June 23rd, 2006

Bring on the Faux Midterm-Election Busts

by Philip Baruth

Screamer headline on CNN: “Arrests May Have Stopped Sears Tower Attack.”

VDB’s heart stops. The peanut butter bagel falls unnoticed from our fingers.

Then this chilling snippet below:

“FBI agents swooped down on six suspects, described by a law enforcement source as ‘possibly’ al Qaeda wannabes, who may have have been hatching a terror plot against the Sears Tower in Chicago and the Miami offices of the FBI.”

bush, in denialAnd the Attorney General will be holding a national press conference on the matter in a little over an hour.

Man, swooping Feds. And Alberto himself coming out to book ‘em.

But wait just a gosh-darned second.

There are enough qualifiers here to choke a good-sized mule: the arrests “may have stopped” an attack, by men “possibly” al Qaeda “wannabes,” who “may have been” (not actually conducting but) “hatching” a plot against both the Sears Tower and the FBI.

By VDB’s count, that’s 5. But add this from a graf buried down in the fine print:

“However, senior federal sources told CNN, ‘These people were not related to al Qaeda.’ When asked whether they were al Qaeda wannabes, he replied, ‘possibly.’”

Of course, we should have suspected it all along: the terrifying and brutally savage “wannabes.”

They look like you and me, they live in our neighborhoods, they may even attend your yoga classes — but deep inside, behind closed doors . . . they’re actually guys who sort of wish, in a way, that they were terrorists, but aren’t.

This is a very, very desperate administration, my friends. Just because Homeland Security phased out its much-mocked color-wheel doesn’t mean there aren’t plans in place to use government resources to drive voter insecurity over the next several months.

Mark VDB’s words: when these men are released sometime next year around this time — and the government has not a word to say about the collapse of the cases against them — it won’t be the tiny and pliable Alberto Gonzales who comes out to face the music.

Late Update, 12:57 pm:

Apparently a Miami Herald reporter (talking to the BBC) has already pretty much laughed off this report:

“We’ve seen previous cases where the Federal government has announced with great hoopla breaking terrorist cells. And when you start deconstructing a case, you see that there’s a lot of talk.”

And according to the Times, this morning’s press conference revealed this odd little fact: “Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said the men had posed no actual danger because their plot had been caught in ‘its earliest stages.’”

VDB sees it all much more clearly now.