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Sep 09, 2006


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David Boyd

Boy, Mueller sure had a lot invested in the foiling of the recent plot to blow up 10 airliners. Otherwise he's the Dow 30,000 of the terrorism industry.

OTOH, it's probably true that al Qaeda is weaker than we give them credit for. There are all sorts of diabolical plots they could unleash here if they were able. However, the real problem is not potential suicide bombers in American schools or anything of that sort, the real problem is the very small number of them it is going to take to unleash a nuke once someone with access to the materials decides to give them a shot. And if I'm in a leadership position in al Qaeda, that's the mother lode and I can wait if I think it's a realistic possibility.

Civilization's problem is where to direct our resources to prevent such a thing. That's where the game playing among politicians and vendors comes in. Scaremongering and overdirecting resources to where they're not needed could potentially be worse than never directing those resources in the first place.


Ed's trying to mount an offensive here. Looks like no one's buying in.

Van der Leun

Time between WTC 1 and WTC 2: 8 years. Different space/time.

Samuel Spagnola

Looks like Mueller has his head in the sand. It only takes one succesful effort to kill thousands. If the recent airline plot had come to fruition that is exactly what would have happened. Tierney seems to be saying "out of sight, out of mind". That's fine until the shit hits the fan- and then everyone is running around pointing fingers trying to blame someone for allowing the terrorist act to happen. I can see it now- a terrorist attack occurs, thousands die, and some idiot says we had no warning because "almost no terrorists exist in the United States and few have the means or the inclination to strike from abroad..." and "there just aren’t that many terrorists out there with the zeal and the competence to attack the United States." Besides, if the terrorists have so much competence, why have we gone a whole FIVE years without a terrorist attack? I mean, jeez, five years have passed, we should have been able to let down our guard.

Let's just ignore Al Qaeda and other terrorists based on assumptions about their competence and the fact that we've made it five years without another attack on OUR soil.

Utterly ridiculous reasoning, and the kind of hands off mindset that if adopted would surely increase our risk of another 9/11 or worse.

Dave Dobson

Ironically, all it takes to prevent another 9/11 is knowing that it happened. Nobody's going to sit around and let five ill-armed guys take over a plane anymore. Never.

So, remind me again why we've spent $300,000,000,000 and thousands of soldier's lives (so far, and we're apparently staying this course) destroying a country and a people that had nothing to do with it? I'd rather see us take smart steps and cost-proportionate steps based on real threats. The people who are supposedly tough on terrorism aren't doing anything of the sort.

Samuel Spagnola

Dave, I don't think Mueller's arguments have anything to do with the war in Iraq, nor has Iraq been previously cited in this thread. His book is about the capabilities of terrorists. Your argument about Iraq is certainly subject to debate, but I don't see it as relevant to the thrust of this thread.

Dave Dobson

Sam, it's somewhat ironic being told I'm off-topic by you, but what led me to post what I did was David Boyd's comments on how well we supposedly did stopping the plot on airliners in Britain and his further comments where to direct our resources, and then statements from you and Bubba which I thought indicated we should keep up our efforts.

In response to both of those ideas, I thought I should point out that those efforts suck. The centerpiece in the nation's supposed war on terror is ridiculously expensive and probably has increased the risk of terrorism in the U.S. rather than diminishing it.

If air travel is under threat, let's spend money on law enforcement and security. If loose nukes are a threat, let's spend our money buying up nuclear materials from former Soviets and on protecting container cargo. None of that would be nearly as expensive in dollars, lives, and prestige as has the Iraq war.


"I thought I should point out that those efforts suck"

Why the efforts suck:

Mueller -"it is worth remembering that the total number of people killed since 9/11 by al Qaeda or al Qaeda­like operatives outside of Afghanistan and Iraq is not much higher than the number who drown in bathtubs in the United States in a single year, and that the lifetime chance of an American being killed by international terrorism is about one in 80,000 -- about the same chance of being killed by a comet or a meteor"

Samuel Spagnola

Dave, I never said we should keep up our efforts against terrorism by staying in Iraq. Iraq is not a proxy for all our efforts against terror.

