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Monday, September 11, 2006

"the voices of skeptics who believe that 9/11 was more a fluke than a harbinger are beginning to be heard"

That's from the New York Times Week in Review, and a position this blog has held for years. More from the article:
[F]ive years of evidence suggests that the terrorist threat within the United States is much more modest than was feared after 9/11, when it seemed quite possible that there were terrorist sleeper cells in American cities, armed with “weapons of mass destruction” and awaiting orders to attack. ...

“The idea that we are surrounded by terrorists who could strike anywhere, anytime, is a complete misconception,” said Karen J. Greenberg, director of the Center on Law and Security at New York University. ...As time has passed without a new attack, the voices of skeptics who believe that 9/11 was more a fluke than a harbinger are beginning to be heard.

“A perfectly plausible explanation is that there are no terrorists here,” said John Mueller, a political scientist at Ohio State University who advances the doubters’ case in an article in Foreign Affairs. “I don’t say there’s no threat, but the threat has been massively exaggerated.”
Over at TAPPED, Sam Rosenfeld comments on the same article:
The GOP, needless to say, has lacked much incentive over the last five years to dampen the sense of danger and crisis stemming from the terrorist threat. ...

For a while after 9-11 it was quite understandable to think that a genuinely new and pervasive threat was on the scene, and that further spectacular attacks were in store relatively soon. In the ensuing years, not only the fact that there hasn't been a repeat attack on American soil (excepting the unsolved anthrax attacks) but also the eventual publication of serious empirical research on the relevant issues ... have, I think, lent some ample support for the suspicion that the terrorist threat to America, while obviously real, is simply less extensive and acute and more manageable then we had thought.

... the actual number of individuals who comprise transnational terrorist networks and possess the will and capacity to carry out major, long-planned attacks on American soil turns out to be, simply, very small. Islamic terrorists lack the numbers and means that most of us originally assumed they had to execute sustained and repeated mass-casualty attacks.

It's politically dicey, of course, to put forth this argument ...
No kidding. But eventually the true scale of the threat will be recognized, and the politics-by-fear won't work any more.



12 comments

America's dirty little secret is that there are terrorists here in America. Home grown ones. Right-wing neo nazis and religious fundamentalists. They are part of Bush's base. It's a very dangerous game BushCo is playing here.

By Blogger artMonster, at 9/12/2006 9:40 AM  

yeah, but what happens if (when) we actually are hit again? then we who call for reason and restraint will look like we were lulling everyone into a false sense of security.

By Blogger Brendan, at 9/12/2006 9:40 AM  

thanks for bringing these two quotes to our attention. I think our over reaction to the threat of terrorism after 9-11 will be the

9-11 was a crime. It was committed by a very small organization with relitivly limited resources and support in the world. It really has more in common with groups like the KKK than anyone else. The appropriate response to 9-11 would have been a massive international police effort with support from the military when needed.

Treating 9-11 like an act of war by a government legitimized Al quida and played right into the terrorists hands. The bush administrations over reaction to 9-11 has maginified the threat (and used it for political gain).

Add this to the fact that Al Quida was pretty much created by the us and the attacks were used as justification to invade an unrelated oil rich country and you have the saddest chapter in US history....

The fact that its still being used as a political wedge issue in elections 5 years later is shamefull.

By Blogger WinterBear TrueHeart, at 9/12/2006 10:03 AM  

It seems like a Foreign Affairs article, of all things, "legitimized" this idea in the current discourse. It's open season, now...

By Anonymous lambert strether, at 9/12/2006 10:18 AM  

One of the few nice things you can say about suicide terrorists is that they have huge burn-out rate.

By Blogger Hieronymus Braintree, at 9/12/2006 10:30 AM  

Well, there are quite a few of us that think that the terrorist threat does exist in America. These people hate our way of life, hate our liberties and our civil rights, and have been puvlicly saying so for decades. They represent a clear and present threat to our stability as a nation and threaten our position as a global leader and superpower.

I am of course referring to the neocon/chickenhawk cell of deserters, deferrers, and other cowards who call themselves the leaders of the Republican party. After siphoning over 4 trillion dollars from the defense budget for covert operations and support for their Al Qaeda allies in the middle east. While their multi-billion no-bid contracts have helped stymie inflation by dumping shiploads of cash into offshore economies, their irresponsible blank check overspending overshadows even their false-flag 9-11 terrorist operation in terms of long term damage to American business and families.

