Everyone’s all psyched over the revelation from Tom Ridge, Bush’s first homeland security chief, that he was asked to raise the terror alert level in 2004 to help Bush win re-election.
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Or, for that matter, slap some folks into reality!
Seven years ago, I was telling everyone, “There is a PATTERN to these terror alerts.”
More than two years ago on my archived blog, “I See My Dreams,” I gave my readers an opportunity to examine fully what I considered PROOF of this pattern.
I honestly don’t think anyone paid attention. They saw the length of the post and took off.
I’m sorry, I don’t undertand; don’t people read any more? I heard Tom Brokaw say if something is more than two paragraphs long on the Internet, no one will read it.
Well, stay stupid or get smart!
Maybe, now you’d like to take the advice of the 2007 post’s title, “Read or ignore, it’s your country!” - and spend a half hour getting to know what the hell is going on in it.
Maybe the next time the proverbial sh*t hits the fan, you’ll see it coming!
Here is the post AGAIN in its entirety.
Read or ignore, it's your country!
(READ TIME: 30 MINUTES)
“If this week‘s alleged JFK terror plot teaches us anything, it is that fear, like fire, can spread only when it is given plenty of air.” – Keith Olbermann, MSNBC
Some five years ago, I posted a message on a grassroots forum that went something like this: “Has anyone noticed a PATTERN of bad news for the Bush administration followed by terror alerts and arrests?”
Not long after that I began to see mention of such a pattern on various trusted Web sites.
So, are these terror alerts and arrests real or red herrings? Are they believable or bogus?
If, as the pattern suggests, they are products of some creative propaganda genius, they would make even Joseph Goebbels proud.
Or, are they just products of paranoia generated by distrust of a president and an administration who lied to take us to war in Iraq? For lie they did, time and again.
Keith Olbermann, “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” MSNBC, has been tracking this PATTERN, and on Monday night he updated his list titled “THE NEXUS OF POLITICS AND TERROR.”
Olbermann’s list is comprised of 13 separate incidents linking such terror news to other events. I believe there might be more.
But, I cannot, in any way, improve upon Mr. Olbermann’s work, and so I post it here for your enlightenment.
This post is long, and I plan to leave it here at the top of my blog for a couple of weeks. It’s that important. You can copy and paste it to a Microsoft Word document on your computer to read at your leisure and to keep for future reference.
You can read it or ignore it. It’s your country, your liberties and your children's future!
THE NEXUS OF POLITICS AND TERROR
KEITH OLBERMANN: The abstract hypothetical terror plot at JFK. It sounds ominous, until you ask the experts. Blow up part of a jet fuel pipeline, and you still stand zero chance of blowing up the airport.
VIDEO: UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The devastation that would be caused had this plot succeeded is just unthinkable.
OLBERMANN: Yes, well, so would me blowing up the moon with Mentos and a liter of Coca-Cola.
We will truth-squad the plot and update “The Nexus of Politics and Terror” - the now 13 times officials of this country have revealed so-called terror plots at times that were just coincidentally to their political benefit, no matter how preposterous the actual schemes might have been, including a plot against Fort Dix, where pizza deliverymen were supposed to kill at will at an Army base full of soldiers with guns, all summed up neatly by a Republican state party chairman, who has just said, quote, “All we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on 9/11, and the naysayers will come around very quickly for President Bush.”
TERROIST PLOT TO BLOW UP JFK AIRPORT
Law enforcement calls it, quote, “one of the most chilling plots imaginable.” But, even if the suspects had the support, the money and the wherewithal they needed, is it even possible to ignite JFK Airport by igniting the jet fuel pipeline that leads to it?
And, the president has renewed his attempts to link our security here with the war in Iraq. Are the arrests in this case, and the equally impractical Fort Dix plan, politically timed, or just politically coincidental? We will revisit the nexus of politics and terror.
OLBERMANN: If this week‘s alleged JFK terror plot teaches us anything, it is that fear, like fire, can spread only when it is given plenty of air.