RB, hey, I guess as long as it doesn't happen to me, I really shouldn't care. Tell that to the families of the 9/11 victims, or even the people who suffered by Hurricane Katrina. Doesn't sound like compassionate liberalism to me. I hope this doesn't become a centerpiece of the Democratic platform.

sean coon

sam, you're now speaking from a position of vengeance, not deterrence. as soon as i hear you talk about how osama bin laden -- the man anyone remotely connected to the ills of 9/11 care most about -- has disappeared from the periphery of this administration, i'll take your rhetoric seriously.

Samuel Spagnola

Sean, whatever. Go back and read my original post. I don't know where you're getting this vengeance stuff. Shouldn't you be out saving a rain forest or something?

sean coon
RB, hey, I guess as long as it doesn't happen to me, I really shouldn't care. Tell that to the families of the 9/11 victims, or even the people who suffered by Hurricane Katrina. Doesn't sound like compassionate liberalism to me.

you're an idiot.

i'm all about vengeance on this one. this administration and their braindead supporters are the ones that want to forget about bin laden in order to conflate the threat of terrorism into a worldwide islamic movement.

the families of 9/11 victims rest in your mouth so effortlessly, but you continue to obscure the greatest failure of this administration in their eyes -- osama bin laden.

Jeffrey Sykes

this administration and their braindead supporters are the ones that want to forget about bin laden in order to conflate the threat of terrorism into a worldwide islamic movement. Coon

Sean, my boy, before you go tossing about insults, t'would be best for you to understand the tonalities of international relations.

I suggest you start with the French Revolution, since it sort of threw a monkey wrench into the old system. When you get to the part where the Berlin Wall comes down, we can pick up the conversation.

Or, if music is more your thing, listen to Sheep on Animals and pay attention to how the vocals become a synthesizer. That is what I mean by the tonality of international relations.

We should rename this blog spagnola.com for the way he keeps you folks on edge.

I personally would like to see us get back to this

sean coon

hey jeff, got a match?

Jeffrey Sykes


That's real intelligent. I love the depth of your intellect sometimes.

How's Gramma Coon?

Samuel Spagnola

Sean, I will say again to go re-read my original post, and for that matter, the first post Ed made on this thread about what Mueller said.

You are obviously missing the point. I said nothing about Iraq, my comments about 9/11 families were sarcasm, and all I have suggested is that Mueller's thesis is foolish because it seems to propose that we stop worrying about terror.

Funny how all of you who bitched about Bush linking Iraq to terror are so gung ho to do the same thing yourself. The damn war in Iraq is NOT the only way we are fighting terror, and anyone who suggests we shouldn't be concerned about terror because the chances of it happening to one of us individually is slight, is a selfish, hedonistic, idiot.

Jeez, where do you come up with this crap you try to assign to me? You must like picking fights just for the hell of it.

Samuel Spagnola

If you're not trying to pick a useless fight, explain this:

You criticize me by first saying "sam, you're now speaking from a position of vengeance, not deterrence"

Then speaking of yourself, you say:

"i'm all about vengeance on this one"

Which is it? I'm an idiot for speaking from a position of "vengeance" (which I deny by the way I ever did), but you aren't? That's the idiocy.

Go home, we'll play again sometime when you figure out that you shouldn't make up stuff just to pick fights with people you don't like.

Ed Cone

Could you please stop using my blog comments for personal pissing matches?

sean coon

sam, i wasn't trying to pick a fight. the only criticism i had was pointing out that you're using the victim's perspective in a rebuttal, yet refusing to recognize that many 9/11 victim families want osama bin laden caught, first and foremost, like any other victim of a homicide.

but apparently, your use of victim families was some form of a sarcastic response in partisan antics, and you really don't want that justice or understand why it's important to the people most closely affected.

well, i do. and many others do as well. and while there's a fine line between vengeance and justice and obsession, many of us tow it... i'm trying my best to let it go, because it eats me up and it's almost hypocritical of me to care so much when homicides that happen every day on this spinning rock go unnoticed by me, but it's proven to be hard to do.

so excuse me if you misunderstood my annoyance with your flippant comment.

Samuel Spagnola

Okay, truce. Somehow our wires got crossed and things got lost in translation.

sean coon



My purpose in those stat's was to offer perspective related to risk analysis. I have read comments that people don't pay enough attention to info like that in the mangement of their lives. Seems true in your case.

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