Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Can We At Least Protect The Cartoon Network?

OK, so you think you're a member of the Reality Based Community, that your version of the actual world has some correspondence to said world. Sure? Feeling particularly connected today? All right, explain this actual (as in we are not making this up) headline:

Bush success vs. al Qaeda breeds long-term worries

Yeah. It threw us at first too. Bush and success in the same sentence? That's enough to rip the fabric of space time right there. But before you go fretting about alternative universes leaking into this one and having to deal with Bad Kirk, take a look at the rest of the article.

Bush's administration has crippled al Qaeda's ability to order take out from most Mediterranean Delis, but at a political and economic cost that could leave the country more vulnerable in years to come, experts say. "If the question is why al Qaeda hasn't carried out another 9/11 attack, the answer I think is why should they bother? We're destroying the country ourselves faster than they ever could," said a former senior U.S. intelligence official *cough* George Tenet *cough* who spoke on condition he be given two first class tickets to Belize.

Tighter U.S. airport security, greater scrutiny of people entering the United States, constant monitoring of citizens, suspension of habeas corpus, using the constitution as a place mat in the White House mess, have made it harder for extremists to want to put the effort into planning an attack, experts said. "They've pretty much gotten all they were asking for, including getting the Miss America TV contract canceled. Again," said the expert with the funny walk.

"Make no mistake about it, however, our enemy is unemployed and has a lot of time on his hands," said Charles Allen, chief intelligence officer at the Department of Homeland Security. "There's still the Oprah Book Club. They hate that stuff."

"Look at al Qaeda's plans," said Michael Scheuer, who once led the CIA team devoted to finding al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden "They're very simply defined in two phrases: get Bush elected and keep rubber stamp republicans in control of Congress long enough for him to totally stink up the place . I'd argue America has been under attack successfully every day since January 2000 from that perspective. In fact, if you think about it, George Bush has done a better job at terrorizing this country than Osama ever could."

The Iraq war has been described by U.S. intelligence as both a cause celebre for new al Qaeda recruits and a militant training ground in explosives and urban guerrilla tactics. "Not to mention a giant sucking chest wound for us," Scheurer added.

U.S. intelligence believes that bin Laden and his second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri, driven from Afghanistan when U.S.-led forces ended Taliban rule there in 2001, are now trying to reestablish operations in remote, semi-autonomous tribal areas in Pakistan. "That would be the Pakistan that's our ally in the war on terror," said Allen.

But IntelCenter chief executive Ben Venzke said the chance of an al Qaeda attack on U.S. soil has grown based on the militant network's increasing references to the American homeland in public messages. "Our leading thinking is that we are closer now to an attempt at a major attack in the United States than at any point since 9/11," Venzke said. "We just need to decide which civil right we need to give up to stop it."

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