The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Thursday, July 22, 2004

So What's More Important Here? 

I have another rant about what's really important to report in the media. On the one hand we have Sandy Berger stuffing classified documents in his pants, while the NY Times decides to be upset that the White House didn't tell Kerry soon enough. On the other hand, we have terrorists probing airline security in an attempt to repeat the events of 9/11 in one form or another. Then today in the Washington Times we have this report:

At least two midflight incidents have involved numerous men of Middle Eastern descent behaving in what one pilot called "stereotypical" behavior of an organized attempt to attack a plane.

"No doubt these are dry runs for a terrorist attack," an air marshal said.
...
A second pilot said that, on one of his recent flights, an air marshal forced his way into the lavatory at the front of his plane after a man of Middle Eastern descent locked himself in for a long period.

The marshal found the mirror had been removed and the man was attempting to break through the wall. The cockpit was on the other side.

The second pilot said terrorists are "absolutely" testing security.

This is a huge story (more on VodkaPundit). Where is the massive air play? Why the tiny little mention in the Washington Times? Here the 9/11 Commission is criticizing everyone from former President Clinton, to current President Bush, to members of Congress for not seeing the warning signs and doing something about it. Now we have warning signs all around that this is going to happen again, and hardly anything is being reported. Would someone care to explain to me why? I personally have a few theories, ranging from pretty sane and rational, to a pretty off the wall. I'll share them all anyway.

Theory 1: The federal investigative services looking into these events are trying to keep this quiet so as not to create a panic. While I can see something to that, I think it's stupid. People who are on these flights have every right to know the risks. They need to know what to look out for. They're lives are at risk here, and if there is something they can do to prevent tragedy, they should know about it. After all, they are the ones who will have to prevent these tragedies. This is probably the most reasonable theory, but that doesn't mean I like their reasoning.

Theory 2: The media is not reporting this because they see the other stories as having more traction against the current administration. Still more deaths and kidnappings in Iraq, embarrassing tidbits are still to be found in different reports coming out on 9/11, and there is work to be done deflecting criticism against Democratic candidates and their advisors. You just can't report everything now can you? This theory is probably still pretty reasonable, and not mutually exclusive with Theory 1.

Theory 3: The government is attempting to keep this under wraps because it's an election year, and it's perceived by many that one of the points of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq was to keep the war on terror off U.S. soil. If it is widely known that we might still be hit here, the current administration will take a hit. This is a little off the edge into conspiracy theory land, but Lord knows people will buy into this.

Theory 4: Ok, now we're getting into nut case land, but sometimes it's fun to really speculate. The media isn't reporting this because they want another terrorist attack in the hopes that it will be blamed on Bush, and bring Kerry to office. Yeah, it's pretty whacked, but where is this coming from? Look at some of the attitudes of people about Iraq. Look at how Michael Moore has called Iraqi insurgents the "Minute Men" of Iraq, literally hoping and cheering for the deaths of U.S. soldiers. He's not the only one. A lot of war protesters have called for enlisted men to shoot their officers, among other terrible things. They are Americans, and we have other Americans hoping for their deaths in order to push forward a political goal. Is it that much of a stretch to see some express the same hopes for other American civilians here? Well ok, I'm not that cynical that I think they would, but it is a thought that came to my head. Isn't that sad enough that I actually thought about it even for a second?

So, no more theories. No more bitching and moaning about what could and couldn't be done to prevent 9/11. Let's be vigilant, and well informed now to prevent the next 9/11. I'm really starting to sound like a broken record here.

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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.


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