Al Qaeda drew up plans to attack the Space Needle, Grand Coulee dam, nuclear plants and more,
January 30, 2002 6:15 PM   Subscribe

Al Qaeda drew up plans to attack the Space Needle, Grand Coulee dam, nuclear plants and more, according to documents the feds found in Afghanistan. Perhaps Dubya was referring to this last night when he said "time is not on our side." Sweet dreams.
posted by gsteff (25 comments total)
Good thing we kicked their ass, eh?
posted by fuq at 6:37 PM on January 30, 2002

Who says?

There's still many of them operating around the world.
posted by mkn at 7:11 PM on January 30, 2002

posted by Marquis at 7:17 PM on January 30, 2002

I've just about had it with those Al Quaed-dude bastards.

Of course, I keep hearing about how we (ie the U.$) have drawn up "plans" to bomb Afghani cities back to the level of most Texas towns, and seemed to have been pretty damned successful at following through with those "plans". Seems I've heard something about some "plans" made by we hero patriots of the U.$. to bomb those bastard Iraqis, too. And don't we have some pretty long-standing "plans" to bomb Russian and Chinese cities (the bastards!) into a smoldering white, anthrax-like powder?

Just wanted to check. I do so hate to get the good guys and the bad guys mixed up. Sweet dreams.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 7:31 PM on January 30, 2002

posted by n9 at 7:39 PM on January 30, 2002

So... we are surprised that a major terrorist organization had plans to... terrorize? Indeed. Personally, I wonder what Osama is planning right now, as he sits in that quiet little Tel Aviv cafe, face shaven and nose reshaped, sipping his mocha latte. What's going on inside his head? Who will be next?
posted by Ptrin at 7:42 PM on January 30, 2002

Ptrin: Don't speculate on terrorist targets, because anything could be one. Most important is that you correct any problems you see quietly and appropriately. Remaining vigilant implies staying awake on your watch. Sign up for your watch and go to bed! FDR slept well during WWII. We should too.
posted by sheauga at 7:50 PM on January 30, 2002

I've become more vigilant since 9/11, and I know I'm not alone. I just don't know if I'm turning into a commie or a fascist, as the case can theoretically be made either way.
posted by swerve at 7:53 PM on January 30, 2002

Sheauga: In all honesty, I haven't the slightest idea what you are saying. Certainly, one of us needs to get more sleep. Which one, though, I'm not so sure of : )
posted by Ptrin at 7:57 PM on January 30, 2002

"Of course, I keep hearing about how we (ie the U.$) have drawn up "plans" to bomb Afghani cities back to the level of most Texas towns, and seemed to have been pretty damned successful at following through with those "plans".

Much, it's worth it to add, to the delight of a lot of Afghani's. I think it was Hitchens who said that while many countries had been bombed into the stone age, America is the first country that managed to bomb a country out of the stone age. When US troops finally enetered the capital, reporters were asking Afghanis for their feelings ... looking for resentment at an invading force (since the critics yammered endlessly at first at how the Soviets tried unsuccessfully for ten years to take Afghanistan, and we were going to be equally humiliated). The general sense however was that there wasn't concern about American troops being there - the concern was that they'd leave too soon.
posted by MidasMulligan at 8:24 PM on January 30, 2002

As much as I dislike materialism here, the "U.$" bit is way too cheesy.
posted by raysmj at 9:37 PM on January 30, 2002

As much as I dislike materialism here, the "U.$" bit is way too cheesy.

Well, the post *was* amazingly free of references to "Amerikka." Maybe fold is mellowing out :)
posted by lizs at 10:13 PM on January 30, 2002

Report to your corporate propaganda centers at 9am sharp tomorrow. There's marching orders to be taken.

I have no doubt that they are planning such things. I have no doubt that any terrorist organization worth its salt makes such plans. They do not, however, represent an elected government, and they weren't even liked by most of the people they purported to be standing up for. Rather, they were quite happy to let those people take the brunt of the attacks aimed against themselves. Nowadays even the mullahs of Pakistan come in for abuse from their neighbors.

What is important here is not the fact that they were planning such things, but that they no longer have the venues to train and plan and organize such things. Perhaps they can still pull some things off, but they will have to spend a lot of their energy, time, and money, running and hiding. The more of that they do, the fewer space needles they blow up.

The sleazy, easy moral relativism of the fold_and_mutilates of the world is hardly worth comment.
posted by dhartung at 10:33 PM on January 30, 2002

" ... As much as I dislike materialism here, the "U.$" bit is way too cheesy..."

Actually, I think he didn't go far enough ... and really - I think it's quite complimentary. As a number of writers have mentioned (including dear old Ayn), the US is the only country that has ever adopted - as it's currency symbol - it's own monogram. (It's now been shortened to one vertical line, but it used to be two, i.e., it used to be the letter "U" superimposed on the letter "S").

Money represents value - that someone has to create before it has any meaning. While I presume he means it cynically, it is also the reason why so many want to move to this country ... no matter what your birth or inital station in life, if you can create something that others value, you can make a good deal of money. Simple as that seems, it is still a revelation, indeed, even a miracle, to people in other parts of this world.
posted by MidasMulligan at 10:48 PM on January 30, 2002

it used to be the letter "U" superimposed on the letter "S"

I believe this is apocryphal.
posted by kindall at 11:02 PM on January 30, 2002

Midas I completely agree with your last paragraph. This is the main failing of the anti-capitalists, many of whom have never run a business or bothered to create something for others to enjoy (at least beyond something free). Anyone who has taken time to truly investigate capitalism, including Marx, knows that the good side of capitalism offers some of the finest rewards to the society that engages in them. A nation will never be able to perfectly adhere to the lofty goals of an open, pluralistic society, but it seems that every nation in history that is come close has been successful and prosperous.