In our fourth story tonight, the fear got plenty of that, even as it turned out that attacking JFK would not have ignited the fuel pipeline system, nor vice-versa, if only due to the lack of air.
In addition to the laws of physics, the pipeline that stretches 40 miles from New Jersey to JFK has the occasional disconnect valve or two. The alleged terrorists apparently hoped to take out JFK, the pipeline and thousands of people who live above the pipeline. It is not their job to know better.
But, when a U.S. attorney said that the results of a successful attack would have been unthinkable, in fact, she and other U.S. officials should have known that thinkable was about all those results were. They were not that doable. Federal officials confirm the alleged terrorists had no experience, no backing, no money, no explosives and no inside information, unless you count Google Earth.
Plus, of course, whatever the accused ringleader, seen here in surveillance tape just prior to his capture, remembers from his job as a cargo handler 12 years ago.
NO BLACK BELTS ALL AROUND
Let‘s turn to a professional in this field, Michael Boyd, president of the Boyd Group aviation consulting firm.
Mike, thanks again for your time tonight.
MICHAEL BOYD, AVIATION SECURITY CONSULTANT: Good evening.
OLBERMANN: Before we get to the dangers not being talked about today, explain why the prospect of terrorists putting a match to a fuel pipeline at JFK does not necessarily produce the apocalyptic scenario that the U.S. officials describe, both in terms of the pipeline and jet fuel, in specifics.
BOYD: Well, jet fuel is not as volatile as gasoline. (BJ note: this reduction of volatility was mandated by the FAA and the NTSB following airline crashes and 9/11.) Unless you have a lot of air and it‘s atomized, it‘s not going to burn real good. As a matter of fact, it takes a minute or two to get it burning if you put a blowtorch to a pool of it. You know, that‘s why the FAA said you got to be off an airplane in 90 seconds after an accident, because they figure that‘s how long it takes the fuel to get burning.
So, this argument that if you light it somewhere on the length of the pipeline, it‘s going to blow up all of Rego Park, that‘s just nuts.
OLBERMANN: So, what are the real dangers to the U.S. aviation systems, when we‘re talking about fuel supply, fuel pipelines, terrorist attacks on fuel pipelines?
BOYD: Well, you know, what these people we saw at that press conference yesterday don‘t know, and don‘t pay any attention to, but a pipeline is vulnerable. But, it‘s vulnerable to hurting our economy. If you could knock out the fuel supply of five or six airports, you shut down the air transportation system in a couple of days. And, what would that do to our economy?
They didn‘t even focus on that. They focused as if, somehow or other, this would be one giant incendiary event. And, what that says is, very clearly, these are not real security people. I mean, the terrorists they caught, supposedly, were not black belts in terrorism. And, these guys aren‘t black belts in counterterrorism, either.
OLBERMANN: So, all right, let‘s say, if this had somehow come to pass, if what they designed to do actually came to pass, what would the result have been? Would there have been an interruption to the flow of fuel to JFK? Or, would there have been something — what kind of cataclysm would we have had?
BOYD: Well, it depends on where they hit. If they hit the whole fuel farm or one of the major fuel farms that feed JFK, yes, you could have had a major shutdown at John F. Kennedy International. That‘s bad. But, you know, give New Yorkers a real flash here: New York is not the only place in the world. It would have hurt the economy, but it — and it certainly could have shut the airport down. If that happened to a lot of places, it could shut our economy down.
The unfortunate part is: these people at Homeland Security don‘t realize that, and that‘s why we‘re vulnerable, even to these second-rate kind of people like they caught yesterday.
OLBERMANN: So, if the danger is to fuel delivery and economy rather than conflagration, but people are talking about conflagration and terror and mass death, what does it tell you that the prosecutors knew about this since last year, and still characterized the results the way they did?
BOYD: Well, they‘ve done this. They said they started on this over -
about a year and a half ago. And, as of yesterday, that attorney still didn‘t know that what these guys were planning to do would not do what they thought it would do. That says to me is, this was more of a photo op than really anything that really focuses on protecting our airports.
