the word "inconvenience" sounds in this context) related to this past week's revelation of a nascent plot to explode as many as 10 commercial airliners en route from the UK to the U.S. was probably amplified by the Bush Administration. Here's a quote:

"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 nut of the article is that British agencies felt less urgency to arrest the alleged terrorists/suicide aspirants than their American counterparts and intended to surveil the suspects for an additional week (on top of the year they had already been monitoring some of the participants) before acting. The U.S. apparently pushed for arrests immediately. And we all know who got their way. What's that new Thom Yorke number: "I'm a dog, I'm a lap dog, I'm your lap dog..."

I am particularly annoyed by this occurrence because I have to at least partially agree with sentiments expressed this morning by commentator Nancy Giles of CBS Sunday Morning (and the voice behind some of your favorite pharmaceutical ads), whose overblown oration and facial close-ups so early on a Sunday regularly irritate me. Ms. Giles' comments, which I can't track down on the CBS web site, relate generally to a sinking feeling that the announcement of the arrests last week was in some part intended to divert the attention of everyday Americans away from something else.

On the upside, I love how BoingBoing refers to the suspects as "hair-gel terrorists." If I hadn't seen pictures of the suspects I'd probably picture them as a shiny-haired band of Pat Rileys and Ricky Ricardos. So I don't know, maybe the whole thing is a wash. Incidentally, the lead story at CBS Sunday Morning's web site right now: "The Carefree Lives Of Slackers."

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