Thursday, June 13, 2002
Stop me before I bomb... again?Richard Cohen doesn't like John Ashcroft. At least he's open and honest about that. Still, it might be nice if he tried something resembling objectivity.
First, he explains that John Ashcroft is just like J. Edgar Hoover. (Which is, of course, one of the worst insults a liberal can throw.) How is John Ashcroft just like J. Edgar Hoover? Well, they both like publicity. This clearly sets these two apart from all other denizens of Washington, D.C. -- including, of course, Richard Cohen, who shuns publicity, keeping his name out of the paper as much as possible.
But the conspiracy theorizing is the best:
But Ashcroft's incessant grandstanding makes me wonder if sometimes some of what goes on is more about politics than national security. He personifies the suspicion that terrorism alerts, even arrests, are being timed and manipulated for the nightly news. It seems every revelation of some FBI or CIA screw-up is followed by yet another terrorism alert of one color or another.So when the government is criticized for not revealing information, they respond by revealing information? Alert the media! (Oh, wait.)
It was supposedly sheer coincidence that the testimony of FBI agent Coleen Rowley was virtually obscured by the announcement that the new homeland security Cabinet post was being proposed. Maybe so, but the announcement was clearly rushed and made with insufficient consultation.Virtually obscured? So it being televised, and on the front page of every newspaper, doesn't count?
I wonder, too, why al Muhajir was busted at O'Hare International Airport and not followed to see what he did and whom he talked to. (He was a long way from getting a bomb of any kind.)How close, exactly, is the FBI supposed to allow him to get before they arrest him? Perhaps it would make Cohen happy if he actually detonated it before they arrested him?
What exactly is Cohen's real complaint here? Oh yeah: nothing John Ashcroft does could possibly be correct. Hey, there are plenty of things to criticize the government over so far -- but arresting someone before he gets a bomb?
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