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Interesting Debka post
January 3, 2004 4:17 AM   Subscribe

Interesting Debka post re: Al-Queda and a scheduled nuking on 2/2/04 of NYC. Supposedly the original web site was removed from the Internet by the FBI.
posted by Beansidhe (58 comments total)

 
Debka, which has the autority of the weekly world news is reporting that a website which was 'taken down by the fbi' said that there would be a neuclear attack.

Um, yeah. Color me scared.
posted by delmoi at 4:23 AM on January 3, 2004


I've read Debka on and off for three years, whenever I want a good scare. Bottom line: they are wrong more often then right and will report any rumour that will help them tell the story that Arabs are wrong and Israel is right. In other words, Debka's full of goose shit.
posted by tranquileye at 4:35 AM on January 3, 2004


And Debka has been discussed to death.
posted by tranquileye at 4:41 AM on January 3, 2004


what tranquileye said.
not to mention that the FPP links to a 3-day-old story that uses as a source Silvio Berlusconi's newspaper.
and Debka is so lame that not even Postroad -- may Allah bless his Likud-loving heart -- links to it on the Front Page anymore
it's also funny that AlQaeda supposedly announces on the Internet the date and modus operandi of their total destruction of Manhattan. like a sneak preview of a movie trailer or something. I forgot to check apple.com/quicktime/trailers maybe it's there too
also, did I mention to you guys that on February 10 I am going to have group sex with 25 Victoria Secret models?
posted by matteo at 5:01 AM on January 3, 2004


A bit of googling turned up a link (from this page) to the video and a bit more turned up a page by a group that convinced the ISP to take the site down. (It doesn't look like the FBI were involved).
posted by r1ch at 5:02 AM on January 3, 2004


Umm, if Qaeda had a nuclear weapon, wouldn't they have used it a few years ago instead of organizing simultaneous hijackings? They don't seem to be in a position to manufacture one at this point.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:53 AM on January 3, 2004


Color me scared -- delmoi
Of course this threat is bogus. Why go to all the trouble of planning a terrorist act and then spoil it by telling everyone about it before hand? nonetheless, it reminds us of some undeniable facts:
1. Al Queda and their like-minded associates are obsessed with New York City to the probably exclusion of all other targets (look back at the material gathered as a result of the first WTC bombing, if you don't believe this), and are likely to attack it again.
2. Way too many vital institutions are still concentrated in lower Manhattan -- making it the single location from which a terrorist can get the most bang for his buck. (This is not to mention all the valuable human lives and works of art that are also concentrated on Manhattan island)
The prime assets of our nation are packed together on Manhattan Island like our battleships were jammed side by side at Pearl Harbor in December, 1941, creating a splendid opportunity for mayhem. There is no excuse for this after September 11. The Stock Exchange and all other vital entities need to be drastically decentralized out of Manhattan, and moved to disparate locations nationwide. Banks, government, media, art treasures, need to spread out -- and that doesn't mean moving to Queens. The city needs to be drastically scaled down. To do so doesn't mean that "the terrorists have won," it means depriving them of what -- in the absence of further action -- will be another spectacular victory. From a defense standpoint, New York City is simply a dangerous anachronism that threatens the whole country. Delmoi, your personal fearlessness is admirable, but the type of courage that it needed now is the courage to pack it up, move it out, and establish a strong defensive position on a broad geographic matrix.
posted by Faze at 6:32 AM on January 3, 2004


Faze - Do you mean, for example, moving the MoMA to, say, Omaha? Wouldn't that be tremendous evidence that the Terrorists Have Won?
posted by alumshubby at 6:43 AM on January 3, 2004


Someone at Debka has been reading the Bible Code a little too seriously...
posted by tapeguy at 6:50 AM on January 3, 2004


Bush getting reelected will mean that The Terrorists Have Won.
posted by johnnydark at 6:59 AM on January 3, 2004


9-11, 2-2-4, man, those Al-Queda type dig easy to remember number combinations.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:08 AM on January 3, 2004


Alumshubby -- OMoMAha, Nebraska. I like the sound of that. What you suggest, however, is precisely what I mean. A little bit of the collection goes to Omaha, a little bit goes to Charleston, West Virginia, a little bit goes to Ft.Wayne, Indiana, and so on. (Although the collections I was mainly worried about belong to the Metropolitan, the Frick, the Morgan, and the Museum of Natural History. The terrorists can have MoMA, except for the film collection.) This not only spreads culture to the provinces, it provides more jobs for curators, art movers, guards, and others in the museum professions, and gives them an excuse to move the hell out of New York City.
posted by Faze at 7:09 AM on January 3, 2004


Faze, will you stop using every conceivable thread to dump on NYC? You're a great poster in many ways, but this endless feeding of your own grudge doesn't show you in the best possible light.

