Tuesday, July 17, 2007

About that NIE...

[Cross-posted at WTWC, and from there it was linked at the Salon Blog Report on 18 July 2007]

“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself” --FDR

That is a far cry from the current occupant, who might as well just come right out and say

“The only thing I have to offer you, is fear itself.”

Pardon me for getting more than just a little bit annoyed with the banging of the fear drum.

Reading a lede like this (NY Times)…

The United States will face “a persistent and evolving terrorist threat” over the next three years, as Al Qaeda continues to plot attacks comparable in scale to those of Sept. 11, 2001, the nation’s intelligence agencies said today.

or this (WaPo)...

The terrorist network Al-Qaida will likely leverage its contacts and capabilities in Iraq to mount an attack on U.S. soil, according to a new National Intelligence Estimate on threats to the United States.

…annoys the piss out of me.

Especially when the whole thing is a mere 800 words in length, and if you read it carefully, the conclusion is, this administration has done everything wrong and allowed the Al Qaeda terror network to regroup.

This is coming from the administration that rebuffed President Clinton’s warning that terrorism would be the main issue they faced. This is the president who, on 06 August 2001 dismissed the Presidential Daily Briefing with “bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” in bold across the top with a flippant “Okay, you’ve covered your ass now.” This is the administration that, when 15 Saudi suicide bombers hijacked some planes in a jihad that was ordered by a Saudi extremist…Attacked Iraq. A secular country that had no connection to the attacks, and had the added advantage of providing a check against Iran. (Stupid, stupid, stupid.)

Now, faced with the revolt of some Senators and Representatives of their own party who have hopes that their political careers will outlive this administration; they are trekking once more to the well of fear.

Look – it’s a dangerous world. Terrorism is real. People do die. I realize this in ways you probably don’t. I was a globe-trotting Brat in the 70’s. I was a military wife in the 80’s. Back then it was pretty damned dangerous just to pass through the airport in Rome. It was par for the course for the active duty spouse to take a different flight than his or her family when relocating to an overseas billet because the active duty spouse was required to fly in uniform, and service personnel were targeted by terrorist hijackers.

I “get it” in ways that most people can not possibly even begin to imagine.

I understand that you do not fight a war against an ideology, a tactic, a transitive adverb* for fucks sake, with a big shiny military. You investigate, you gather intelligence, and you operate in the shadows. You infiltrate, prosecute and incarcerate. You know…Police type work. Remember that concept? (Sure you do.) It's what we used to do, back when our counter-terrorism efforts were not prepackaged by Acme™.

I do not need lectures. I do not need color-coded alerts. I have been aware of the dangers that lurk out there for my entire life.

I know that there is a wolf in the woods.

So what are you? Are you a sheep? Or are you a Kangal?

(*h/t TOFUBO)

No comments: