NY Terror Threat Centers on Car Bombs , Bridges, Tunnels

The intelligence bulletin sent out today about the NY-Washington terror threat didn't reveal much: A possible car bomb at a bridge or tunnel, related to 9/11.

Listening to CNN on Sirius on the way home from work, here's what I learned from Homeland Security Committee Chair Joe Lieberman: It started with a wiretap involving someone whose information had previously proved reliable. But this tip from the wire, while it involved that person, didn't come from that person's conversation. In other words, it wasn't something he said on a wire, it may have been something someone else said who was picked up on his wire.

But another "source" tells Fox News, it was the reliable source who provided the information. "The person who provided the intelligence is known to the U.S. intelligence community and "has a track record," one source said." So Lieberman says they got it through him and another source says he provided it directly. Which is it? If it's the first, why is it credible? [More...]

Then they went to their internet monitoring logs to look at the "chatter" and found other references to it.

Lieberman (unintentionally) made it clear they have more information than they've released. Some of the details of the plot were, in his words, "unbelievable." John King seized right on that description and asked "Unbelievable how? Like implausible or like frightening?" Lieberman (I think) realized he almost let the cat out of the bag and said "Well from information we have that I am not at liberty to share", he'd say the plot was "illogical."

So now we have an "illogical" plot. Which I assume means one that doesn't make sense in the manner in which it is going to be executed. What could it be? Wrong ingredients? An operation ill-suited to the intended target? Unlikely to pull off the intended damage?

The officials all sound non-perturbed by it. So why tell everyone? (1) to let the perps know law enforcement is on to them (so they can triple check their steps?) and (2) to cover their ass**s if something does go down.

Half of them sound like it's just a "Hi I'm still here" kind of signal from al Qaida. No one seems to think there will be a serious attack.

And then there's Joe Biden. He says it's probably a "lone wolf." How can a conspiracy formed and being discussed by people overseas, with an intended target here, be the work of a lone wolf? A lone wolf is someone who acts alone. This, by all available information, is a plot. Just because one individual ultimately detonates a bomb, that doesn't make him a "lone wolf" if the plot was conceived by or with others.

On the one hand, the feds and local law enforcement in Washington and NY are putting on a pretty big show, including "uniformed and undercover (cops), more police cruisers in the field, and enhanced deployments of our specialty units [including] K9, bomb squad, Hazmat, and SWAT." On the other, they say the threat is "specific to car bombs at bridges and tunnels.

If it's only at bridges and tunnels, why blanket the entire metropolitan area and subways and buses and parks and Times Square with more cops?

As usual, we're just getting half a story, and one that is filled with inconsistencies and conflicting messages.

Also during this CNN segment, they played a new clip of Darth Cheney criticizing Obama for discontinuing waterboarding. King then asked Lieberman for his position, and of course he said if we had a detainee in custody who might know something, he'd support waterboarding.

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    Joe would support waterboarding him (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Dadler on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 07:41:26 PM EST
    What a useless little tool this "genius" is.  Hey Joe, newsflash, you want to almost ensure you get bad info?  Then torture people, waterboard them, you'll get all the sh*tty info you need.  Good job, Mr. committee chairman, you've proven yet again you're not only incompetent and dumb as a brick, you're malevolent too.  

    Seriously, the day Cheney and Lieberman exit this planet, there should be days off for everyone, celebrations the world over. They represent the worst America has to offer at their level of "achievement."

    Unfortunately, there are plenty of eager (none / 0) (#9)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 11:14:34 PM EST
    replacements, queued up at every TLA.

    Pretty soon, DHS will go back to color terror (none / 0) (#14)
    by rhbrandon on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 08:58:15 AM EST

    Except every level ought to be brown.

    What a joke.


    "Why is it credible?" (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by desertswine on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 08:19:55 PM EST
    It's not credible. Lieberman's not credible. And Cheney sure as h. isn't credible. It has scam written all over it.

