ROS sends us a link from the UK’s Telegraph entitled “Boston bombs: Obama lulled America into false confidence over terror threat”.
Mr Obama and his intelligence community know the threat from al-Qaeda affiliates, but have chosen to downplay it to the US public.
Even when that fight does directly touch on American lives, as it did last September when the US ambassador to Libya was murdered in Benghazi by an al-Qaeda linked group, the administration appears at pains to deny the connection.
Indeed, next week, America’s transportation authority is to relax rules on carrying knives on planes for the first time since the September 11 attacks.
But as many counter-terrorism experts have been saying – their voices often drowned out or ignored in favour of the pleasing simplicity of the Obama administration’s narrative – the threat from al-Qaeda is too amorphous and shifting to ever have been discounted.
I may well get criticized for it, but, I’m not ready to succumb to the easy excuse and blame Obama. On September 13th, 2001, two days after the attack on the Pentagon, I was a few miles away in Lafayette Park, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House. I just wanted to see how the city had changed in the opening days of the terror war. In the center of the park was one of those huge suitcases on wheels, left unattended. I approached a Park Policeman and told him about the bag. I didn’t expect bomb squads to swoop in with their robots and rope off the park while they investigated the luggage, but I also didn’t expect the reaction I got;
“Oh, we know whose bag that is”, was the answer. Having spent the eighties in Germany, I knew how people were supposed to react to suspicious stuff. I also know that police shouldn’t let the homeless leave their stuff unattended – they are the most susceptible to bribes to plant explosives. My point is this; no one ever really took terrorism seriously.
Yeah, there have been instances when airports and subway stations were closed due to suspicious packages, but I get the feeling that those instances were just to make it appear as if someone was doing their jobs because the fact that travelers were inconvenienced was Big News on Slow News Days. No one really took these things seriously, otherwise, someone would have noticed the Tsarnaev brothers drop off their deadly loads and confronted them or at least notified some the authorities that seemed to be nearby. But no one did that.
I doubt that they would have got away with it if I had seen it, because, like I said, I still have those instincts from being in Germany during the height of terrorism there. But, maybe we all learned a tough lesson on April 15th, 2013.
By the way, after I briskly left Lafayette Park, my wife and I took our first and only White House tour since there was no line and President Bush told the Secret Service that he wasn’t going to shut down the tours. So that was my personal “finger” to the terrorists.
Category: Terror War