Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Terror Plot Roundup

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Terror Plot Roundup

There were a few new developments in the latest uncovered terrorist plot.

• Law enforcement officials in Pakistan announced that they've made at least seven arrests connected to the plot. They insist the plot was really based in Afghanistan rather than Pakistan, as US and British officials suggest. I can see why they'd want to nitpick the point, but is that really a significant difference in the bigger picture?

• As part of the process of freezing all their assets, the Bank of England has revealed the identities of 19 of the 24 suspects arrested.

• Tony Blair seems to have learned much at the feet of his guru. Despite the danger his government is dealing with in this extremely serious incident, Blair is not cutting short his vacation at Cliff Richard's villa at Barbados. Unfortunately, he still has a way to go before he completely masters the lessons. He's expressed some concern that perhaps he should return home.

• John Aravosis has been providing reasons why he doesn't accept the gravity of the situation over at AMERICAblog. In this post, he mentions a report that originated in comments at BoingBoing. I'm not going to repeat the photo, but it shows a woman pouring her suspected liquid into a vat of other suspected liquids. Doesn't the argument about banning liquids from flights boil down to the fact that liquids that are innocuous on their own can become explosive when mixed together?

In another post, Aravosis quotes an e-mail from a friend describing airport officials' confiscation of lip gloss from passengers boarding planes. Obviously, they're taking lip gloss because it can be dangerous when . . . well, I don't really know.

Finally (for now, at least), Aravosis notes that officials at Phoenix and Pennsylvania are giving away or auctioning off the dangerous toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream, and lip gloss that they're confiscating at airports. If these items aren't safe enough to take on a plane, why are they safe enough to sell on ebay?

• In comments to the last post, Don asserts that he believes the plot is real (although he bases most of his position on the fact that he find the BBC more trustworthy and believable than CNN). He may be right, because unfortunately, the gravity and reality of the terrorist plot is not precluded by an inept response by the Bush administration. As we've seen in almost six years since the Prez took office, we've seen plenty of evidence that the administration will blow off or respond inappropriately to serious situations.

• I don't know how long the new airline restrictions will last, but for however long they do, pretty much everybody will have to check a bag, which means that waiting at baggage claim will be that much more annoying. The number of bags that will need to be unloaded from a flight will expand, since the only way to avoid checking anything will be to buy all new toiletries at your destination. A few people might be willing to do that, but most will just put those newly banned products in their bags. Anybody who last week carried a bag onto the plane and left the airport straight from the gate will now have to stow something under the cabin. The airlines, many of whom have been fighting tooth and nail against bankruptcy, must be loving this.


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