OLBERMANN: You‘ve been on this since we talked to you first about this in 2003, that we seem to be devoting the right amount of attention to aviation safety, but we have always — we‘re always picking the wrong topics to be concerned about?
BOYD: Well, the problem is, our security — Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration - is not run by security professionals. It‘s run by political appointees. And, political appointees look to cover themselves and to look good rather than to do the job. And, that‘s why we‘re no safer than we were on 9/11, because we have the same problems we‘ve always had.
OLBERMANN: The aviation expert Michael Boyd, cutting through as always. Great thanks for joining us again, sir.
BOYD: Thank you, sir.
OLBERMANN: Details of another plot, more pipe dream than pipeline, emerging just as the White House redoubles efforts to equate the war in Iraq with our security at home.
We will update our look at the history of these kinds of dubious coincidences in a revised edition of the nexus of politics and terror.
The nexus of politics and terror. Why was the JFK airport plot revealed by a U.S. attorney in the middle of a U.S. attorney scandal and by the father of a Fox News reporter? (BJ note: According to an MSNBC reporter at the press conference, the conference was not broadcast live, because it was help on one of the top floors of the building and was not accessible to camera equipment.) And, why, on this Saturday, the coincidences have begun again. We will review that.
THE NEXUS OF POLITICS AND TERROR
OLBERMANN: Since last August, there had been a period of calm. The screaming hair-on-fire pronouncements about terror plots that may have had real plotters, but no real conceivable chance of actually happening had ceased. That that period spanned the time between the 2006 midterm elections and the week we reached exactly 18 months until the 2008 presidential election - just a coincidence?
“ALWAYS FEAR FEAR ITSELF”
Our third story on the COUNTDOWN, from the mind-bending idea that four guys dressed as pizza delivery men were going to outgun all the soldiers at Fort Dix to the not-too-thought-out plan to blow up JFK airport by lighting a match 40 miles away, here we go again. Time for an update of our segment, “The Nexus of Politics and Terror.” The instance is now 13 in number when those two worlds have overlapped, and we are reminded by our government, with or without justification, that we should always fear fear itself.
We offer two prefaces tonight: one, the words of Dennis Milligan, the new state chairman of the Republican Party in Arkansas, who says about Iraq, to the newspaper The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, quote, “At the end of the day, I believe fully the president is doing the right thing. And, I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on September 11th, 2001, and the naysayers will come around very quickly to appreciate not only the commitment for President Bush, but the sacrifice that has been made by men and women to protect this country.”
“All we need is some attacks on American soil,” said the Republican Party chairman in Arkansas - Arkansas. in the United States. That Arkansas!
The other preamble, we remind you again that coincidences can happen, that the logical fallacy insists that just because event A occurs and then event B occurs, that does not automatically mean that event A caused event B. But, neither does it say the opposite.
THE 13 LINKS
The Nexus of Politics and Terror updated through today (4 June 2007). Please judge for yourself.
OLBERMANN: May 18, 2002; the first details of the president‘s daily briefing of August 6, 2001, are revealed, including its title, “Bin Laden Determined To Strike in U.S.” The same day, another memo is discovered revealing the FBI knew of men with links to al Qaeda training at an Arizona flight school. The memo was never acted upon.
Questions about 9/11 intelligence failures are swirling. May 20, 2002:
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The terror warnings from the highest level of the federal government tonight are …
OLBERMANN: Two days later, FBI Director Mueller declares that another terrorist attack is “inevitable.”
The next day, the Department of Homeland Security issues warnings of attacks against railroads nationwide, and against New York City landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty.
Thursday, June 6, 2002:
COLEEN ROWLEY: I never really anticipated this kind of impact.
