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August 11, 2006

The WSJ Notes Surveillance/SWIFT Point

Damn. I wish I could say they ripped me off, except 1) Texas Rainmaker made the point first, 2) it's kind of obvious, and 3) they, uhh, technically published before me, too. Technically.

Eh. In a way they ripped me off.

Worth a read. It's not just an idiot saying it:

Americans went to work yesterday to news of another astonishing terror plot against U.S. airlines, only this time the response was grateful relief. British authorities had busted the "very sophisticated" plan "to commit mass murder" and arrested 20-plus British-Pakistani suspects. As we approach the fifth anniversary of 9/11 without another major attack on U.S. soil, now is the right moment to consider the policies that have protected us--and those in public life who have fought those policies nearly every step of the way.

It's not as if the "Islamic fascists"--to borrow President Bush's description yesterday--haven't been trying to hit us. They took more than 50 lives last year in London with the "7/7" subway bombings. There was the catastrophic attack in Madrid the year before that left nearly 200 dead. But there have also been successes. Some have been publicized, such as a foiled plot to poison Britain's food supply with ricin. But undoubtedly many have not, because authorities don't want to compromise sources and methods, or because the would-be terrorists have been captured or killed before they could carry out their plans.

...

"This wasn't supposed to happen today," a U.S. official told the Washington Post of the arrests and terror alert. "It was supposed to happen several days from now. We hear the British lost track of one or two guys. They had to move." Meanwhile, British antiterrorism chief Peter Clarke said at a news conference that the plot was foiled because "a large number of people" had been under surveillance, with police monitoring "spending, travel and communications."

Let's emphasize that again: The plot was foiled because a large number of people were under surveillance concerning their spending, travel and communications. Which leads us to wonder if Scotland Yard would have succeeded if the ACLU or the New York Times had first learned the details of such surveillance programs.

Via InstaHeh.

Drudge Updates: I won't even bother linking it all. It's right there.

-- Planned for 8/16

-- 24 terrorists -- ah, wait, "British insurgents" -- now in custody

-- Lattes, iPods now suspect (they always have been in my book)

-- police fear violence against Muslims

"Oh God, what did they blow up this time?"


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posted by Ace at 11:36 AM

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