Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Terrifying Lack of Terror News

Instapundit links to this article regarding those 11 Egyptian "students" who vanished into thin air after arriving in New York. Remember those guys? The government's response was, "Nothing to see here, just move along," according to an editorial at The Washington, D.C. Examiner. (As an aside, I really like knowing who is writing the editorial. It strikes me as hypocritical to hide behind the editorial page when you're accusing the government of hiding.)

Back to business: Evidently, there is more to see regarding the Egyptian kids than we're seeing.

Here's my question: Are there advantages of blacking out terror plots? I think there may be. Do they outweigh our right to know? Sometimes, yes.

  1. Minimize copy cats (ala teen suicides).
  2. Reduce fear among citizens so they go about their business.
  3. Keep it quiet so the cover of a wider plot isn't blown and the root causes can be found and pulled.
  1. Public ignorance gives false sense of security.
  2. Lack of government oversight--i.e. multiple terrorists come across the southern border, this is kept quiet for political purposes. (Senators and President desiring a mushy immigration bill.)
  3. Serves the political purposes of those who say there are no threats.
I get the feeling that something bad is going down almost non-stop and that the government is interceding where and when it can. While the article paints the government "embarrassed" and wanting to "cover up", and there is no doubt that the average citizen was more hot and bothered about these guys than the government seemed to be, is this following assertion true?
In the government flak business, such vague, evasive feel-good wording is used to avoid answering potentially embarrassing questions and in the process to tell the inquiring journalists to get lost.
Or are the journalists just sniffy because they aren't included in the whole proceedings? And with the New York Times demonstration of complete lack of discretion, does anyone wonder why the government might be, shall we say, cautious?

The cumulative effect of such misleading official “communications” over time is a diminution of the very credibility with the American public the government will desperately need when a terrorist plot succeeds in killing and injuring Americans at home.

No, there is a bigger "cumulative effect" which makes it no surprise that the goverment actively evades the press: the press has shown a breathtaking lack of seriousness when it comes to fighting the War on Terror both here in the U.S. and abroad.

Determined to undermine Bush at every turn, they refuse to even use terms that accurately define our enemy. (Reuters won't even use the word "terrorist"--that might be too judgemental.)

And yet, these arbitrars of truth want to be included in sensitive, on-going investigations to decide what does and does not rise to the level of concern--their concern. This War is one big criminal probe to those in the press. This War is inflated to serve Republicans or so goes the conventional wisdom of the press. Therefore, it is the press's job to diminish and deny that real threats exist.

While the D.C. Examiner is upset that Washington is stonewalling on the Egyptian terrorist college students, the reason they want to know is to embarass the government (Bush), to portray them (Bush) as inept and not looking out for the interests of the American people, to prop up those who believe our government leaders (Bush & Rummy) are buffoons and, either intentionally or not, to give aid and comfort to the enemy (freedom fighters). This last one is the true "cumulative effect" of the press recently.

What the Editorial staff at the D.C. Examiner has right is that credibility has been diminished. They were just wrong about who's credibility has suffered the worst. It's theirs.

And while the government will receive its fair share of blame (mostly by the press) should we be attacked at home, the press ought to know that they will be boiling in the pot, too. All too eager to get the scoop and personal glory at the expense of their fellow Americans, all to eager to damn an administration they despise, they deserve less trust than anyone in the government.

And that's not much trust.

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