OLBERMANN: Coleen Rowley, the FBI agent who tried to alert her superiors to the specialized flight training taken by Zacarias Moussaoui, whose information suggests the government missed the chance to break up the 9/11 plot, testifies before Congress. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Graham says Rowley‘s testimony has inspired similar pre-9/11 whistleblowers.
Monday June 10, 2002, four days later:
JOHN ASHCROFT, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: We have disrupted an unfolding terrorist plot.
OLBERMANN: Speaking from Russia, Attorney General John Ashcroft reveals that an American name Jose Padilla is under arrest, accused of plotting a radiation bomb attack in this country. In fact, Padilla had by this time already been detained for more than one month.
February 5, 2003; Secretary of State Powell tells the United Nations Security Council of Iraq‘s concealment of weapons, including his 18 mobile biological weapons laboratories, justifying a U.N. or U.S. first strike. Many in the U.N. are doubtful. Months later, much of the information proves untrue.
February 7, 2003, two days later: as anti-war demonstrations continue to take place around the globe:
TOM RIDGE, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY DIRECTOR: Take some time to prepare for an emergency.
OLBERMANN: Homeland Security Secretary Ridge cites credible threats by al Qaeda and raises the terror alert level to orange. Three days after that, Fire Administrator David Paulison, who would become the acting head of FEMA after the Hurricane Katrina disaster, advises Americans to stock up on plastic sheeting and duct tape to protect themselves against radiological or biological attack.
July 23, 2003; the White House admits that the CIA, months before the president‘s State of the Union address, expressed strong doubts about the claim that Iraq had attempt to buy uranium from Niger. On the 24, the Congressional report on the 9/11 attacks is issued. It criticizes government at all levels. It reveals an FBI informant had been living with two of the future hijackers.
It concludes that Iraq had no link to al Qaeda. Twenty eight pages of the report are redacted. On the 26th, American troops are accused of beating Iraqi prisoners.
July 29, 2003, three days later, amid all of the negative headlines:
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Word of a possible new al Qaeda attack.
OLBERMANN: Homeland Security issues warnings of further terrorist attempts to use airplanes for suicide attacks.
December 17, 2003; 9/11 Commission co-chair Thomas Kean says the attacks were preventable. The next day, a federal appeals court says the government cannot detain suspected radiation bomber Jose Padilla indefinitely without charges, and the chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq, Dr. David Kay, who has previously announced he has found no weapons of mass destruction there, announces he will resign his post.
December 21, 2003, four days later, the Sunday before Christmas:
RIDGE: Today the United States government raised the national threat level.
OLBERMANN: Homeland Security again raises the threat level to orange, claiming credible intelligence of further plots to crash airliners into U.S. cities. Subsequently, six international flights into this country are canceled after some passenger names purportedly produced matches on government no-fly lists. The French later identified those matched names. One belongs to an insurance salesman from Wales, another to an elderly Chinese woman, a third to a five-year-old boy.
March 30, 2004; the new chief weapons inspector in Iraq, Charles Duelfer, tells Congress we still have not found any WMD in that country. And, after weeks of having refused to appear before the 9/11 Commission, Condoleezza Rice relents and agrees to testify.
On the 31st, four Blackwater USA contractors working in Iraq are murdered - their mutilated bodies dragged through the streets and left on public display in Fallujah. The role of civilian contractors in Iraq is now widely questioned.
April 2, 2004:
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: The FBI has issued a new warning tonight.
OLBERMANN: Homeland Security issues a bulletin warning that terrorists may try to blow up buses and trains using fertilizer and fuel bombs like the one detonated in Oklahoma City, bombs stuffed into satchels or duffel bags.
May 16, 2004; Secretary of State Powell appears on “Meet the Press.” Moderator Tim Russert closes by asking him about the enormous personal credibility Powell had placed before the U.N. in laying out a case against Saddam Hussein. An aide to Powell interrupts the question, saying the interview is over.
TIM RUSSERT, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: I think that was one of your staff, Mr. secretary. I don‘t think that‘s appropriate.
COLIN POWELL, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Emily, get out of the way.
