Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A recent spate of terrorist attacks?

Terrorist attacks are not completely imaginary -- whether the Bush League was complicit in 9/11 or not, it definitely happened -- but most plots that we hear about are in large part made up by our government, from the Tang Bombers to the plot to blow up the Sears Tower. So, I was a little non-plussed by the "Overheard in New York" casual reference to "[T]he recent spate of terrorist attacks [after which] the TSA decided to stop allowing liquids past the security gate."

I don't think the Department of Homeland Security releases information on non-imaginary attacks -- actual terrorist activity like the suburban DC sniper, the Oklahoma City bombing or the Unabomber don't lead one to want to occupy oil-rich countries -- so we're left with Wikipedia. So far this year, Wikipedia's classified two incidents (in Kirkwood and DeKalb) as terrorist attacks, both lone American gunmen (only one an Army basic training dropout on psychopharmaceuticals) carrying no known hot liquids. If you extend the time frame to a full year ago, you only add what Wikipedia calls 'fake grenades' that really exploded at the Mexican Consulate in New York City.

I know the "Overheard in New York" quotes can be kind of old, but the only spate I can remember is when people were seeing Anthrax in every packet of white powder. I want to point out that weaponized Anthrax presents the same danger now it did then. Do you know where your Cipro is? Where's the eternal vigilance, people? It's the price of liberty*! Incidentally, Senator Patrick Leahy at least now seems to think the Anthrax used in the letters to him and Senator Daschle came from our own government.

So... what's up with this spate reference?

* -- looking this up, I found on Bartleby an intellectual predecessor quote from Demosthenes, which is a pretty cool feature. I thought I'd share:
There is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to democracies as against despots. What is it? Distrust.

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