Former State Dept. Official, Expert On Extremism Says US Terror Alert Is 'Crazy Pants'

from the ridiculous dept

We've already discussed just how bizarre it is that the US's big terror alert and embassy evacuation has already involved revealing details of how the government figured out what Al Qaeda is up to. It appears that plenty of experts in these fields are completely mystified as to the government's actions here, both in their reaction to the threats and then revealing the specific way they found out about it (at the same time they're defending secrecy is needed over their data collection methods).
“It’s crazy pants – you can quote me,” said Will McCants, a former State Department adviser on government extremism who this month joins the Brookings Saban Center as the director of its project on U.S. relations with the Islamic world.

“We just showed our hand, so now they’re obviously going to change their position on when and where” to attack, said Nada Bakos, a former CIA analyst who was part of the team that hunted Osama bin Laden for years.

“It’s not completely random, but most people are, like, ‘Whaaat?’ ” said Aaron Zelin, who researches militants for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and blogs about them at
But, really, there's a bigger issue here, highlighted by this simple tweet from Cathal Garvey:
The narrative beggars belief. Same month NSA mass surveillance enters public scrutiny, Al Qaida leadership suddenly start emailing plots.
Of course, now it's come out that it wasn't "email" that the US found out about, but a conference call between various Al Qaeda leadership, but that doesn't really change very much. In many ways, it makes the story even more bizarre. We've already heard from Pentagon-friendly reporters claims that the terrorists were changing how they communicate after the Snowden revelations -- and yet suddenly they all jump onto a conference call that the US government can easily monitor? Really?

Filed Under: hype, revelations, terror alert, threats

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2013 @ 12:53pm

    Since I now know I can't trust the government to tell its citizens the truth, this beggars belief that they now expect me to accept there is some sort of terrorist plans at the same time there are problems at home with spying.

    To say on one hand that intelligence gathering is damaged by Snowden while giving away how they are aware of terrorist plans is mind boggling in the expectation to be believed.

    What it tells me, is the two level justice system is in place and alive and well. Snowden's head is wanted to revealing that there are spy programs going on that the government officials lied their asses off under oath about. Yet when the government reveals it, all is ok.

    Yah, I got a real problem with just accepting the official line anymore. Problem is this now extends to all government functions and not just the spying issues. The total creditability has been damaged and it will take some doing to ever repair it.

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