OLBERMANN: Powell finishes his answer, admitting that much of the information he had been given about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was …
POWELL: Inaccurate and wrong, and, in some cases, deliberately misleading.
OLBERMANN: On the 21st, new photos showing mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison are released.
On the 24th, Associated Press video from Iraq confirms U.S. forces mistakenly bombed a wedding party, killing more than 40.
Wednesday, May 26, 2004, two days later:
ASHCROFT: Good afternoon.
OLBERMANN: Attorney General Ashcroft and FBI Director Mueller warned that intelligence from multiple sources ,,,
ASHCROFT: Indicates al Qaeda‘s specific intention to hit the United States hard.
OLBERMANN: And, that 90 percent of the arrangements for an attack on the United States were complete. The color-coded warning system is not raised. The Homeland Security secretary, Tom Ridge, does not attend the announcement.
July 6, 2004; Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry selects Senator John Edwards as his vice-presidential running mate, producing a small bump in the election opinion polls and producing a huge swing in media attention towards the Democratic campaign.
July 8, 2004, two days later:
RIDGE: Credible reporting now indicates al Qaeda is moving forward with its plan to carry out a large scale attack in the United States.
OLBERMANN: Homeland Security Secretary Ridge warns of information about al Qaeda attacks during the summer or autumn.
Four days after that, the head of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Deforest B. Soaries, Jr., confirms he has written to Ridge about the prospect of postponing the upcoming presidential election in the case, the event, it is interrupted by terrorist attacks.
July 29, 2004; at their party convention in Boston, the Democrats formally nominate John Kerry as their candidate for president. As in the wake of any convention, the Democrats now dominate the media attention over the subsequent weekend.
August 1, 2004, Monday morning, three days later:
RIDGE: It is as reliable a source — a group of sources - as we‘ve ever seen before.
OLBERMANN: The Department of Homeland Security raises the alert status for financial centers in New York, New Jersey and Washington to orange. The evidence supporting the warning - reconnaissance data left in a home in Iraq - later prove to be roughly four years old and largely out of date.
October 6, 2005, 10 a.m. ET: the president addresses the National Endowment for Democracy, once again, emphasizing the importance of the war on terror and insisting his government has broken up at least 10 terrorist plots since 9/11.
At 3:00 p.m. ET, five hour after the president‘s speech has begun, the Associate Press reports that Karl Rove will testify again to the CIA leak Grand Jury and that Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald has told Rove he cannot guarantee that he will not be indicted.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: We‘re awaiting a news conference at the bottom of the hour.
OLBERMANN: At 5:17 p.m. ET, seven hours after the president‘s speech has begun, a New York official disclosed a bomb threat to the city‘s subway system, based on information supplied by the federal government. The Homeland Security spokesman says the intelligence upon which the disclosure is based is of doubtful credibility.
And, later it proved that New York City had known of the threat for at least three days and had increased police presence in the subways long before making the announcement at that particular time. Local New York television station WNBC reports it had the story of the threats days in advance of the announcement, but was asked by high-ranking federal officials in New York and Washington to hold off on its story.
Less than four days after having revealed the threat, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York says, “Since the period of the threat now seems to be passing, I think over the immediate future, we‘ll slowly be winding down the enhanced security.”
While news organizations, ranging from the New York Post to NBC News, quote sources who say there was reason to believe the informant who triggered the warning simply made it up.
A senior U.S. counterterrorism official tells the New York Times, quote, “There was no there there.”
A sequence of events in August 2006, best understood now in chronological order:
As the month begins, the controversy over domestic surveillance without legal warrants in this country crests.
Then, on August 9, the day after the Connecticut Democratic Senatorial Primary, Vice President Cheney says the victory of challenger Ned Lamont over incumbent Joe Lieberman is a positive for the, quote, “al Qaeda types,” who he says, quote, “are clearly betting on the proposition that ultimately they break the will of the American people, in terms of our ability to stay in the fight.”