It is a shame that some people are happy with the status-quo, finding the only way they can venerate their country is to compare it to the lowest form of enemy, the terrorist. To me it is unamerican to settle for being mediocre in any measure of goodness, honesty, and fair play. People need to stand up and say this is a nation that has morals, values, intelligence, and good sense. Admit our mistakes, cut our losses, and improve-- isn't that what we've done as a country, improve? I believe it is possible to win this war, and improve our country at the same time.
One should feed the other.

When I hear so many negative voices from both the "america sux... it's as bad as iran" crowd and the "america rox, i mean it's better than iran and stuff" crowd, it is kind of depressing. Does anyone have clue what I'm talking about?
posted by chaz at 11:35 PM on January 30, 2002

The troll leans back in his capitalist-made chair, reads this on his capitalist-made computer and laughs and laughs at those of us who respond to him, the troll.

How 'bout if we stop feeding the troll? I.e., stop commenting on the troll's post?
posted by Holden at 3:07 AM on January 31, 2002

FDR slept well during WWII.

Perhaps because this is what he was up against, terrorism-wise.
posted by luser at 5:00 AM on January 31, 2002

sorry to interupt your mutual self-congratulation session, but i thought i'd try to balance this thread a bit more.
i don't know much about economics, but i know enough to understand that it is a game, not a science.
possibly a quarter of the population of the US lives in poverty, if that is a sign of a successful system then maybe we should all re-appraise our standards.
the capilalist system of skill exchange using vouchers (money) is perhaps not the most efficient system available. it has spawned so many parasitical growth areas (banking, saving, futures market, bonds market, all stock exchange trading) that it cannot be efficient. these 'jobs' do nothing for the human race at all in practical terms, yet they are 'valuable' in monetary terms. we all know it is more important to have a 'good' up-bringing than to be rich, yet the 'job' of child rearing is not reccompensed at all by the capitalist system. why is it more financially rewarding to work as a salesperson than a nurse? what does this do to a society? what happens when these values are promoted to the world at large?
the ability to make descisions built on experience and to work in co-operation, as well as individually, set us apart from other species to a certain extent. the proclivity to ignore these factors and continue on regardless makes us unique. every system built on consumerism has choked on it's own sewage eventually. in the past these events have been limited in geographic scale, but this time the whole planet is being consumed. what will that leave for my children's children?
the world of moral-relativism has just as much worth as the world of market forces, and neither are the solution to our problems. Some people are trying to promote the practical outcomes of ideas like 'freedom', 'individuality' against the crushing force of capitalist consumption.
perhaps something to think about whilst you lean back on your chair produced in the 'third world' from your computer manufactured in a country which denies human rights to it's citizens in your sweat-shop produced clothes.
posted by asok at 5:01 AM on January 31, 2002

Well, proximity aside, the Space Needle would not be my target of choice.
posted by y2karl at 9:16 AM on January 31, 2002

The history of the U.S. dollar symbol can be found here. For a start, think of the football cheer: "Two bits, four bits, hey, six bits a dollar!" Etc., etc.
posted by raysmj at 12:39 PM on January 31, 2002

When I was 9 I planned to own a zoo when I grew up. That didn't amount to much either, and I had drawings and everything!

You'll recall that we also found some "documents" in a Taliban office that turned out to be from a parody website because they didn't know the difference. Though I have very little faith in Dubya and the Gang, one would hope that our intelligence agencies would be able to properly assess any such "information" and not fly off on some Chicken Little display.
posted by briank at 1:40 PM on January 31, 2002

y2karl beat me to it, but I'm going to post this anyway...

Part of me is very disappointed at the thought of the Space Needle being targeted. I'm an honorary Seattleite since I've got so many friends there, and the Needle is probably Seattle's #1 landmark.

The other part of me wants them to hit the Needle, in the hopes they'd take out the Experience Music Project with it.

What a horrid building...
posted by CrayDrygu at 4:41 PM on January 31, 2002

This Seattle Times article takes a much less sensationalized view of the matter, staring with the headline ("Al-Qaida photos of Space Needle found; meaning unknown ").
Seattle's police chief last night said reports of specific al-Qaida attack plans against the Space Needle or any other state landmark, such as Grand Coulee Dam, were exaggerated.
So, yes, I'll sleep fine tonight, thank you.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 4:51 PM on January 31, 2002

Can't wait to watch MSNBC the day al-Quaida is discovered to be in possession of an encyclopedia. *shudder* Of course, nobody else has actually waded this far through the flames to check Shadowkeeper's correction. Ptrin, you're too young to know that visceral urge to "spindle, fold'n'mutilate!," so learn from my example: never confront a threat with an unclear pronoun reference.

The more senior members of MetaFilter may recognize that the fold_and_mutilate / n9 / Midas / chaz / dhartung dialogue contains the seeds of an important peace process, and join in imploring all involved to continue arguing over the shape of the table, no matter how long it takes.
posted by sheauga at 6:24 PM on January 31, 2002

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