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December 26, 2009

New White House Meme on Terrorism: "Message: I Care"

The White House really wants you to know that they're on top of terrorism (this time), at least after some richly-deserved me-time with some Hawaiian waffles and pineapple mimosas.

The White House wants the public to know that President Obama, on vacation at a luxurious oceanfront home in Hawaii, has received conference call updates and is keeping close tabs on the situation.

"President Barack Obama's Christmas Day began with a briefing about a botched attack on an airliner in Detroit," began an Associated Press account published Christmas evening. "Obama's military aide told the president about an incident aboard a plane as it was landing in Detroit just after 9 a.m. here [in Hawaii]. The president phoned his homeland security adviser and the chief of staff to the National Security Council for a briefing…'We believe this was an attempted act of terrorism,' one White House official said on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive situation."

Those details didn't come from nowhere. "Within a few hours of the Delta/Northwest Airlines flight touching down in Detroit, a senior administration official telephoned and e-mailed members of the White House press pool," writes the Atlantic's and CBS's Marc Ambinder, a reliable source of the White House perspective. The administration message: We're on the case. "The apparatus of government is in high gear now," Ambinder reported.

The White House messaging on the Flight 253 affair stands in stark contrast to its handling of the massacre at Ft. Hood, Texas in which Obama, on the day after the killings, cautioned the public against "jumping to conclusions" about the murders of 13 people, and then, a day later, declared that "we cannot fully know" accused killer Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's motives. Now, the administration is openly using the T-word.

Hah! Commenters noticed (I didn't) the White House's Strange New Respect for the word "terrorism."

Terrorism Never Prospers, For If Prospers, None Dare Call It Terrorism: I forget who it was, but a commenter here pointed out a while ago that successful terrorist attacks -- Ft. Hood -- are not called terrorism; the word is resisted there. Because they don't want to admit terrorism succeeded under their watch.

On the other hand, if a plot is foiled, or, as is the case here, a plot fails chiefly due to luck (plus some quick and courageous passenger action), suddenly they welcome the word "terrorism." Hey, there was this terrorism, and we protected you from it guys! Go team! Yay, us!


New Rules: And of course we can't have common-sense rules about sketchy characters who fit the profile of those who wish to kill us; no, we need a bunch of rules that apply to everyone. Like, now you can't get up and walk about the cabin, and you can't have anything on your lap, not even a laptop or pillow.

Thanks to Dave in Texas.


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posted by Ace at 06:15 PM

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