The next day, British authorities arrest 24 suspects in an alleged imminent plot to blow up U.S.-bound aircraft using liquid explosives smuggled on board in sports drink bottles. Domestic air travel is thrown into chaos as carry-on liquids are suddenly banned.
On August 14, British intelligence reveals it did not think the plot was imminent. Only the U.S. did. And, our authorities pressed to make the arrests. Eleven of the 24 suspect are later released. And, in the months to come, the carry-on liquids ban is repeatedly relaxed.
May 7, 2007, Greensburg, Kansas, leveled by a tornado, and the state’s governor notes, more in sorrow than in anger, that the redeployment of so much of the Kansas National Guard and its equipment to Iraq might now cripple the soldiers’ ability to respond if another disaster hits Kansas.
GOV. KATHLEEN SEBELIUS (D), KANSAS: What we‘re really missing is equipment. And, that is putting a strain on recoveries like this one.
OLBERMANN: The next day, the authorities announce arrests in a far-fetched plan to attack soldiers at Fort Dix in New Jersey. The so-called terrorists planned to gain access to the base by posing as pizza delivery men. It is not a suicide mission. They state clearly they intend to kill personnel and then retreat to safety, even though they were going to attack a closed compound, full of trained soldiers with weapons.
And, though the plan is branded sophisticated, its perpetrators are not sophisticated enough to have not handed over the videotape of themselves training with weapons to a Circuit City store in order to be transferred to DVD.
The Fort Dix plot not only erases from most news coverage the issue of disaster readiness in Kansas, but it also obscures the next day’s story that, in anticipation of his testimony to a House panel, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has submitted opening remarks that match, virtually word for word the remarks he had given the previous month to a Senate committee.
ALBERTO GONZALES, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Recognizing my limited involvement in the process, a mistake I freely acknowledge — a mistake that I freely acknowledge, I have soberly questioned my prior decisions.
OLBERMANN: And, June, 2007, the JFK plot to blow up the jet fuel pipeline feeding John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, thus causing the entire airport to be consumed in an horrific conflagration. One of the men arrested has, as past employee, access to the sprawling complex, but little knowledge of the reality of the pipeline system.
The manager of that system tells the “New York Times” that the pipeline is not some kind of fuse. Shut off valves throughout would have easily contain any damage, just as a leak in a tunnel in any city would not flood everything in that city below ground.
The so-called plot happens to be revealed the day before the second Democratic presidential debate.
And, as the scandal continues to unfold over the firings of U.S. attorneys, and their replacements by political hacks, the so-called plot is announced by the Bush-appointed U.S. attorney for Brooklyn, New York, and by the police chief of New York City, the father of a correspondent for Fox News Channel.
(BJ note: And, the continuing Iraq debacle and troop deaths. And, the president’s plummeting approval rating. And, the final word from Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and the CIA that Valerie Plame was, indeed, a “covert operative.” And, on Tuesday, one day after this report, the sentencing of former Cheney Chief of Staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby to 30 months in prison, and Bush’s “I call him Vladimir” saber rattling over Russia at the G-8 Summit.)
OLBERMANN: In all fairness, we could probably construct a similar timeline of terror events and their relationship to the haircuts of popular politicians. But, if merely a reasonable case can be made that any of these juxtapositions of events are more than just coincidences, if that case can be made on this, the very day that a military judge at Guantanamo Bay dismissed all terror charges that have kept Salim Hamdan jailed there for five years, it underscores the need for questions to be asked and asked continually in this country, questions about what is prudence and what is just fearmongering.
“COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN,” MSNBC, Monday, 4 June 2007, transcript: LINK
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
Almost six years after 9/11, are we any safer? “THE NEW AGE OF TERROR” by Evan Thomas, Newsweek, August 21-26, 2006, issue: LINK
“PLOT TO BLOW UP JFK AIRPORT!” That’s what America heard. What are the facts? “Experts cast doubt on credibility of JFK terror plot,” Agence France-Presse, 5 June 2007: LINK
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