"Conspiracy or cock up?" White House reaction to ersatz bomber

Michael Collins

The underpants bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is a curious
terrorist.  He became disillusioned with his privileged life as the son
of a bank chairman and member of the Nigerian elite, it would seem. 
Rather than pursuing his studies in London, he retreated to Yemen to
learn the ways of al Qaeda inspired terrorism.

Farouk was so indiscreet that his father reported him
to the U.S. Embassy as a potential terrorist in November.   A month
later, he managed to get on a jumbo jet headed for Detroit to complete
a terror mission.   Despite his training in engineering at the
prestigious London School of Economics, Farouk failed
in his mission.  He couldn't  mix his explosives to achieve the desired
effect.  He apparently forgot to detonate the explosive device in mid
flight, waiting until just before landing in Detroit to start his
task.  He retrieved and set off the chemicals to create the explosion
in full view of passengers.

What kind of terrorist is this?  He doesn't know when, how or where to conduct his criminal enterprise.

Is this the best al Qaeda can do?


Today, as many know or should know, is Veterans Day, or actually many who observe call it what it was intended to be called, Armistice Day.
On this day in a U.S. occupation of anothers country, that seems so long ago but isn't, and which I served '70-'71, the following happened:
November 11, 1972

Let Them Eat Sand

by Jeff Huber

I thought Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki showed state fair size baby makers when he told us to start packing our caissons and hit the dusty trail that leads out of Iraq. Then General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the closest thing Pakistan has to a head of state, did Maliki one better when he announced that "no external force" would be allowed to conduct operations inside his country.

But Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar took the blue ribbon when he told U.S. and NATO commanders that yeah, he'd negotiate; he'd negotiate how's about you accept safe passage the hell out of Afghanistan or I whip you like a Russian stepchild?

We can regard this kind of treatment from Iraq and the Bananastans in one of two ways: we can take umbrage and continue to dig ourselves China-ward, or we can think of it as a gift horse and not show bad form by dwelling on its third world dental work.

OK, I Got A Couple Of Important Thingies Here...........

First off it's October 6th, and most days bring with them a history of the past, much forgotten quickly and lessons not learned.

Here's just one for today which I'll call The bush Families & GOP's Favorite Terrorist Pal, and no it's not the one nobody thinks about anymore, especially the little bush:

Today in History: October 6, 1976

Church Shooting, Another Terrorists Attack!!!!!!!

Just like School Shootings and one can name a whole range of Tragic incidents that fall under the Exact Description we give of Terrorism, in the Theaters of Iraq and Afghanistan and around the World. Nobody has stopped Terrorists Attacks in this Country, this one for the Hate against what the shooter was led to believe about a Political Ideology he didn't understand, nor even his own!!

Chief: Church gunman says he acted out of 'hatred for the liberal movement'

McClatchy - "We got the wrong guys"

McClatchy has started a series today on our 'War on Terror'.

McClatchy tracked down 66 men released from Guantanamo in the most systematic survey to date of prisoners held there. Many had no connection to terrorism, but their experience turned them against America.

Starting Sunday 6-15-08 - Guantanamo - McClatchy

For more than six years, the United States has held hundreds of men at Guantanamo — "the worst of the worst," in the words of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. But the truth was different. McClatchy tracked down 66 men released from Guantanamo in the most systematic survey to date of prisoners held there. Many had no connection to terrorism, but their experience turned them against America.

So Wrong For So Long

There's a reason I use the breakin line to Greg Mitchells book So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits--and the President--Failed on Iraq.

Part of that reason is an article printed in the Asian Times, I just finished reading.

More bricks in the wall...

intriguing stuff --cho

Several apparently diverse elements from the news this morning all point to an agenda on the part of Bush Administration, but getting a clear picture of just what that overall agenda is, and what the goals might indicate, can be mind boggling.

Anyone want to see if there are some common threads here...?

  1. UBS to Write Down Another $19 Billion


    The planned capital increase would come on top of a $13 billion infusion UBS received from the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation and an unidentified Middle Eastern investor this year.

    UBS’s problems of the last year are a stunning reversal for an institution long known for its staid, conservative style. Beginning in 2005, UBS made a huge bet on mortgage securities, seeking the higher yields they offered and trusting that the AAA ratings they bore would protect the bank from outsize losses.

    Eventually, UBS’s mortgage portfolio topped $100 billion.

    “The losses at UBS are staggering,” Ms. Whitney of Oppenheimer said. “It’s hard to fathom another quarter of $18 billion or $19 billion write-downs, but this isn’t the end of their problems.”

    That bit about the unidentified Middle Eastern investor (emphasis mine) caught my eye.

GWOT Chronicles: Strategy Schmategy

"Isn't it odd that after a terrorist attack that relied on $2 box-cutters, we are redoubling our pursuit of fantastical weaponry?" — Robert Scheer

Someday we Americans will look back on our Global War on Terror and ask ourselves what the hell we thought we were doing. Here’s one of our latest shenanigans.

In case you hadn't noticed, we're using nuclear submarines to assassinate terrorists these days. That’s not the most efficient way to assassinate terrorists, but it’s the most expensive, so it has that going for it.

Even assassinating terrorists with B-2 stealth bombers wouldn’t be as expensive as doing it with nuclear submarines. B-2s cost a ridiculous amount of money, all right, but not as much as the subs. The subs carry a lot more people and take a lot longer to get where they’re going, so the people in them have to eat and sleep and so forth. The two pilots in a B-2 eat box lunches and can go to the bathroom without getting up from their seats. And then there are those expensive nuclear reactors, which nuclear submarines have and B-2s don’t.

And as ridiculous as the cost of an F-22 air-to-air stealth fighter is, it’s less ridiculous than the cost of a B-2 stealth bomber, and there are other drawbacks to using an F-22 to assassinate terrorists as well.