Pres's SOTU - What's all this about stopping terrorists?

In the SOTU address President Bush made the following statement?

“Our success in this war is often measured by the things that did not happen. We cannot know the full extent of the attacks that we and our allies have prevented — but here is some of what we do know: We stopped an al-Qaida plot to fly a hijacked airplane into the tallest building on the West Coast. We broke up a Southeast Asian terrorist cell grooming operatives for attacks inside the United States. We uncovered an al-Qaida cell developing anthrax to be used in attacks against America. And just last August, British authorities uncovered a plot to blow up passenger planes bound for America over the Atlantic Ocean. For each life saved, we owe a debt of gratitude to the brave public servants who devote their lives to finding the terrorists and stopping them.”

Now, I’m generally hip to the latest news but I must confess I had never heard of these events. Immediately, I expected a decent brouhaha to foment, especially in light of President Chimpy McJesus’s past difficulties with the truth as it applies to the WOT. Yet, for some strange reason, it seems to have immediately plunged off the radar, at least on the blogs I tend to hang around at.

Does anybody know what our unfortunate president is talking about? In light of how many claims have previously fallen apart (the case against Joseph Padilla, sudden terror alerts based on stale information, Saddam’s WMDs etc.) and outright lying it would seem to me that the burden of proof is on Bush to prove he isn’t claiming credit for yet one more load of malarkey.

Can anyone enlighten me as to what the president is talking about or, barring that, make fools of themselves by insisting that I’m being prejudiced and unfair? Thank you very much.

There were several threads about the British foiling of the hijacking plot; people were generally annoyed that Bush used it as an example of our good work and a justification for our actions in Iraq when we actually had almost nothing to do with it.

That certainly sounds about right.

No, don’t you get it? You didn’t hear about them because they didn’t happen!!!

Slightly more seriously, I do remember a fair amount in the news not that long ago about the British uncovering/foiling the airplane-exploding plot.

All those “thwarted plans” did make the news at some point or another. They didn’t make much of a splash because they were nowhere near to carrying any of those out. Basically they have been knocking down the doors of every human with more than a square foot of fabric on their heads and everytime they find a napkin scribbled with “destroy” they call that a thwarted terrorist plot and a solid victory on the war on terror.

Understandably, they don’t give much details about those captures (as they do not favor them) and the press quickly moves on to the next celebrity adoption flop.

What I also found suspicious is how they had supposedly foiled terrorists from flying an airplane into the “tallest building on the west coast.” First off, what’s wrong with telling us the name of the building? Second, the simplest way to stop terrorists from flying into buildings is the simple expedient, ignored prior to 911, of shutting the effing cockpit door . I pretty sure this point was pretty well worked out w/o the help of the Bush White House. In any case, can you imagine a load of passengers sitting still for this kind of s*** a second time around? I can’t.

What is the tallest building on the West Coast? The Transamerica Pyramid comes to mind, but Wiki only says it’s the tallest building in San Francisco.

I’m going to have to try this on my next performance eval. “My performance should be judged on all the things I avoided doing this year that might have had negative consequences had I not done them.”

This sort of thing isn’t new, of course, but Bush II takes it to an entirely new level of arrogance combined with ignorance. He’s like Big Brother’s learning-disabled nephew whose been given the keys to the car but can’t figure out how to shift out of reverse.


Wasn’t there something about terrorist plotting to destroy the Sears Tower. Only they had no explosives, plans, tickets, or had even been to Chicago?

I’m pretty sure he’s talking about the US Bank Tower.

I find it amusing that he mistook “Library Tower” for “Liberty Tower”.

I find it less than amusing that the United States is a) engaging in the practice of “waterboarding” and other tortures, b) giving any validity to information obtained under torture, and c) using said information to justify further torture and otherwise contributing to the erosion of civil liberties. I used to think that Brazil was an absurdist allegory for the complexity and inherent contradictions of modern society, but it is becoming an increasingly accurate portrayal of government conduct. “Information Transit got the wrong man. I got the right man. The wrong one was delivered to me as the right man, I accepted him on good faith as the right man. Was I wrong?”


Not to mention that we didn’t get hit by a massive meteorite, cows didn’t become extint and Mexico didn’t invade us. This guy is on a roll.

This is not intended to be a slam against the OP, but OK, I can understand someone not having heard of several of the alleged plots mentioned by Mr. Bush in his speech, but it boggles the mind a bit that someone who actually reads the news would never have heard of the quoted event, or its consequences. This was the supposed plot to smuggle liquid binary explosives aboard planes bound to the US from the UK, mixing and exploding them on board. Here’s a bit of background.

As everyone who has flown in the US over the past several months knows, this is why liquids or gels over three ounces in volume are banned from carry-on luggage. If the OP is not in fact living in or from the US or UK, or never flies, my apologies.

Now, as far as I know, the US had next to nothing to do with exposing the plot, and it’s highly questionable whether the plotters had progressed anywhere beyond the talking stage or if their plan was even feasible, but those are separate issues.

Ah, well, a friend of mine likes to tell the story of the person he met one time who had grown up in what we presume was a normal American household, yet claimed to have never heard of ‘Star Trek’.

According to Bill O’Reilly, this is a bad thing.

Hmmmm. Drab, monotone clothing? Called you “English”?

So that’s two of the references explained. Anyone hear about the anthrax plot?

That happened shortly after 9/11, IIRC, but was never definitely linked to al-Qaeda.

If you already have miserably failed to stop one major terrorist attack, you should probably not go around bragging that you have since then stopped subsequent terrorist attacks.

Well they haven’t really. Our confusion arises out of our unfamiliarity with these splendid deeds that Bush has demurely abstained from exploiting. Yes.

I don’t think Bush was refering to that, the OP quotes him as saying it was an Al-Queda operation that was stopped by the US. Like you said, the post 9/11 anthrax attacks weren’t an linked to al-Queda and so far as I know they weren’t stopped by any action from the US gov’t, the perpetrators just stopped on their own and were never captured.