Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The “very scary” Iranian Terror plot

From Glenn Greenwald's blog:

To begin with, this episode continues the FBI’s record-setting undefeated streak of heroically saving us from the plots they enable. From all appearances, this is, at best, yet another spectacular “plot” hatched by some hapless loser with delusions of grandeur but without any means to put it into action except with the able assistance of the FBI, which yet again provided it through its own (paid, criminal) sources posing as Terrorist enablers. The Terrorist Mastermind at the center of the plot is a failed used car salesman in Texas with a history of pedestrian money problems. Dive under your bed. “For the entire operation, the government’s confidential sources were monitored and guided by federal law enforcement agents,” explained U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, and “no explosives were actually ever placed anywhere and no one was actually ever in any danger.’”

But no matter. The U.S. Government and its mindless followers in the pundit and think-tank “expert” class have seized on this ludicrous plot with astonishing speed to all but turn it into a hysterical declaration of war against Evil, Hitlerian Iran. “The US attorney-general Eric Holder said Iran would be ‘held to account’ over what he described as a flagrant abuse of international law,” and “the US says military action remains on the table,” though “it is at present seeking instead to work through diplomatic and financial means to further isolate Iran.” Hillary Clinton thundered that this “crosses a line that Iran needs to be held to account for.” The CIA’s spokesman at The Washington Post, David Ignatius, quoted an anonymous White House official as saying the plot “appeared to have been authorized by senior levels of the Quds Force.”


The ironies here are so self-evident it’s hard to work up the energy to point them out. Outside of Pentagon reporters, Washington Post Editorial Page Editors, and Brookings “scholars,” is there a person on the planet anywhere who can listen with a straight face as drone-addicted U.S. Government officials righteously condemn the evil, illegal act of entering another country to commit an assassination? Does anyone, for instance, have any interest in finding out who is responsible for the spate of serial murders aimed at Iran’s nuclear scientists? Wouldn’t people professing to be so outraged by the idea of entering another country to engage in assassination be eager to get to the bottom of that?

Then there’s the War on Terror irony: our Hated Enemy here (Iran) is a country which had absolutely nothing to do with the 9/11 attack. Meanwhile, our close ally, the victim on whose behalf we are so outraged (Saudi Arabia), is not only one of the most tyrannical and aggressive regimes on the planet, but produced 15 of the 19 hijackers and had extensive and still-unknown involvement in that attack. If the U.S. is so deeply offended by the involvement of a foreign government in an attack on U.S. soil, it would be looking first to its close friend Saudi Arabia, where “elements of the government” were likely involved in an actual plot rather than a joke of a plot.

More here.


When this broke on Friday, I was listening to NPR while I was getting ready for work, and it immediately failed the bullshit test. Greenwald's post goes on to observe that, short of the rantings of the loser they arrested, the feds have offered not a shred of evidence that Iran knew anything at all about this "plot," which was apparently more FBI than anything else.

What I want to know after all these years is what, if anything, is the Obama administration doing in the so-called War on Terror. I mean, I know we got bin Laden and all that, in Pakistan of all places, but the Iraq and Afghanistan wars never really counted: you don't fight terrorists with jets and tanks; you investigate and apprehend them like the criminals they are. And I know we just took out Awlaki, a US citizen who was denied his Constitutional right to due process, and who was also far less of a terrorist than he was a propagandist.

What the fuck are we doing? Really. We're spending hundreds of billions on this shit, and I'm not entirely certain of what the results are. The FBI has been arresting what seems an endless stream of these "lone wolf" types for years, and the links to al Qaeda, or whatever, never really pan out. Then there was the lone wolf they didn't get, that Fort Hood shooter, and even though he was reading radical jihadist literature, he wasn't part of the international terrorist conspiracy they've been indoctrinating us to fear since 9/11.

Maybe I'm just naive, but this kind of bullshit is more worthy of the Bush people than the Obama people. Sure, they've carried over support for the Draconian Patriot Act, support for winning the unwinnable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, probably support for the torture of POWs, support for military tribunals instead of actual courts, and on and on. But creating entrapment schemes so complex that these plots might as well have originated with the FBI? Would they do that, too? Yeah, I'm naive. The only thing that's changed is the sophistication. We don't have those goofy color-coded terror alerts anymore, nor the advisory statements telling frightened Americans to buy duct tape and plastic wrap to fend off sarin gas and whatnot, but we're still parading around buffoonish terrorist "suspects" for the news media as though they were the real thing.

And the Saudi connection continues to languish in obscurity.

In the end, like I and countless others have been asserting for years, the only real way to deal with radical Islamic terrorism is to address the very real political, social, and economic concerns that attract Muslims to the movement. This means dealing fairly with both sides on the Palestinian issue, not just enabling radical Israelis to do whatever they want. It means getting out of the business of supporting brutal, corrupt, and abusive tyrants in the Middle East because of the oil they control. It means getting our troops the fuck out of there and bringing them home where they belong. It also, of course, means hard-nosed police work, which includes tracking down leads like this fucktard they got Friday, and to keep on working once it becomes clear that they've been going down the wrong path.

But taking loser idiots on celebrated perp walks for the cameras is nothing but patronizing propaganda. I don't know about you, but I'm well past the point of being sick of this shit.