November 6, 2004


Bin Laden Tape Divided President's Aides (DAVID E. SANGER and DAVID JOHNSTON, 11/06/04, NY Times)

President Bush's senior counterterrorism advisers held an urgent meeting last Saturday morning to consider elevating the country's terrorism threat level, one day after the broadcast of a videotape by Osama bin Laden, administration officials said on Friday.

At the previously undisclosed meeting, in which senior counterterrorism officials assembled via a White House video conference hookup, Attorney General John Ashcroft and others favored ratcheting up the alert level because of the bin Laden tape, the officials said.

But others disagreed, the officials said. The homeland security secretary, Tom Ridge; the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III; and other White House officials expressed reservations or wanted a more detailed analysis of the tape, which contained no explicit threat of an attack against the United States. In the end, the idea of raising the threat level was dropped, the officials said.

Given that the best they could do was a videotape, the level should have been lowered. It's over--we won.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 6, 2004 9:13 AM

No kidding, all they could muster was a few videotapes. It appears that we have either so seriously weakened AQ or made them fight in places other than the North American continent (or both).

I am still concerned about nukes going off in U.S. cities and hope we can prevent that type of thing (there's a serious understatement).

Posted by: pchuck at November 6, 2004 9:48 AM

Houston Texas may be the next target and Michael Boor will chastise bin Laden again for striking the people who voted for him (osb). The facts are, to honor his taped commitment osb must not touch any of the large cities where his apologists live. His response will be : Cowshit I know? It's the largest red state.

Posted by: genecis at November 6, 2004 10:46 AM

As long as we need Middle East oil in our economy, this kind of terror remains a threat.

Posted by: Bart at November 6, 2004 11:00 AM

What does oil have to do with it and a threat to what? They can kill a few people periodically, but they can't achieve any of their ideology.

Posted by: oj at November 6, 2004 11:22 AM

Oil is where the barbarians get their money. If we had no need for oil, the Saudis would be back to eating camel dung, and would have to content themselves with murdering each other for a change.

Posted by: Bart at November 6, 2004 11:42 AM

Terrorism isn't driven by money.

Posted by: oj at November 6, 2004 11:51 AM

Bart, somebody somewhere is always going to want to buy Middle Eastern oil. If, starting tomorrow, the U.S. never imported another drop of oil from anywhere, it would do little or nothing to change the situation re terrorism.

Posted by: PapayaSF at November 6, 2004 2:41 PM

The US doesn't import much Middle East oil. Most comes from Venezuela, Mexico and the North Sea, if memory serves. Middle East Oil goes to Mediterranean Europe, India, Japan and China. But as was pointed out, oil is fungible, and if the price in the middle east goes up, so does the price of the oil we get.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at November 6, 2004 2:58 PM

If we didn't need Middle Eastern oil, we could then go the next logical step and expel all Middle Eastern Muslims from the US. This would make Americans infinitely safer.

Posted by: Bart at November 6, 2004 5:27 PM


We could achieve the same and keep the oil by ditching Jews and Israel.

Posted by: oj at November 6, 2004 6:33 PM

That's utter nonsense. The Muslims are out to destroy non-Muslims. You can't seriously believe that the genocide in East Timor, the butchering of Buddhist schoolteachers in Thailand, the massacres of Hindu worshippers in Gujarat, the enslavement of Sudanese Christians and animists, the gang-rape of Christian girls in Norway, Australia, and France, the massacre at Beslan ad infinitum ad nauseam have anything to do with Israel.

Moreover, 1/3 of all American Nobelists in the sciences are Jewish as are about 1/3 of the Forbes billionaires list. Do you really want to dispose of that talent?

Posted by: Bart at November 6, 2004 10:30 PM


You were talking about us, not the Timorese.

Posted by: oj at November 7, 2004 8:37 AM