    I wish we weren't making such a big (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 08:55:02 PM EST
    deal out of the tenth anniversary.  It seems so negative and for me an over recognition of a trauma, almost as if we are retraumatizing our own selves.  So everyone is spun up about the anniversary and add this and it feels like kerosene.  Before this threat though I know that Fort Rucker's force protection was planned to be raised to Bravo because of what was found in the bin Laden compound desiring an anniversary hit.

    Really glad I stopped paying for cable. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 10:10:43 PM EST
    Missed most of the original video.  Why not just concentrate on bridges and tunnels.  One of the suspected conspirators is purportedly in the U.S.  Maybe taking public transportation?  Maybe car explodes early--see Times Sq.  

    Having been a part of the (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 07:49:32 AM EST
    aftermath action and what one extremely corrupt administration did with the trauma, I wish that we were further along this road of self analysis.  A lot of completely innocent people died, were tortured, or forever damaged in response to 9/11.  I don't think the souls that passed that dsy are all that impressed with us and what was done in their name.  Perhaps I'm wrong, but if I were one of them I would not be impressed.  I might even be really pissed.

    "a big deal" - the irony is that (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 11:34:43 PM EST
    the large crowds attracted to "big deal" ceremonies make attractive targets.

    I feel (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by lentinel on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 11:00:53 AM EST
    the same way, MT. Something feels negative to me as well.

    They're even started commemorations on the 10th.

    It makes me perceive their treatment of this disaster as if it has the potential to be another "president's day" during which stores will have white sales, and vendors will sell American flags and hotdogs.

    What I feel most thinking about this horror is the mistreatment of the first responders. The survivors are still suffering. There is little support or help from the government. Giuliani, that freak, opposed a pay raise for the firefighters - and had supplied them with  inferior equipment and non-functioning walkie-talkies. How many died because they could not receive warnings?

    And - the survivors of the people who perished? How were they treated? They wound up being portrayed as greedy hustlers out to make a buck.

    And, after decades of airplane hijackings, how were those creeps allowed on board with box cutters in the first place?

    To me, the event represented a gross failure on the part of our government on all levels and - I regret to say - it has done nothing to change my opinion about how they they do business and about how little they care for our welfare.

    When this thing first happened, occasionally someone or other would ask, "Why do they hate us?" No one seriously bothered to consider that question very seriously. INHO, what we have done in the intervening years - killing hundreds of thousands of people - is not the way change that hatred to anything resembling friendship.


    I don't think there is any way to fix (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 12:02:31 PM EST
    the hate that those behind 9/11 had and will always have for us.  It is the hate of intolerance and religious extremism, and as in the case of many of the big leaders, malignant narcissism.  I can't fix crazy.

    Those people are fringe though, they don't speak for the Middle East or Islam or Muslims.  They were not who we sought responsibility from though until recently.  I am ashamed of what has been done to first responders, 9/11 victims families, and hundred of thousands of Iraqis and even an unknown number of Afghans when we were stretched so thin and didn't really care about the future of Afghanistan as it pertained to the creation and nurture of terrorism.  These topics should be out there as much today as the initial trauma but it isn't what I was seeing earlier and we have turned it all off.  I always complain about the generational disfunction I perceive in the South as it pertains to the civil war, and I hope that this country doesn't do the same thing with 9/11 but ten years down the road we aren't taking an honest look at our history and our involvement today.  At least not that I saw before I couldn't take it anymore.

    I saw an interview with Lawrence Wright last night but that was the only voice I heard out there asking us to take a look at our whole ten years.  Everything else seems like a lot of self traumatization, and I know it will take time.  I just don't have any patience for it today and maybe I never will.


    Win / Win (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by lentinel on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 10:41:48 AM EST
    The information provided to us is totally useless.

    Are we to avoid driving through the tunnels?
    Should we take the subway to Queens or Brooklyn and avoid the bridges?

    Should we just stay home, tape up our windows, turn on the television and watch the assembled pols going through the motions of looking as if they care about anything.

