Monday, June 04, 2007

JFK Plot Just Another Episode of "Keystone Cops"?

The New York Times didn't think that the plot against John F. Kennedy Airport was important, apparently. Do you? I do. It doesn't matter if the latest attempt to attack America seemed to be just another episode of Keystone Cops.

The Times apparently put the story somewhere around page 30 in hard copy this morning, deeming it not very significant. Does it matter that the plotters were nowhere near being able to carry out their plot? Does it matter that they would very likely not have succeeded in causing nearly as much damage as they had hoped? Does it matter that there is no evidence that they were affiliated with al Qaeda?


What matters is that they are plotting against us. What matters is that they are trying to attack us.

Back in 2003, the average insurgent in Iraq couldn't shoot straight, let alone attack in any kind of formation. Back then, he couldn't camouflage his roadside bombs very well, either. Even if we didn't take the insurgency seriously in 2003 Iraq, we would be foolish not to take the budding insurgency in the United States in 2007 seriously.

They were Keystone Cops once, not being able to get hardly anything right. But they have learned. They have innovated. And they have put to use new technologies. They know how to disguised their explosive ordnance now. They know how to attack in formations. They are now very deadly.

So maybe, for now, we have Keystone Cops on American soil. But, unfortunately, it won't last. The worst thing we could do is say that because the Fort Dix Six and the JKF Four are Keystone Cops that we have nothing to worry about.

Of course we do. We must be vigilant.


Democracy Lover said...

There are many reasons why the NY Times chose to downplay this story. First of all, the plot was nothing more than an idea in the minds of a few men, none of whom appear to have connections to a major terrorist group. Second, the evidence presented was inconclusive and raises more questions than it answers.

Putting this story on page one would give it an importance that it does not have. More than anything, it shows that good police work and interagency cooperation can nip these kinds of plots in the bud without resort to the Patriot Act, Gitmo, or use of the military.

This proves our vigilance.

Frank Staheli said...

You make a good point about the Patriot Act. I think our use of Guantanamo and the military overseas has been a problem.

What I find interesting about the latest plots though, is that they are definitely Muslim extremist plots, but that the plotters don't hail from the traditional areas (the Middle East) that supposedly lash back because we are occupying their lands.

Dana said...

There is a tape of Osama bin Laden, in which he remarked that he was surprised that the World Trade Center towers fell; he simply expected the towers to be unusable everywhere above the impact zones.

Same thing here. We can have some idea that maybe the plot, if it had come off, wouldn't have been as bad as the terrorists would have liked, but you can't count on that.

Besides, if John Kerry had stolen the 2004 election, The New York Times would be praising this as a tremendous victory.

Danny said...

It is said that if you try something and it doesn't work the first time, but yet you try the same thing again, and expect different results-it is a sign of insanity. Another thing often said-Learn from not just your own mistakes, but from mistakes of others, because you don't live long enough to make all the mistakes yourself (cant remember who said it exactly). It is also said that history repeats itself.
Where in the heck am I going with these random phrases. Well, having dealt with insurgents/terrorists they are not insane, so I know by experience that they are not going to try the same thing expecting different results, they will get smarter, therefore learning from mistakes. In the future, by the time the terrorists learn from their comrades and their own mistakes the majority of America will be thinking of "Keystone Cops." Because that is what the terrorists acted like in the past, at least that is what they find in New York Times, and it won't be a big deal. Then comes the other phrase stated-history repeats itself. On the fortunate side of things we can somewhat control the later. But if we plan on doing that-then we need to recognize threats as a big deal. Not as "...nothing more than an idea in the minds of a few men, none of whom appear to have connections to a major terrorist group..." I love democracy too-enough to fight for it. And enough to see a threat made to it. Stay Alert. Stay Alive. Keep your neighbor alive.

rmwarnick said...

Whatever happened to "nothing to fear but fear itself"? On Monday, NY Mayor Mike Bloomberg got it right:

"There are lots of threats to you in the world. There's the threat of a heart attack for genetic reasons. You can't sit there and worry about everything. Get a life. You have a much greater danger of being hit by lightning than being struck by a terrorist."

At least there's one Republican who's not afraid of his own shadow.

Frank Staheli said...


Why did I think that you would respond as you did?

I suppose history may prove you right--I hope it does. But chances are that the plans will become more sophisticated and they will ultimately turn into attacks that become more sophisticated.

Danny said...


You're right, I missed one. But in this case it does not apply. As I said, we can do something about this. We can't do something about a genetic heart condition. So let's worry about things that we have control over-9/11 reoccurring happens to be one of them, if we can cooperate.

rmwarnick said...

Of course, I just gave you Mayor Bloomberg's response to the ridiculous assertion by U.S. Attorney Roslynn Mauskopf that this was "one of the most chilling plots imaginable," which might have caused "unthinkable" devastation.

Here's more from Arianna Huffington:

"These things always seem to follow a pattern: Start with a big media splash: 'We got the bad guys! We saved the country!' Then it slowly comes out that the terrorists might not have been so terrifying. Indeed, they are boobs... or they are low-level criminals with delusions of grandeur, goaded into grander fantasies and bigger targets by informants who are getting paid or getting their sentences reduced by the FBI if they deliver."

Frank Staheli said...

But you deflect the discussion away from the main point by implying that most republicans are afraid of their own shadow. There are plotters and plots going on all the time. It has probably turned out as much more innocuous than we had initially thought, but somehow I remember a couple of airplane flights in September 2001 (to which we under-reacted) that didn't.