Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Frustration (#2) Frustration (#2)

Last night, a friend of mine called up after watching something on TV. He was absolutely convinced that there had to be (space) aliens because the DoD apparently has contingency plans for meeting them, and has had such for probably my entire life time. After all, if they didn't exist, why should the DoD waste its time on making up such plans?

But of course, the DoD has contingency plans for almost anything imaginable, whether it be nuking North Korea, or meeting space aliens. After all, when the sh** hits the fan, and the President wants his options, he doesn't want to hear that the military will be back to him in a month with them.

This friend then went on to point out that the President apparently knew about the possibility of al Qaeda using airplanes as weapons, as was done shortly thereafter on 9/11.

Yes, there was a vague mention of the possibility in a PDB* sometime in, I believe, August of 2001. But this guy misses a couple of important points here:
  • PDBs are routine. That is why they are called PDBs, instead of PWBs, PMBs, or PYBs. If the Administration followed up every threat mentioned in one, they would be tied up well into the next administration chasing their tails.

  • The PDB was vague. It was actionable. What was the government supposed to do about this vague threat?

  • And what would the American people have put up with before 9/11? Would they have accepted:
    • The type of security we now see at the airports?
    • Not being able to stand in line for the bathrooms on planes?
    • Fighter jets using full military power over populated areas whenever there is a possible threat (like when that small plane crashed in NYC a week or two ago)?
*"PDB" = Presidential Daily Briefing.

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