That having been said, this thread will only last till Matt wakes up, so I guess it's a moot point.
posted by languagehat at 7:17 AM on January 3, 2004


for MATTEO--it is true that I no longer link and post to DEBKA anymore. I like them but I adore you and I wait for your site to be put up so I can wityh fondness, passion, and happiness link often to you. Till then, sweetie.....
posted by Postroad at 7:27 AM on January 3, 2004


I was going to cover the point Faze ably made - "Why go to all the trouble of planning a terrorist act and then spoil it by telling everyone about it before hand?", so I'll have to go for another - "The video clip showed three possible scenarios:.....2. A storm of radioactive clouds that will topple skyscrapers one by one, along with the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge"

That's one hell of a weird storm - it sounds like Al Qaeda have figured out how to control the weather. A storm of Radioctive clouds! So let me guess - they seed radioctivity into clouds by means of a small airplane. Then - using novel new techniques, they whip the clouds up into a mini-hurricane and, with radio control joysticks cunningly adapted from model airplane kits, guide the small but fiercely potent hurricane on a collision course with NYC!

Oh my.

Next - Al Qaeda threatens to attack NYC with over 1,000 foot long mutant radioactive giant squid!

And - terrorists reported to be constructing a 1500 foot high mechanical man - out of steel and parts salvaged from a used aircraft carrier purchased on Ebay! This terrible colossus will crush whole cars underfoot, and send skyscrapers crashing to the ground as it battles the mighty Godzilla, diverted by the Japanese from his guard duty in Tokyo bay, to protect the fair NYC!

posted by troutfishing at 7:31 AM on January 3, 2004


What point would be served in announcing this beforehand? It's most likely the work of no one other than some technically-apt idiots with some time on their hands.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:44 AM on January 3, 2004


What point, ParisParamus?

While I think that it's bogus - the reason would be to show the world how strong Al Qaeda is and how weak the US really is.

"Look - we told the American Infidels that we were going to attack. In fact, we tried to minimize the loss of infidel life. But they did not take us seriously, and Allah (PBUH) did. Their Homeland Secuirty is a joke. Obviously, they weren't trained by Mossad."
posted by swerdloff at 8:18 AM on January 3, 2004


I've heard the suggestion that Debka is a Mossad front, along with possibly MEMRI,KAVKAZ and several others.
They use the tabloid angle to keep readers for when they want to leak something special--some information Israel wants to get out that the media won't or can't publish.
posted by kablam at 8:51 AM on January 3, 2004


Jeez. Most of you folks are still living in the jovial days of 1993. "Silly terrorist, went back for truck rental refund."
posted by HTuttle at 8:59 AM on January 3, 2004


That's because, in reality HTuttle, 1993 and now are not really any different. There has been nothing - nothing - credible to make any reasonable person believe that America, its cities and its citizens are at any greater risk from terrorist attack than they were in 1993, or 1963 for that matter. And despite the ongoing onslaught against civil liberties we've taken for granted for over two hundred years, we're certainly not any safer.

America has "waged" a stupid "war on terror" solely through PR and the aggregate interests of politically connected oil- and military-based corporations since 9/11 and absolutely nothing has come of it. As recently as this week, planes from England were "diverted" due to "possible terrorist threats," which just makes anyone who's been through an airport in the last two years laugh and laugh and laugh at the thought that the "heightened security measures" actually apprehended someone with criminal intent (as opposed to, say, somebody's grandma with a pair of knitting needles...). America's attention has been diverted from the "war on terrorism" to "the war on that guy who threatened my poppy" and while the world may or may not be a better place without Hussein in power, no reasonable person thinks he was ever a threat to the United States.