    Lieberman, who I had hoped had been retired to some status worthy of his talents, like being under a rock, is our source. The Chairman of Das Homeland Security. Great. Makes me feel real safe.

    So what we know is that someone may have said something to someone who may or may not be credible about something that may or may not involve our tunnels and bridges.

    Is there more information? Canny old Joe, Obama's mentor, won't tell.

    This is all good for the entrenched politicians.

    If nothing happens, they can claim that they thwarted the plans.
    Joe can even said that they waterboarded someone just for old time's sake. And we will say, thank you oh thank you Oh Ye Benevolent Protectors of the Great Unwashed. We will light candles for you and vote for you again and again.

    And if, God forbid, something happens, they can say that they told us so and we should forget about that pesky economy and jobs and get about the business of finding more people to bomb.

    Wonder if this unit is involved (none / 0) (#1)
    by MO Blue on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 07:33:14 PM EST
    The Associated Press runs a chilling investigative article today on what can only be described as a rogue operation in which the CIA and New York Police Department work together--outside of the legal jurisdictions of either agency--to "combat" terrorism by infiltrating Muslim communities, racial profiling that the FBI is prohibited from conducting by federal law. Dkos

    I hope I'm wrong (none / 0) (#4)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 08:13:54 PM EST
    I know I'm a cynic, but just at a time when the super committee is slashing spending, we have another terror threat.

    There are many in DC that are violently opposed to any cuts in homeland security or the military.

    Is it possible that they're taking a chapter out of GWB's playbook. Every time he needed funds for his war chest, we had a color code change.

    The thought crossed my mind... (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by kdog on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 08:11:00 AM EST
    distract us from the unemployment situation too.

    Not to say I doubt that some knuckleheads in this world wanna blow sh*t up, of course there are...I just don't know why this simple fact of modern life is a reason for an all points bulletin during the NFL opener, that reeks of fear-mongering and sinister motives.  

    I don't need Bloomberg to tell me that we live under "credible but uncorroborated" threats of explosions, I need him to find a way to put people to work, cut taxes on low wage workers and on tobacco, get the police off our throats, clean the parks....ya know, serve the public instead of frightening them.


    Sure (none / 0) (#21)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 12:30:14 PM EST
    I'm sure they really would like to help (snark) but we just don't have the money!

    We've spent it all on bombs to create new enemies to threaten us in the future.


    wouldn't it be cheaper to send a suitcase (none / 0) (#6)
    by seabos84 on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 08:24:04 PM EST
    of franklins to Chalabi ???

    the probability that the flat foots are going to catch anyone, other than the complete dummies like the shoe bomber, is barely above zilch.

    If we were building a couple of Maginot Lines, instead of dumping money into the hookers and fast cars and jet rides of spooks armed to the teeth, we'd have some ... some ... Maginot Lines! to show for all the money.

    what a fracking waste.


    maginot lines - excellent analogy (none / 0) (#10)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 11:19:30 PM EST
    fixed defenses, easy to spot and easy to evade.  Sad.

    Am I the only one (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 10:15:14 AM EST
    sad and angered that Bloomberg has decided to not include any religious activities in the event?

    I (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by lentinel on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 10:44:36 AM EST
    can understand your feelings, but I personally think that combining any kind of religious ceremonies or expressions to commemorate this disaster would itself be disastrous.

    I really believe that Jesus had it right.

    Public figures, as well as the rest of us, should do our praying in private.


    Probably not (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Yman on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 10:49:51 AM EST
    OTOH, any religious ceremony would have to be inclusive of other religions, and you'd end up with a bunch of wingers whipping up hysteria about Shariah law! and how there should be a strict separation of church and state ...

    ... when it comes to them Mooslims.


    I hope you are, because (none / 0) (#22)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 01:05:24 PM EST
    religion doesn't belong in them. This is also off-topic, the topic is the current threat. Please stay on topic.