Every time I hear about a “foiled terror attack”, I think of the episode of The Simpsons that starts out with the bear on Evergreen Terrace. Y’know, the part where Lisa says, “by your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away”. And by Bush’s logic, we could claim that the war on terror is working, as well. I don’t see any tigers around, do you?
Today’s headline news is another Tale of Thwarted Terrorists, this one hitting – or missing – a little closer to home. It took me a minute to figure out which building was being targeted, but apparently, it’s the one with the “usbank” logo on it downtown. Bush called it, at first, the “Liberty Tower” (what?) and then the “Library Tower” (the library has a tower?) and then finally, the Times explained it:
[T]op Al Qaeda operative Khalid Sheik Mohammad, the 9/11 mastermind, already had “set in motion a plan to have terrorist operatives hijack an airplane using shoe bombs to breach the cockpit door and fly the plane into the tallest building on the West Coast.”
Actually, I’m still kind of confused, because I always thought the tallest building on the West Coast was the Columbia Center (aka the Bank of America tower) in my old stomping grounds of Seattle. But upon some research, I found out that, despite City of Seattle rhetoric, the Columbia Center is indeed shorter than the US Bank tower by 14 feet. Although, according to the 9/11 commission, the Seattle building was also scheduled for a terrorist attack on 9/11. Who knew that the terrorists knew where Seattle was? I mean, I’ve known Americans who didn’t know where Seattle was (Those Americans were in Texas. This shouldn’t surprise anyone.)
I tend to read almost everything that Bush says through a filter of 1984. But even assuming that there WAS a foiled plot on Los Angeles, shouldn’t we have been told about it at the time?
When I was painting signs for a CODEPINK rally last summer on the Fourth of July weekend, an older gentleman in a patriotic baseball cap came up to me, and we started chatting. He told me that there were things happening that I didn’t even know about. Like how the terrorists had been caught with a dirty bomb in downtown L.A. About how the government was protecting me from things I didn’t want to know about.
But what if I do want to know? I’m aware that living in a city like L.A., or NYC, or Chicago, or Houston, or any of the nation’s ten biggest megalopolises, puts me at risk. I assume that terrorism is so firmly implanted in the nation’s consciousness that we’re all aware of that – and we continue to live here rather than fleeing to strategically unimportant hamlets, far from densely populated potential targets. So why is it taking four years for the government to tell us about this supposed plot?
Either way, to me, it’s fishy. If the plot ever really existed, and isn’t another Orwellian creation designed to frighten Americans out of their suspicion of the Bush regime, then why wait until such a politically strategic moment to bring it to light? And if the plot never went beyond the planning stages in 2001 (as the Times article suggests), then why bring it up at all at this moment?
I, personally, believe that this is a case of Bush coming up with specious reasoning. And even though he’s stopped mentioning Iraq in the same sentence as the terrorists, I think it’s still a case of, “this Iraq keeps tigers away.” It seems to me like it’s Bush saying, “don’t worry, Los Angeles – even though you voted for the other guy, I still kept you safe. Don’t you feel bad for doubting me now? Don’t you want to support me?”
Maybe I’m just grumpy because I had one jack-and-Coke too many last night down at Brennan’s after my kickball game. Or maybe it’s just because I am so goddamn sick of the fearmongering that Bush has brought into America. I really think that today’s story is just going to bring more useless fear to residents of Los Angeles. That is, to those who still believe that the headline today was anything more than just another press release from Minitrue.
Note: I fully expect to catch hell from the pro-Bush supporters, if any exist, for this. But this is what I believe, and why I ride my bike rather than trade blood for oil, and why I protest with CodePINK. Go ahead, tell me why I’m wrong – I’ll listen. I promise.