When terrorists again strike the US - and they will - it will be as random and as completely incomprehensible as the World Trade Center attack. Nothing about this current fruit-flavored alert of the week is going to do anything to prevent it. And anyone who believes that "Al Quaeda" or any other boogeyman terrorist organization bouying up the ratings of Fox News would pre-publicize their intent on a website for the world to see is as stupid as that idea is.
posted by JollyWanker at 9:22 AM on January 3, 2004


kablam - But that raises the question of what that information actually is. Is it merely the surface story? What if the surface stury is spurious but serves an Israeli agenda?

Information warfare of this sort is convoluted enough, but take a look at my Stanislaw Lem quote on MJJ's "Tiny Helicopter" post!
posted by troutfishing at 9:27 AM on January 3, 2004


ok, so should i take vacation time for that week or not? ; >
posted by amberglow at 9:29 AM on January 3, 2004


Israel, through the alleged "Debka front", could also be attempting to smoke out Al-Qaeda operatives who are working on a real nuclear bomb plot, by sowing dissension and mistrust - where did that threat come from - one of ours? (they might ask themselves).

Who knows.

When I lived in Baltimore, I considered buying a house there a somewhat shaky proposition for the proximity to DC - sooner or later, I reasoned, some terrorist group is going to explode a small, dirty nuclear bomb in our around DC. Even if it was merely a "dirty bomb", I reasoned, winds could blow the radioactivity up towards Baltimore and knock the housing market way, way down - wiping out any potential equity gains or worse. Of course, this is a general problem with big US cities but DC, as a terrorist target, would be higher on the list - I would hazard to guess.

Crass? Paranoid? Cynical? Realistic?

All of the above?
posted by troutfishing at 9:40 AM on January 3, 2004


I have always thought of the Debka file as the younger member of The Elders of Zion...young hotbllods to impatient for the yearly meetins held in the Alps to take over the world. Ah, youth!
posted by Postroad at 9:45 AM on January 3, 2004


Nice thing about terrorism, the threat of an attack creates almost as much terror as a real attack. Even more so when it comes after a real attack.

The next question is: Who wants to create terror? Who profits from the terror? Of course it doesn't have to be the same party behind the threat as is named in the threat.

That being said, this is from Debka. Pbthbthbthbththbth...
posted by Goofyy at 9:53 AM on January 3, 2004


Gold star for you, JollyWanker.

Look, folks, there is going to be another terror attack on the American homeland at some point. I guarantee it. Let's stop pretending we can somehow eliminate all terrorism forever; we can and should be vigilant, but at this point the right, especially, is resorting to scare-mongering, constantly invoking the specter of September 11, of further attacks.

So there probably will be further attacks. But we're all going to die some day, as well. So should we sit around worrying about the latter in the same manner we sit and worry about the former?
posted by kgasmart at 10:02 AM on January 3, 2004


the reason would be to show the world how strong Al Qaeda is and how weak the US really is.
swerdloff, hijacking 4 planes in 45 minutes, having 3 of them fly all over the Eastern US (chased by unarmed, impotent military fighter jets) and finally crash exactly where they wanted to does not show you how strong these guys actually are? do you think they need to show again how dangerous they are? the point is made already.
their big media show has been done already.
I guess their next step is doing real damage (all that effort, flight schools, double identities, etc just to kill 3,000 people militarily is a waste of time and resources. you just need 10 car bombs to kill 3,000 people in America on the same day. or just 4 suicide bombers Palestianian-style in 2 football stadiums (imagine the stampede)
these guys are strong because they use Western technology against the West and Western civli liberties against the West, simple as that

languagehat
you can't deny that a high concentration of magnificent art in the same very small very vulnerable overcrowded island is a fat big target for terrorists.
also, I went to the huge Vermeer exhibit in London 3 years ago. All the Vermmers in the world in the same room.
they blow up that wing of the National Gallery, Vermeer disappears forever from the history of the world.
remember when those Mafia assholes targeted the Uffizi with a carbomb back in '92? why couldn't Al Qaeda do the same?

postroad
thank you! I do have a site, but there's not nearly enough Muslim-bashing in it to be of any use to you. but thanks again!
posted by matteo at 10:14 AM on January 3, 2004


Matteo -

swerdloff, hijacking 4 planes in 45 minutes, having 3 of them fly all over the Eastern US (chased by unarmed, impotent military fighter jets) and finally crash exactly where they wanted to does not show you how strong these guys actually are? do you think they need to show again how dangerous they are? the point is made already.
their big media show has been done already.


