Outrageous Outrage of the Day: Obama’s ‘Isolated Extremist’ Remark

All of the wingnut blogs are screaming that in his statement about the Northwest 253 terror attack, President Obama called the alleged terrorist an “isolated extremist.”

This one comes straight from Karl Rove and Fox News, and it’s already everywhere on the right wing: ‘isolated extremist’ - Google Search.

They’re trying to trick people into thinking that Obama said the terrorist acted alone — but this is simply a flat out lie.

Because in the very same speech, President Obama also said this:

“A full investigation has been launched into this attempted act of terrorism, and we will not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable.”

You have to wonder if there’s a point at which these bloggers and Fox News will feel ashamed of themselves for spreading such deliberate falsehoods. They just fall in line like mindless parrots and repeat this stuff without even bothering to check if it’s true.

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100 comments

1 WindHorse  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 10:37:44pm

Fox News ashamed?

Not likely...........

2 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 10:42:46pm

It's kind of stalker-ish, the way they parse words to extract distant, distorted meaning.

3 Gus  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 10:42:55pm

He also said this which I separated into sentences:

I've directed my national security team to keep up the pressure on those who would attack our country.

We do not yet have all the answers about this latest attempt, but those who would slaughter innocent men, women and children must know that the United States will more -- do more than simply strengthen our defenses.

We will continue to use every element of our national power to disrupt, to dismantle and defeat the violent extremists who threaten us, whether they are from Afghanistan or Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia, or anywhere where they are plotting attacks against the U.S. homeland.

4 srjh  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 10:43:52pm

The comments on the article are almost as scary as anything from Hot Air... I was about to give an example, but realised it would be easier to find a post that wasn't either deeply racist, a "Manchurian" conspiracy, or that didn't appear to come from someone who was repeatedly dropped on their head as a child.

I'm still looking.

5 srjh  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 10:45:37pm

re: #4 srjh

Correction... would be harder to find such a post.

I think I found one, though:

test

6 WindHorse  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 10:47:19pm

I remember this douche bag who had lived next door to me back around the time Bush was re-elected. He would stand outside in the yard and pontificate about the fact the Bush was "not my president".

I was unimpressed.

Now, Obama (who I would never vote for for so many reasons) is President and I swore I would never act like my next door neighbor.

And, for the most part... I haven't.

He is our President and while I doubt his capacity as such.... I support him.

Go kick some ass Barry.

7 Gus  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 10:47:57pm

He also commented on the situation in Iran which was also translated into Persian and Arabic at the White House web site.

Along with all free nations, the United States stands with those who seek their universal rights. We call upon the Iranian government to abide by the international obligations that it has to respect the rights of its own people.

We call for the immediate release of all who have been unjustly detained within Iran. We will continue to bear witness to the extraordinary events that are taking place there. And I'm confident that history will be on the side of those who seek justice.

8 jaunte  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 10:48:33pm

The sneaky part of the Fox reporting is that they include the facts in text or super form, but bring in commentators like Karl Rove who tell the audience what they should think about the incident, regardless of the facts.

9 KronoGhazi  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 10:50:54pm

I have Faux Rage Fatigue

10 Velvet Elvis  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 10:53:22pm

re: #8 jaunte

The sneaky part of the Fox reporting is that they include the facts in text or super form, but bring in commentators like Karl Rove who tell the audience what they should think about the incident, regardless of the facts.

They tell you the real facts once, then their version of the facts a few hundred more times.

11 Dark_Falcon  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 10:53:43pm

re: #9 BigPapa

I have Faux Rage Fatigue

Me too.

12 jaunte  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 10:54:48pm

re: #9 BigPapa

I am a regular watcher though. The anxiety jolt helps me wake up in the morning. Goodnight all.

13 Dave Brown  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 11:25:25pm

Here is a cogent and biting statement of the obvious:

"Flying High: Why are we so bad at detecting the guilty and so good at collective punishment of the innocent?"
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, Dec. 28, 2009, at 12:03 PM ET
[Link: www.slate.com...]

Unfortunately, our leaders still don't understand Occam's razor ("entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem" or "entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity"); the simplest explanation tends to be the best one.

