Thursday, August 10, 2006

Skeletor Chertoff Speaks on British Terror Plot

Department of Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff has certainly distinguished himself in public service. Following a brilliant career modeling for Iron Maiden album covers, he is best known today for the heckuva job he and Michael Brown did coordinating the Hurricane Katrina rescue effort, which went so swimmingly.

on CNN's American Morning, he continued in that fine tradition with this statement regarding the announced disruption of a terror plot in Britain :

"It's not clear when this was going to be implemented ... but we are coming up on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. They do want to make a big statement." [Chertoff] said on CNN's "American Morning."

So the anniversary's coming up, eh? Well, there's no doubt in my mind that somebody wants to make a big production out of that. But I wonder how important our western anniversary dates are to islamic fundamentalist radicals. Let's dig deeper.

The Muslim world uses a different calendar than the one used in our culture. Our Gregorian calendar, as we all know, is based on the earth's travel around the sun and has 365 days. The Islamic calendar, by contrast, is based on phases of the moon and has 354 days.

Today, for example is
August 10, 2006 by our calendar but by the Islamic calendar it is 16 Rajab 1427.

Exactly one year ago by our calendar it was also August 10 but that same day on the Islamic calendar was 5 Rajab 1426.

Extending this analysis into 9/11,
September 11, 2001 was 23 Jumada Al-Akhirah 1422 in the Islamic world.

This year our
September 11, 2006 will be the Islamic 18th of Sha'ban 1427.

The Islamic anniversary of 9/11, 23 Jumada Al-Akhirah, translates to our calendar this year as
July 19, 2006. Last month.

As time goes by the Islamic anniversary date will continue to diverge by roughly 11 days per year from our calendar anniversary of September 11th. The moral of our story? American anniversary dates have nothing at all to do with anything.

And what of the terror plot itself, you ask? I'll take a wait-and-see approach on that one. I've seen too many big announcements about supposed major terror plots fizzle out and devolve into utter ridiculousness. The recent hype surrounding Haitian and Dominican "Al Qaeda" group in Miami is only the latest such circus to jade my view. Maybe I'll write a post sometime soon dealing with the whole series of such government-sponsored hoaxes to which we have been subjected. In the meantime, I'll simply reserve judgement on this latest news as more facts become available. Time answers all questions.


Anonymous said...

I agree this guy shouldn't be on TV the morning this sort of news breaks. Shouldn't he be busy AT WORK? When you put these people on TV while the story is developing - 3 or 4 minutes on each morning news programs - they're basically responding to canned questions. The questions and answers are purposely construed to "make sense" to us common folk. Anniversary of 9/11? Sounds good to me (a common folk).

As far as this terror plot being serious or not - I think this one was the real deal. Maybe not linked to Al Queda, but this could have been a huge mess. These guys do get it right once in a while, you know.

FearItself said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
FearItself said...

Hey, thanks for posting.

Yes, I agree that judging from all the reporting so far this does look like a legitimate bust. It was a long time in coming.

It's interesting to note, however, that this bust was the result of surveillance authorized via a warrant, which undercuts the Bush argument that says warrants hinder terrorism investigations. That was always nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Well, they aren't going to admit that they gathered some intelligence to bust these guys without a warrent - their case would get thrown out of court and these guys would go free. You don't admit you broke the rules in this sort of thing.

FearItself said...

I misspoke. It wasnt the that surveillance took place with a warrant, it was the fact that, since it was overseas surveillance, no intelligence law requires a warrant. I should have said that this wasn't the result of the illegal NSA domestic program and that if it had been domestic, there would have been no need to avoid getting a warrant because they're so easy to get from the FISA court.

But this bust could have just easily occured without the illegal aspects of Bush's spying program. That's the point I meant to make.

FearItself said...

OK, I have revise my revision. Although the above is also correct, it's not the complete picture. Although the US is responsible for some of the surveillance, most of it was conducted by British authorities who are required to always get a warrant. So this cuts either way. Neither supports the Bush case that illegal warrantless, domestic wiretaps are necessary to stop terrorists.