Saturday, August 12, 2006

Plods under pressure - Britain's dilemma

SCOTLAND Yard is under pressure to turn the arrests over transatlantic terrorism into successful criminal prosecutions.

The alleged plot to blow up as many as 12 aircraft has been described by senior police as a plan to “commit mass murder on an unimaginable scale”.

But the situation is being viewed with some skepticism. Figures released last night showed that of more than 1,000 arrests under the Terrorism Act since 9/11, 158 people have been charged with terrorist offences. About 60 people are awaiting trial on terrorism charges.

The authorities need to win over a public used to dramatic police activity followed by admissions of error. Story Here

This is the basis of my argument that the Republican's use of terrorism for domestic political control is wearing thin.

They can only cry wolf so often before people lose interest in the threats. Adding the draconian travel security measures just pisses people off after a while.

The fact is the policy, or tactic, is running beyond credibility. I know I stick my neck out on this line, but there are going to be tears before bedtime, at the very least a much reduced majority.

There is a strong sense of skepticism being expressed here in Canada and a growing realisation in the States.

The next two dramatic episodes, especially a potentially major October episode couuld well be the final wake up call to wavering voters that they are being taken for a ride.


Reality-Based Educator said...

The strategy does seem to be wearing a little thin. The preznit today said he was "Shocked, shocked" to hear that "some people say we are politicizing the war on terror." Given that his VP, his press secretary and his best friend Joe Lieberman all issued statements that amounted to "A vote for Ned Lamont and other anti-war Dems is a vote for more terrorist attacks," you can see whay some people might feel the GOP is politicizing the war on terror. But nonetheless the GOP must have some polling saying they have to tread carefully on this, otherwise Georgie Boy wouldn't be disavowing the WOT politicization this morning.

I hope that you're right about this, cartledge. I suspect these arrests were just the first act in a three-act play designed by Republicans to keep the terrorism issue front and center before the November midterms. next comes legislation calling for increased executive power, war tribunals etc. And the final act will be the "revelation" that the FBI/DOJ have disrupted a homegrown American terrorist plot through the NSA spying program or some other controversial measure many Dems opposed. The revelation will come as the October Surprise. it will come far enough away from the midterms to cement the idea in people's heads that the GOP are the ones to keep the safe from terrorism but not so far away that the plot disruption" gets scrutiny from the press.

That's my bet anyway.

Cartledge said...

Georgie Boy wouldn't be disavowing the WOT politicization this morning.
WE need to keep saying it, repeating it, forcing repudiation.
The message is obviously getting through.

Reality-Based Educator said...

Watching the Sunday morning shows on American TV, the message absolutely is getting through. On the Chris Matthews Sow, NEWSWEEK columnist Howard Fineman said Democrats need to argue that "Stupid Decisions Aren't Strength" and then list all the stupid decisions the administration has engaged in or enabled that have helped to create more terrorists (Iraq war, Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, backing israel's Lebanon bombing, arming Israel for the Lebanon bombing, etc.)

It's good to see that the black and white "terror debates" of 2002 and 2004 have given way to something more realistic.

Cartledge said...

I'm willing to hold my ground on the mid-term outcome. It's the threat to the administration which is more worrying. How much do they have to hide? How desperate are they?
I don't believe for a moment that the Lieberman thing signals a hard shift left for the Dems, who will be a threat.
How far willl Bush and Co go to protect themselves? A State of Emergency?

Reality-Based Educator said...

You know, cartledge, I was wondering that myself - when will the cross the rubicon and finally decalre that they cannot give up power because it would help the terrorists? It sounds crazy, but I bet George and Cheney are already thinking through the strategy for it. Remember, Rudy Giuliani wanted to do something similar here in NYC post-9/11 but the tabloids quickly disabused him of that. Thank god.

Cartledge said...

RBE, the pendulum is really swinging now between optimism and pessimism.
Those bastards in Washington are totally amoral, (and London and Canberra)which is bloody scary. No one knows how far they will go to cover themselves. No one really knows how much they need to cover up.
I just hope that there are enough decent Americans with the guts to stand up to anything that even smells like a coup attempt.