First we had Jose Padilla, a not too bright Chicago thug who had been reading about dirty bombs on the Internet. Then we had the Miami Seven, a group of bumbling dreamers who's only contacts were not with al Qaeda but with the FBI. Now when the London plot to blow up trans Atlantic flights was announced I thought at first it might be legitimate but it didn't take long to realize it was just more hype and even Andrew Sullivan saw it as more Chicken Little Politics. Well Larry Johnson gives us a rundown on why this latest alleged plot doesn't pass the smell test. We were initially told that the plot was imminent but the facts would indicate that was not the case.
First, no evidence has emerged that the plotters had in hand a functioning prototype of the device they wanted to take on board a plane.Is the hype still working? It would appear that George W. Bush received no bounce from the latest alleged threat.
Second, no evidence has emerged that the group had purchased tickets or even had passports that would allow them to board a plane to the United States. How exactly were they supposed to bomb planes that they could not even board.
Third, British police are still scrambling to come up with evidence to keep these guys in jail. If the plot was well advanced that would not be a problem. If they had tickets, passports, and explosives in hand that would be, shall we say it. . . A SLAM DUNK!
Fourth, there is the curious response of the Bush Administration to this news. Instead of coming to the White House Briefing Room to announce new initiatives to develop technology to detect liquid explosives at passenger screening checkpoints or to close loopholes posed by unscreened cargo, the Bush White House attacked Democrats for making America vulnerable to terrorists. Last I checked, Howard Dean was not in London trying to put a bomb on an airplane. And Dick Cheney is still on the campaign trail playing the fear card.