Friday, February 10, 2006

Protecting Us from Their Fantasies

[[F O L L O W - U P]] * Well, that didn’t take long. Just a day after George W. Bush delivered what his handlers claimed were significant new details about an alleged plot by Al Qaeda to hijack an airplane and fly it into downtown Los Angeles’ U.S. Bank Tower (formerly the Library Tower)--a plot he says his administration foiled in 2002--U.S. intelligence officials have come forward to dispute the seriousness of that terrorist scheme. As the Hartford Courant reports,
The intelligence officials, who declined to be identified because they did not want to criticize the White House publicly, said there is deep disagreement within the intelligence community over the seriousness of the scheme to attack the 73-story building and whether it was ever much more than talk.
Today’s Los Angeles Times goes further, quoting one official “familiar with the operational aspects of the war on terrorism” as saying of this supposed hijacking plot: “It didn’t go. It didn’t happen.” In other words, there was no actual terrorist operation that needed foiling, no matter what Bush might suggest more than three years later. That same official told the Times that “he believed the Library Tower plot was one of many Al Qaeda operations that had not gone much past the conceptual stage.”

And a bureaucrat quoted by The Washington Post suggests once more that the prez’s widely publicized announcement on Thursday wasn’t really made in the noble cause of national security, so much as it was about politics:
One intelligence official said nothing has changed to precipitate the release of more information on the case. The official attributed the move to the administration’s desire to justify its efforts in the face of criticism of the domestic surveillance program, which has no connection to the incident.
Gee, imagine that: Bush trying to mislead Americans. Who’d’a thunk it was possible?

READ MORE:The Shoe (Bomb) on the Other Foot,” by Jonathan Alter (Newsweek); “West’s Tallest Building Shrugs Off Threats,” by Bob Pool and David Pierson (Los Angeles Times); “Al Qaeda Has a Good Friend in the White House,” by Glenn Greenwald (Unclaimed Territory); “Terrorist Plot Foils L.A. Time, Pres. Bush’s Heroic Effort” (Think & Ask).

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