Let's see - since then, if I'm not mistaken, the US has toppled two governments, set up the Dept. of Homeland Security, not had a single successful attack on domestic soil, captured or killed more than half of the top echelon of known Qaeda members, and done who knows what in the darkness.

So - to answer your question - I think that for Qaeda to maintain any respectability as a force that can project itself at the US, it has the same bar to hurdle as say... Japan. Who once sent fearsome suicide bombers at the US in peacetime, and who hasn't attacked since.

The point was made, the counterattack made, and no rejoinder by Qaeda.

I guess their next step is doing real damage (all that effort, flight schools, double identities, etc just to kill 3,000 people militarily is a waste of time and resources. you just need 10 car bombs to kill 3,000 people in America on the same day. or just 4 suicide bombers Palestianian-style in 2 football stadiums (imagine the stampede)

all of that is true. The effort etc. did much more damage than the loss of life, though, and that's why those targets were picked. The economy went from bad to downward spiral, those firms that were in the towers or nearby lost time and members, and thousands were poisoned by the fallout. Why do that? Because they didn't have nukes then, and because the damage, using what they had, was immense. But then, Pakistan's ISI and the whole Saudi government are on their side now, so who knows what they've got? Are you suggesting that if Al Qaeda had a nuke they wouldn't use it because there are other ways?

these guys are strong because they use Western technology against the West and Western civli liberties against the West, simple as that.

True. And the Nuke is a distinctly western technology, developed by the US by a cadre of immigrants.
posted by swerdloff at 11:05 AM on January 3, 2004


all that effort, flight schools, double identities, etc just to kill 3,000 people militarily is a waste of time [...] just 4 suicide bombers Palestianian-style [...] these guys are strong because they use Western technology against the West and Western civil liberties against the West

what are you saying here? if they're strong because they use aircraft etc then why are you predicting "traditional" suicide bombers? you find aeroplanes all over the world these days - what's so "western" about them? would it have been less western to bomb a train, or just less effective? the whole "western methods against the west" thing seems to assume that the rest of the world is full of chicken farmers - it might surprise you to know that other countries have pilots and pilot schools too. and what have western civil liberties got to do with anything? bin laden isn't living in new york - he's in a very non-western, very non-democratic area. you think the attacks would have been prevented by a ban on free speech? or are you complaining about those civil liberties that stop the usa from cancelling flights into the country?
posted by andrew cooke at 11:14 AM on January 3, 2004


The point was made, the counterattack made, and no rejoinder by Qaeda.

no rejoinder for now.
how many years between the first and the second WTC attack?
Eight.
Eight years. Where's the hurry. We're shitting our pants daily anyways -- Orange Alert, cancelled flights, etc. The point of terrorism, excuse the tautology, is to create fear. And we're shitting our collective Western pants already.
Do you board planes happily nowadays? I don't, and I'm not sure I'm alone. The West is scared already. They'll hit when they think it's best to do the most damage. Suppose they stay quiet for 5 years. And then some radiological attack happens. Will you still be gloating about how two wars taught those Arabs a lesson? I'm appalled by -- but can understand -- the gloating about the Japanese being less unruly after good old Gen LeMay barbecued all those civilians and good old Harry Truman nuked their asses. but gloating after two years of relative peace (relative because outside the US people are dying all the time in Al Qaeda related attacks) seems to be pretty optimistic.
the Japan example is pretty unexcusable, but let's see what a good, red-blooded Jap-slaughtering patriotic American has to say:
" We've fought many enemies at different times. But we knew who they were and where they were. These people, we don't know who they are or where they are. That's the point that bothers me. Because they're gonna strike again, I'll put money on it. And it's going to be damned dramatic. But they're gonna do it in their own sweet time."

In their own sweet time, swerdloff

andrew: if they're strong because they use aircraft etc then why are you predicting "traditional" suicide bombers?

