So it is now being revealed — now, right before the surge in Iraq, right before the State of the Union address, right when Bush needs some serious fearmongering — that “insurgents reportedly tied to al Qaeda in Iraq” were planning to “orchestrate a new attack on American soil”. And apparently it was all quite 9/11-like. You know, with student visas and what not.

First, what does this even mean? Who are these so-called “insurgents reportedly tied to al Qaeda in Iraq”?

Second, how serious was it? How advanced was the plot?

Third, according to ABC News, “the plot was discovered six months ago”.

Six months ago. Now, former NSC counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke, whom I generally like, seems to buy it: “This appears to be the first hard evidence al Qaeda in Iraq was trying to attack us here at home.” But — and it’s a huge BUT: “The plan was uncovered in its early stages, and sources say there is no indication that the suspects made it into the United States. Officials also emphasize that there is no evidence of an imminent attack,” reports ABC.

Oh. Well then.

It seems we have nothing to fear but what we’re told to fear, over and over again and at the most convenient political times for the president. If this was known six months ago, why is it just coming out now? Top-notch reporting by ABC? Or a convenient leak?

With the Iraq War going so badly, do you think Bush might just reference this, or something like it, in today’s SOTU? Look out, another 9/11 is right around the corner? Something like that?

Or do you think this might have something to do not just with the escalation in Iraq but with Bush’s declining approval rating? It’s now down to 28 percent, according to CBS News.

And so it’s more of the same, the eternal return of the terrorist threat. That threat may be real, all-too-real, and there may very well be terrorists plotting another 9/11, or worse, but how is one to tell truth from truthiness, reality from rhetoric, with Bush, or his scripted messengers, crying wolf whenever a boost is needed? Fear is a powerful force in politics, and Bush has pushed all the right buttons. But no more. Who does not suspect that whatever passes through his lips is just more spin?

The desperation is palpable. Fearmongering may be all Bush has left.

MICHAEL STICKINGS, Assistant Editor
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Chuck Prez
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

Those who are willing to trade their freedoms for security deserve neither.

DBK
Guest
9 years 8 months ago
I read the ABC article. There is less to this “terrorist plot” than meets the eye. The article says that “insurgents considered” the plot. Nothing more. So they had a discussion and decided, what, they thought it was a bad idea? We don’t know and the folks that revealed the “plot” aren’t saying. How old were the papers and how old was the discussion? Not as recent as six months. That’s when the plot was uncovered. The best info we get on that is that it was “months after Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s No. 2, had requested that Zarqawi attempt… Read more »
steve sturm
Guest
9 years 8 months ago
while it would be wrong for Bush to hype attacks to try to puff up his ratings (or detract attention from his failures elsewhere) so too is it wrong for those of you who are on the other side to automatically scream that Bush is crying wolf. You are just as responsible for the poisonous environment in which both sides think so poorly of each other and people in the middle have no idea whom to trust. You have no evidence that bush is doing – or has done – what you claim he is doing, yet you are quick… Read more »
steve sturm
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

exploited the war? by doing what? do you have a single, just one, confirmed instance where Bush or anyone in his administration did something – leaked or released a report of some kind, raised the terror level, made some arrests, announced some anti-terror initiative, anything – for the purpose of boosting his ratings? or do you have nothing more than your dislike for bush and everything he does that just convinces you – deep down in your heart where you know you are right – that the guy is evil and that everything he does is wrong?

Chuck Prez
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

Michael,

It’s basically my stance on the whole war on terror. I’ll be damned if I trade any of my civil liberties to be “protected.”

Gray
Guest
9 years 8 months ago
“The plot was discovered six months ago, roughly the same time that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, was killed by coalition forces. Sources tell ABC News that the suspects involved in the effort to launch the U.S. attack were closely associated with Zarqawi.” So, this plot was started when Al Queda moved into Iraq after Saddam was toppled by the US. Before, of course, there was no Al Quaeda in Iraq because Saddam used all his dictatorial power to hunt down any independent group who could be threatening his regime. And this is gonna help… Read more »
Rudi
Guest
Rudi
9 years 8 months ago

Is Steve Strum on the WH payroll, W makes Clinton seem honest. Maybe these terrorists were plannibg to use those sophisticated IED that our intell says are coming over the Iraq border. Nevermind that no physical evidence was ever presented. Maybe al-Qaeda in Iraq will go to Miami to buy boots and other supplies.

Kim Ritter
Guest
Kim Ritter
9 years 8 months ago
We probably have no way of knowing whether this is a veritable threat or a PR stunt by the Bush administration to jimmy his abysmal poll numbers. The skepticism here is understandable, given the discrepancies between past hyped up threats and their response. In slanting the original intelligence, the president indicated his willingness to risk his credibility and that of the nation. By sending in too small a force and having no post-war plan, Bush signalled to Americans that Iraq wasn’t that big of a deal. By sticking with a failed policy and the purveyor of that policy for more… Read more »
Rudi
Guest
Rudi
9 years 8 months ago

SS The aluminum tube and unman drone with botox are stories as absurd as destroying NY bridges with gas cutting torches. How many Iraq troops are trained and now ready to stand up?

Chris
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

do you have a single, just one, confirmed instance where Bush or anyone in his administration did something – leaked or released a report of some kind, raised the terror level, made some arrests, announced some anti-terror initiative, anything – for the purpose of boosting his ratings?

Valerie Plame Wilson???

Jeff
Guest
Jeff
9 years 8 months ago

This is ridiculous.

ABC news caught wind of this from congressional testimony back in november AFTER THE ELECTIONS, and investigated it on their own. Even though supposedly the plot was first discovered by the administration six months ago.

If this was somehow some carefully orchestrated plot to spread fear for political purposes, wouldn’t they have done this before the election? Furthermore, what you’re saying is that the administration got some guy to testify back in november about this, hoping that some news organization will pick it up and report it just in time for the State of the Union.

Upinsmoke
Guest
Upinsmoke
9 years 8 months ago

Oh. Well then.

The plot was uncovered, stopped and prevented……and your reaction is OH WELL THEN?

Rudi
Guest
Rudi
9 years 8 months ago

Maybe Lowry at NRO was able to translate these important documents – LOL.

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