Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Thank You England!

According to London’s Guardian newspaper, “at 2am, [or 9PM Wednesday US Eastern time] the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre raised the UK terror alert from severe to critical - it’s highest level - for the first time”.
From around 10:30PM [or 5:30PM US Eastern] Thursday evening, according to the London Times, “police carried out a series of raids in London, Buckinghamshire and Birmingham, arresting 21 people”.
Various print and cable news media mentioned “a decision was made to move suddenly following months of surveillance.”
My personal memory of Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan and imprecise language regarding any type of US/UK investigative cooperation by the American cable media and the comedy team of Chertoff and Gonzales this morning forced an initial conclusion that the blabby and poll addicted US government was not fully informed of operational details until last evening or early this morning.
A dearth of official British quotes along with a multitude of quoted Bush officials in UK media, at first glance, seemed to counter my first impression of US official exclusion until I ran across this darkly amusing tidbit in the Guardian:

British officials were slightly more circumspect about the background to the plot than their US counterparts, stressing that they had to be careful about what they said.

Indeed, it seems a safe bet that future historians will never use the phrase "Bushian circumspection".
The big bloggers this morning, also rarely "careful" with public speech, suspect, as with Noor Khan’s arrest only days after the Democratic Convention, that the British terror raids were staged to support yesterday’s Lieberman/Rove characterization of liberal Democrats as terrorists or insurgents.
My read of the available information suggests that the terror plot was quite real and only hours from becoming operational and that the tactically unaware Bush government, isolated by previously burned British intelligence services, immediately, once informed, began spinning the news to enhance yesterday’s Lieberman/Rove political smear as they frivolously used Noor Khan to steal headlines from 2004’s Democratic National Convention.

Photo: AP
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