Because they adapt.
The Protean Enemy, as prof Jessica Stern wrote.

you find aeroplanes all over the world these days - what's so "western" about them?
that Boeing and Airbus are Western companies.
that the Wright Brothers were Western
etc etc

seems to assume that the rest of the world is full of chicken farmers

mmmmm the smell of burning straw men.

it might surprise you to know that other countries have pilots and pilot schools too

really?
huh.
well, when you feel like comparing our respective travel experiences, feel free to contact me by e-mail, I'll happily provide passport stamps if you feel so inclined

and what have western civil liberties got to do with anything?

that we're losing them fast since 9-11, didn't you notice it?
that after a noocular/radiological attack by AlQaeda they'll be gone possibily forever, our civil liberties.

bin laden isn't living in new york

says who?

he's in a very non-western, very non-democratic area
Pakistan? Well, Musharraf is a precious Western ally, so we can't complain too much. Propping up tyrants is official US policy since, like, forever by now. You know, Saddam was a good secular leader fighting against those evil Godless ayatollahs

or are you complaining about those civil liberties that stop the usa from cancelling flights into the country?
hmmmm straw men burning again...
posted by matteo at 12:19 PM on January 3, 2004


...not had a single successful attack on domestic soil...

What? What the heck? Were you out of town for the Beltway Sniper? Out to lunch for the Ohio shootings? Did you miss the teen who flew his Cessna into a skyscraper Tampa? I don't know about you, but my homeland has most certainly been terrorized since September 11th.
posted by Ptrin at 12:36 PM on January 3, 2004


If you think about it, it's rather hard to make a radiation bomb that's worth a darn.
First of all, size matters. Since you don't have a fission reaction, the only isotopes you can use to contaminate with must be inside the bomb body.
Second of all, not all isotopes are created equal. If they are too light weight, they go straight up; too heavy, straight down. So you want isotopes that are pretty neutral in air boyancy to cover the widest area.
Third, isotopes have different medical effects, many have none at all, not being readily uptaken by the human body.
Fourth, isotopes also emit different types of radiation, alpha, beta and gamma, with very different effects.

Fifth, the high explosive you use must be well designed to disperse the isotopes. Just blowing some chunks about doesn't do anything. Neither does just melting it.
Sixth, your high explosive may change the chemical composition of your isotope.
Seventh, your dispersal pattern is wind-dependant.
Eighth, you need altitude for a larger pattern.
Ninth, rain or snow could radically limit contamination.

Well, it *can* be done. But I would give you odds that whoever would do it would botch it up. The best you can hope for is an irrational panic.
posted by kablam at 12:55 PM on January 3, 2004


If you think about it, it's rather hard to make a radiation bomb that's worth a darn.
First of all, size matters. Since you don't have a fission reaction, the only isotopes you can use to contaminate with must be inside the bomb body.
Second of all, not all isotopes are created equal. If they are too light weight, they go straight up; too heavy, straight down. So you want isotopes that are pretty neutral in air buoyancy to cover the widest area.
Third, isotopes have different medical effects, many have none at all, not being readily uptaken by the human body.
Fourth, isotopes also emit different types of radiation, alpha, beta and gamma, with very different effects.

Fifth, the high explosive you use must be well designed to disperse the isotopes. Just blowing some chunks about doesn't do anything. Neither does just melting it.
Sixth, your high explosive may change the chemical composition of your isotope.
Seventh, your dispersal pattern is wind-dependant.
Eighth, you need altitude for a larger pattern.
Ninth, rain or snow could radically limit contamination.

Well, it *can* be done. But I would give you odds that whoever would do it would botch it up. The best you can hope for is an irrational panic.
posted by kablam at 12:55 PM on January 3, 2004


sorry about the double.
posted by kablam at 12:55 PM on January 3, 2004


But even if the radiation bomb is made poorly it would still have its intended effect. Terror. I for one would not buy a house or visist anywhere near where one had gone off, no matter how safe the government claimed it was.
posted by Iax at 1:13 PM on January 3, 2004


Ptrin - don't forget the shooter at the LAX ticket counter on July 4th! And the anthrax! God only knows where the hell that stuff came from. We tend to forget about it when mentioning terroist incidents since it started showing up while we all still very numbed from the actual 9/11 attacks and we still don't know who sent it or why.
posted by Asparagirl at 1:44 PM on January 3, 2004


And the anthrax! ... we still don't know who sent it or why.

