Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Friday, October 07, 2005

Retooling the Story

Juan Cole got it right this morning, we he ridiculed British PM Tony Blair for "retooling" for plausibility Don Rumsfeld's vision about Iran as supplier of the shaped charges to the Iraqi insurgency.

You really have to wonder who is running the Public Panic Squad in New York City. Yesterday it looked like former fanboys of Kerik thought they'd help the boss out and hand Dubya an 11th foiled al-Qaeda plot to stick his war on terror blather. The unsophisticated PPS chose the following plot: Through a multinational force raid on a preposterous Ansar al-Sunna safe house in Baghdad, some Muhammedan evil-doer was captured, dragged out and tortured to reveal the 11th-hour-and-fifty-nine-minutes plot to bomb the New York subway system. The headline-generating police mobilization was ordered in time to make the 7 o'clock TV news as New York officials announced that 19 briefcase-toting suicide bombers were somewhere in the system. Homeland Security, fearful of treading too deep, said only that the threat was credible, classified and doubtful.

The police, city officials and Homeland Security were treated roughly be the press this morning. But these people do not merely skulk away when one of their crackpot scenarios doesn't digest well with the public. Instead, they up the ante and retool. Tonight's retooling of the story drags Syria into the picture, a sure-fire indication that the official version is very, very unteathered from reality.

NYPD and the FBI, convinced that you and I have the brain of a flea, say they are now searching for a lonely stranger in a trenchcoat, who possibly trained in Afghanistan and who has arrived in the city from Damascus to train a suicide team of backpacker-bombers for a copycat attack of the July 7th bombings. The stranger has no identity or abode. Slick, huh?

You'd think that after the fiascoes of Nigergate, Saddam's WMD, and alleged al-Qaeda flight crews piloting Air France flights over North America, they'd lay off the sauce.

Read the retooled plot in NY Newsday.


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