There can be little doubt who really benefited from the attacks and the spilled blood of American citizens that day. No muslim sect gained a shred of strategic or economic advantage from those hijackings. The only ones to gain and to continue to seek advantage from those attacks have been the treasonous leeches that occupy Washington DC's top offices.

If you really want to commemorate and honor the lives lost that fateful day, then push your elected representatives to file impeachment proceedings against the many domestic and international crimes our court-appointed president and his crime family cabinet have committed since the attacks.

Sincerely, An American Patriot

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/12/2006 10:48 AM  

Oooops...something got deleted from my post accidentally. The intended text was:

"After siphoning over 4 trillion dollars from the defense budget for covert operations and support for their Al Qaeda allies in the middle east" ...Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitx, and their stooges Bush, Rice, Giulliani, et al planned and executed those attacks for one reason: because they thought we were stupid enough to believe their muslim terror cell conspiracy theories. Unfortunately they were right. "While their..."

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/12/2006 11:05 AM  

Letter: 9/11 conspiracy shows need for a U.S. revolution
http://media.www.dailylobo.com/media/storage/paper344/news/2006/09/12/Opinion/Letter.911.Conspiracy.Shows.Need.For.A.U.s.Revolution-2267478.shtml?sourcedomain=www.dailylobo.com&MIIHost=media.collegepublisher.com

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/12/2006 12:13 PM  

So thru a skeptic's eyes I viewed yesterday's memorial events and decided that we Americans are just as narcisistic and stupid now as we were on 9/11 five years ago.
Here's what I thought: Hundreds of thousands have died in Iraq through no fault of their own, at the hands of our military and no one is memorializing them. According to the UN task force on hunger, over 13,000 children world wide died on that day and on every other day of the year of malnutrition while less than three thousand died initially in the 9/11 attacks but we could care less. I think that because of the failure and lack of courage exhibited by the Gov., El Duche, (Giuliani), many more than three thousand will die because of their exposure to the toxic air during those first days. That little twerp didn't have the balls to order the frantic firemen off the pile who were clawing at it uselessly and send in profesionally trained and equiped people. This is, of course, exactly what his Health Department was telling him to do. Instead, knowing that the firemen, who were caught up in heroic nut mode, would have squawked and refused to leave and he would have had to force them off the pile, he went with his political instinct to not look bad in public, he left them there with their placstic buckets for weeks and in that decision, he caused a lot of future grief and suffering for these guys and their families. No memorial for them though. And guess what, the city is rejecting the compensation claims of those who are starting to feel the effects. Some memorial!

By Blogger Dennis, at 9/12/2006 12:23 PM  

Thread is broken by post by Anonymous at 12:13 p.m.

Please use tinyurl.com to create small links from long urls.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/12/2006 1:16 PM  

So far as the terrorist hateing our way of life, liberties,and our civil rights. That is a bunch of Bushco B.S.
What they hate is the United States going into their countries and then trying to shove our beliefs down their throats. You may not like this, but not everyone in the unliberated countries want us to be their saviors!
They also realize that our government is there for one thing only. That black gold in the ground.

By Anonymous scorp44714, at 9/12/2006 1:32 PM  

scorp44714, I think you missed the point of my statement regarding the terrorists and our way of life. I'm talking about the real leaders of Al CIAda, George Bush, Dick Cheney, londi Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitx, et al. THEY are the terrorists that hate our way of life.

I couldn't agree with you more about how the middle east inhabitants feel about us, and you're right about the oil, too...but I think the goal of this war is not to secure the oil for the future of America, it's to withhold it and drive oil prices higher, and to supply the coming ground wars with Syria and Iran. Did you knoe that there is less oil coming out of Iraq now than there was when Saddam was running things under UN sanctions?

And what oil is flowing is going to Israel at a price that is essentially free. No wonder they flexed their muscle with Lebanon (clearly the weak sister of the Muslim nations) and flushed a little of Hezbollah's ordinance into the open so we could see what we'll be going up against soon.

I support our troops wholeheartedly--bring them home and help them deal with the trauma of the atrocities they witnessed and took part in. What boggles my mind is that this is a volunteer army! Why would so many healthy, intelligent young men and women sign up to take part in what will most likely be seen by history as the biggest criminal act os the 21st century?!?! Was the propaganda about the 9-11 attacks that good?

A True Patriot

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/15/2006 6:34 AM  

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