Yes, that's remarkable, isnt it? All the new powers that Ashcroft has acquired, and they still havent found that guy. Hmmm...
posted by dash_slot- at 1:54 PM on January 3, 2004


The terror threat at home, often overlooked
posted by homunculus at 2:29 PM on January 3, 2004


i don't understand the logic that connects losing civil liberties to "[using] Western civil liberties against the West".

the wright brothers perfected the aeroplane, sure. nobel perfected explosives. does that make a bomb western too? if someone's shot do we mention colt or gatling and comment sagely about western weapons? no.

the "western devices against the west" meme is fluff. at best it doesn't mean anything. at worst it panders to the those ideas you dismissed as straw men.
posted by andrew cooke at 2:30 PM on January 3, 2004


This thread is filled with the kind of dellusional paranoia which has brought Metafilter down a number of notches in the last few years. It's gone from something on the witty graduate school level, to something approximating college sophomore-dom(dumb?).

Please exemplify the supposed loss of civil liberties supposedly visited upon us since 9/11/01. How many American citizens has been arrested/investigated/wiretapped since then? More than before? Show me some statistics. Americans still enjoy much more freedom than Europeans do (for better or worse). This is all just political bullshit to create the spectre of competition in the upcoming Presidential election.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:15 PM on January 3, 2004


...Wll you stop using every conceivable thread to dump on NYC? -- languagehat
I'm so sorry if this is the impression being received. But there's a difference between dumping on New York ("New York is dirty, the people are rude, and the theatre's much better in Chicago") and wishing to see its greatness preserved ("New York is home to America's brightest, most creative young people, it priceless art treasures, and critical pieces of its economic and communications infrastructure. These things must be preserved from destruction.") Calling for the decentralization of key NYC assets is common sense at this point. It not only lowers the potential damage from a terrorist attack, it make such an attack less likely.
And, just to make the point clear, all parked cars in Manhattan should have hand-printed signs in their windows saying "No radio, no priceless art treasures, no critical government, economic or business functions..."
posted by Faze at 3:20 PM on January 3, 2004


Please exemplify the supposed loss of civil liberties supposedly visited upon us since 9/11/01.
I believe that you used to be able to visit Vegas without your personal info being given to the FBI, no? That's just one small example.
posted by amberglow at 3:28 PM on January 3, 2004


This thread is filled with the kind of dellusional paranoia which has brought Metafilter down a number of notches in the last few years.

Umm, we're appear not to be in Kansas anymore...
posted by inpHilltr8r at 3:54 PM on January 3, 2004


Amberglow. Good example--seriously (whether it's more disturbing than the fact people actually like going to Las Vegas is a better question, but I digress). But is the FBI doing that a function of the Patriot Act, or some other legislation?
posted by ParisParamus at 3:55 PM on January 3, 2004


This thread is filled with the kind of dellusional paranoia which has brought Metafilter down a number of notches in the last few years.

As opposed to the high-minded discourse over at Lucianne.com
posted by kgasmart at 3:55 PM on January 3, 2004


How many American citizens has been arrested/investigated/wiretapped since then? More than before? Show me some statistics.

I wish I could tell you. A few snippets from this summary of ACLU cases (13 pages, pdf):

"On Dec. 5, 2001, the ACLU, the Center for National Security Studies and others filed a challenge to the federal government’s refusal to disclose basic information about individuals arrested and detained since Sept. 11, 2001… Oral argument before the appeals court took place on Nov. 18; a decision is pending.

On Dec. 9, 2002, the ACLU of Massachusetts filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking details on government surveillance of college professors and students nationwide... Status: The FBI has yet to respond to the request.

