Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I like Mike

Not only did he pass that wonderful smoking ban in the city's bars, Mayor Mike Bloomberg is voicing some common sense about this "plot" to blow up a pipeline running to JFK Airport.

As more details of the "plan" are being revealed, it's apparent it was never going to happen. Not to mention, even if it somehow had, the fuel tank in Queens would never had affected the airport or even other parts of the pipeline. It would have been a minor localized event. You wouldn't know it from the initial government and media stories though.

As Newsday reports:

"When U.S. Attorney Roslynn Mauskopf described the alleged terror plot to blow up Kennedy Airport as "one of the most chilling plots imaginable," which might have caused "unthinkable" devastation, one law enforcement official said he cringed.

The plot, he knew, was never operational. The public had never been at risk. And the notion of blowing up the airport, let alone the borough of Queens, by exploding a fuel tank was in all likelihood a technical impossibility.

And now, with a portrait emerging of alleged mastermind Russell Defreitas as hapless and episodically homeless, and of co-conspirator Abdel Nur as a drug addict, Mauskopf's initial characterizations seem more questionable -- some go so far as to say hyped."

But when the initial news coverage was going on, the news channels, of course, went into their usual Scary Music/Apocalyptic Headlines mode, scaring the bejesus out of everyone.

This often happens with these terror plots. Remember that "plan" to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago that was ballyhooed a few years ago. It turned out the "plotters" were hapless bozos who had no real plan, had never even been to Chicago, and, in fact, were being egged on by an FBI mole in their midst.

As The Washington Post reported last year: "But court records released since then suggest that what (Attorney General Alberto) Gonzales described as a "deadly plot" was virtually the pipe dream of a few men with almost no ability to pull it off on their own. The suspects have raised questions in court about the FBI informants' role in keeping the plan alive."

But while the White House and the Republican candidates are trying to run, once again, on scaring the crap out of the American people, Mayor Bloomberg, a nominal Republican himself, is speaking some common sense, telling WCBS-TV:

"There are lots of threats to you in the world. There's the threat of a heart attack for genetic reasons. You can't sit there and worry about everything. Get a life," he said.

That "What, me worry?" attitude pretty much sums up Bloomberg's advice to New Yorkers on the terror plot. As far as he was concerned, the professionals were on it, so New Yorkers shouldn't let it tax their brains.

"You have a much greater danger of being hit by lightning than being struck by a terrorist," he added.

There are obviously terrorists out there who do want to harm us, and may even succeed again. But it doesn't help when every two-bit piece of nonsense like this gets made into another 9-11 by craven politicians and a sensationalistic media.


Anonymous said...

I think someone actually voted for a Republican! :)

J said...

I've already admitted to voting for a Republican - although I hasten to add, Mike is a RINO (Republican in name only.) Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I attempted to discuss these same facts with a conservative friend who was outraged that the NY Times reported it on p. 37. He sent me some right-wing crap filled with terror mongering to justify it's front-page heft. I tore it apart piece by piece with the facts --never got out of planning stages, no explosive material on hand, the pipeline is constructed to contain fires, and, if executed, experts would expect few casualties.

That was the end of that conversation. Our friendship ebbs and flows with the news cycle!

I'm so frustrated with this vibe that we're all on the edge of our seats waiting to bust out the terrifying music, over the top graphics, and 30-second news cycle with nothing to report.


barefoot317 said...

Just a small comment on a small item you said at the beginning of your text.. We passed a no smoking in public places law in Boulder and Denver Colorado. I have to say that it is the most wonderful thing when you are in the bar or club, but when you leave you have to make your way though all the out-ed smokers...
But i love the new clean air in all public places!!
Very nice, very nice.

Anonymous said...

Hah barefoot 303 I LOVE the smoking ban here too. I used to come home at night after being out and my hair and clohtes would reek of smoke. It was disgusting.

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