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August 13, 2006

Scheduling the liquid bomb arrests til circa CT primary?

NBC reports that American and British authorities disagreed about when to arrest the liquid bomb suspects:

LONDON - NBC News has learned that U.S. and British authorities had a significant disagreement over when to move in on the suspects in the alleged plot to bring down trans-Atlantic airliners bound for the United States.

A senior British official knowledgeable about the case said British police were planning to continue to run surveillance for at least another week to try to obtain more evidence, while American officials pressured them to arrest the suspects sooner. The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case.

In contrast to previous reports, the official suggested an attack was not imminent, saying the suspects had not yet purchased any airline tickets. In fact, some did not even have passports. (Emphasis added.) [NBC]

Digby writes:

Waiting normally wouldn't have been a problem, but because of the Connecticut primary they had to roll out their new product in August this year.

More here.

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Comments

Don't flatter yourself. The Connecticut primary was not that important.

I can certainly believe that the Brits and Americans had some differences of opionion on when to pounce on this terrorist gang.

But, much as I hate to inject reality into a nice conspiracy theory in its early stages, if the evil Bush forces wanted to "get Ned", they would have wanted to pounce a week before the primary, when it might have affected the results of a close election, rather than a day after when there would not possibly be any impact.

Strange post...

Lindsay, I think it was exactly about manipulation. I think all along they wanted to screw Leiberman, so they let him screw himself. Now they're talking about a "real" Rethug running in CT, and if Leiberman splits the left/center, the Rethug might get in.

Even if that play doesn't come off, they've still set the stage for the proper fear level in November...

Though I certainly wouldn't put it past the White House to let politics motivate a national security decision, I feel that more evidence is needed for me to buy this story. Maybe over the next few days or weeks more corroborating evidence will come to light, but in the mean time I will remain skeptical.

This is completely OT, but has anyone else noticed the long delay between the time they click "Post" and when his or her comment actually appears? Over the past 2 or 3 days I've noticed that comments take about 45 seconds or so to post after I submitted them. I haven't noticed this when I use Haloscan or other comment software. Is this a Typepad problem?

John Lucid

I've noticed the same thing here. But I think it is a US or Northeast Typepad problem. I post on Irish and UK Typepad sites and they're working normally.

Off this topic, but on an earlier one:
Given that everything Bush does is meant to send a political message, what does it mean that he's recently read The Stranger, the plot of which centers on killing a randomly-chosen Arab?

>Maybe over the next few days or weeks more corroborating evidence will come to light,

Yeah... unfortunately, when police delay arresting someone, it's often in order to see who else they're coming in contact with, or who else pops up on the radar elsewhere, doing the same suspicious activities as those they're already looking at. If there are such people, they'll have gone deeper underground because of the premature arrest. The "corroborating evidence" that the arrests were premature will come when those people attack us later, because the premature arrests allowed them to evade capture.

As to whether such a decision was taken politically, it would take a long time for such evidence to come to light. I can't see our politicians knowingly doing something that would endanger us, but we have seen them act rashly, heedless of the consequences, plenty of times.

To be anal, should read: "police or counterintelligence"

I think the Republicans *wanted* Lamont to win, so that they could portray the Democrats as weak on defense.

Well, saying it's related to Connecticut is pretty far fetched. More likely it's about the Israel/Lebanon war, and the need to ratchet up animosity towards terrorists. (In Bushthink, there's no difference between the guys in London and Hezbollah fighters, and so arrests in London ought to dissipate sympathy for Hezbollah.)

Don't flatter yourself. The Connecticut primary was not that important.

Amen! As if the British authorities would risk anything for the sake of a democratic primary. This is the type of fever-swamp, consipircy mongering that makes discrediting the liberal blogosphere easy. Get a grip.

I think this is more likely due to a difference in the cultures of the respective intelligence communities. The Brits are historically oriented toward pure intelligence. During World War II, when they discovered German spies, they tended to leave them in place to see what they would do, what information they were interested in, and who else they would contact.

I've heard that American intelligence is typically more oriented toward operations or law enforcement: Find the bad guys. Take them down.

Then again, I have a history of underestimating the cravenness of our politicians...

CharleyCarp makes sense with that.

"Amen! As if the British authorities would risk anything for the sake of a democratic primary." Under the odious Blair, the British authorities will do anything their masters in Washington tell them to. And with the latter, it has always been all about politics, period. So while I don't happen to think this allegation is entirely true at least in the form specific to the Connecticut primary, to dismiss it peremptorily betrays a lack of understanding of how the contemporary world, sadly, works.

After five long years of phoney terrorist alerts before elections... the denial by the trolls that this was anything but an attempt to manipulate the primary election is laughable to the extreme!:-)

The newly revealed disput between the US authorities and the Brits regarding disclosure speaks for itself, not to mention the attmpt to try and conceal that it was a Muslim tipster that revealed the plot and not their cherished NSA wiretap program.

I'll retract part of my last statement, the airline plot did come out after the primary, so that wasn't an attempt to manipulate the primary... but it says nothing about whether it is staging for the the November election and Lieberman's independent run.

Rasputin

You retract the entire premise of your post, but still think the whole thing was manipulated by GWB-the-devil. OK, I do understand.

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