In Aug. 2002, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request demanding that the Department of Justice provide information about the pervasiveness of domestic spying… In May 2003, a federal district judge in Washington held that the FOIA does not require the Attorney General to disclose further information about the FBI’s use of new surveillance power."
posted by eddydamascene at 4:01 PM on January 3, 2004


Show me some statistics. Americans still enjoy much more freedom than Europeans do

Show me some statistics.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 4:20 PM on January 3, 2004


Protections against search and seizure all over the place (in Europe? Defamation suits by politicians in France (and probably, elsewhere)? There's a long list of things you can't do in the US that are considered normal in most places in Europe. On the other hand, I fail to see why national guard and army members in Grand Central Terminal here in New York are so disturbing....
posted by ParisParamus at 4:28 PM on January 3, 2004


Paris, supposedly it's because of the (draft from EFF) Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 (aka Patriot Act 2), passed mid-december, that treats all sorts of places as financial institutions now--from the article I posted above: President Bush signed legislation earlier this month expanding the authority of the bureau and other U.S. authorities conducting counterterrorist intelligence. The law authorizes them to demand records from financial companies including casinos without seeking court approval.
posted by amberglow at 4:32 PM on January 3, 2004


but that doesn't explain all the airlines handing over info without a warrant or court approval...unless that's in it too.
posted by amberglow at 4:33 PM on January 3, 2004


someone set up us the bomb?
posted by quonsar at 4:44 PM on January 3, 2004


Personally, I don't give a rat's.....about supposed privacy breaches when it comes to airline passenger info. Hotels? That's more disturbing. On the otherhand, there isn't a square foot of Las Vegas, save the inside of hotel rooms, that isn't under surveilance.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:46 PM on January 3, 2004


supposedly it's because of the (draft from EFF) Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 (aka Patriot Act 2), passed mid-december

Signed the day Saddam was captured, in fact.

But is the FBI doing that a function of the Patriot Act, or some other legislation?

The Patriot Act is reserved for investigating strip clubs.
posted by homunculus at 5:03 PM on January 3, 2004


Too bad the Terrorist Screening Center is still not ready for prime time.
posted by homunculus at 5:06 PM on January 3, 2004


Faze: The Stock Exchange and all other vital entities need to be drastically decentralized out of Manhattan, and moved to disparate locations nationwide. Banks, government, media, art treasures, need to spread out -- and that doesn't mean moving to Queens.

I can see the Stock Exchange, but isn't just about everything else pretty much decentralized? The Federal Government to my knowledge is not centralized in lower Manhattan at all. Depending on the network, Southern California is just as important as L.A. for media (granted, more diversification would reduce the tendency for disproportionate East and West Coast views of the U.S.). And with every major city in the United States having at least one respectable art collection, I don't see that as a major problem. How realistic is it for New York, D.C. Philadelphia and Chicago to be hit in one go?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:58 PM on January 3, 2004


And on reflection, the mention of Ft. Wayne, Indiana is interesting. Ft. Wayne is equidistant from the Detroit museum of fine arts which boasts the 5th largest collection, and Chicago with both the Art Institute and the Natual History collections. It is also a spitting distance away from the Lilly in Indianapolis, a smaller but respectable museum, and the Eiteljorg museum of Native American and Western Art.

The provences are doing quite well on their own when it comes to fine art.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:23 PM on January 3, 2004


Stuff like this alarms me:

"Passenger David Litwick told WJLA-TV in Washington that he and his wife were not questioned, but at least one other passenger was. Litwick said four FBI agents spoke to a woman who appeared to be from the Middle East, repeatedly asking her why she was not traveling with her husband."

(re: the British Airways jet that was shaken down by the Fibbies on the runway, 12/31/03).
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:25 PM on January 3, 2004


...wishing to see its greatness preserved ("New York is home to America's brightest, most creative young people, it priceless art treasures, and critical pieces of its economic and communications infrastructure. These things must be preserved from destruction.")

In other words, we have to destroy NYC's greatness in order to save it. It's a city—the world's greatest city at this point in history—of course it has concentrations of great things. If you take away the creative people, the art, and the economic and communications infrastructure, you don't have a city any more. Perhaps you'd be happy with a city-free world, all of us living in rustic splendor and no more than two artworks in any given square mile, but many of us would not. It's like saying "the reason you're afraid of theft is that you own things; just get rid of all that stuff and you'll fear no more!" Fine for stoic philosophers, not so good for the rest of us.
posted by languagehat at 6:50 AM on January 4, 2004


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