Thanks once again for attempting to remind them, Chris:

"It's getting to the point where the twin news stories more or less write themselves. No sooner is the fanatical and homicidal Muslim arrested than it turns out that he (it won't be long until it is also she) has been known to the authorities for a long time. But somehow the watch list, the tipoff, the many worried reports from colleagues and relatives, the placing of the name on a "central repository of information" don't prevent the suspect from boarding a plane, changing planes, or bringing whatever he cares to bring onto a plane. This is now a tradition that stretches back to several of the murderers who boarded civilian aircraft on Sept. 11, 2001, having called attention to themselves by either a) being on watch lists already or b) weird behavior at heartland American flight schools. They didn't even bother to change their names.."

"Why do we fail to detect or defeat the guilty, and why do we do so well at collective punishment of the innocent? The answer to the first question is: Because we can't—or won't. The answer to the second question is: Because we can. The fault here is not just with our endlessly incompetent security services, who give the benefit of the doubt to people who should have been arrested long ago or at least had their visas and travel rights revoked. It is also with a public opinion that sheepishly bleats to be made to "feel safe." The demand to satisfy that sad illusion can be met with relative ease if you pay enough people to stand around and stare significantly at the citizens' toothpaste...."

"What nobody in authority thinks us grown-up enough to be told is this: We had better get used to being the civilians who are under a relentless and planned assault from the pledged supporters of a wicked theocratic ideology. These people will kill themselves to attack hotels, weddings, buses, subways, cinemas, and trains. They consider Jews, Christians, Hindus, women, homosexuals, and dissident Muslims (to give only the main instances) to be divinely mandated slaughter victims. Our civil aviation is only the most psychologically frightening symbol of a plethora of potential targets. The future murderers will generally not be from refugee camps or slums (though they are being indoctrinated every day in our prisons); they will frequently be from educated backgrounds, and they will often not be from overseas at all. They are already in our suburbs and even in our military. We can expect to take casualties. The battle will go on for the rest of our lives. Those who plan our destruction know what they want, and they are prepared to kill and die for it. Those who don't get the point prefer to whine about "endless war," accidentally speaking the truth about something of which the attempted Christmas bombing over Michigan was only a foretaste. While we fumble with bureaucracy and euphemism, they are flying high."

14 Olsonist  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 12:18:11am

I really hate FOX. Really. But when I'm at the gym and NFL on FOX is on I'm kind of surprised and waiting for the veiled political slant. It finally dawned on me that the NFL would terminate their contract in a heartbeat if FOX politicized football. MNF gets a pass with Olberman and Miller but it's probably written into the FOX contract.
That's my guess.

15 Jaerik  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 12:24:02am

re: #14 Olsonist

It finally dawned on me that the NFL would terminate their contract in a heartbeat if FOX politicized football.

You didn't hear? The NFL is an "outpost of racism and liberalism," according to Rush, once he was denied his bid to purchase the St. Louis Rams. The right-wing blogs immediately snapped up the meme and ran with it. If they were at all internally consistent, they would never watch another football game again.

16 affenkopf  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 12:36:12am

re: #3 Gus 802

Unfortunately one country is missing from the list.

When will a politician finally have the courage to point out that a lot of terrorists are from Saudi Arabia and that Saudi Arabia is one of the mayor sponsors of terrorism.

17 Girth  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 12:53:46am

re: #16 affenkopf

Unfortunately one country is missing from the list.

When will a politician finally have the courage to point out that a lot of terrorists are from Saudi Arabia and that Saudi Arabia is one of the mayor sponsors of terrorism.

The day after someone patents an internal combustion engine that runs on water.

18 SixDegrees  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 3:04:49am

I don't see the actual quote under discussion up here anywhere; here's what was said:

"This incident, like several that have preceded it, demonstrates that an alert and courageous citizenry are far more resilient than an isolated extremist."

19 ryannon  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 3:12:35am

"They just fall in line like mindless parrots and repeat this stuff without even bothering to check if it’s true."

That's an insult to parrots everywhere!

20 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 3:29:21am
You have to wonder if there’s a point at which these bloggers and Fox News will feel ashamed of themselves

I suspect the answer is no. They will never feel ashamed of themselves. These are not good people.

21 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 3:29:56am

re: #16 affenkopf

Unfortunately one country is missing from the list.

When will a politician finally have the courage to point out that a lot of terrorists are from Saudi Arabia and that Saudi Arabia is one of the mayor sponsors of terrorism.

When we stop needing their oil, then that may happen.

22 Logician  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 3:38:05am

Both Obama and Hitchens are mistaken to consider this an "attempted act of terrorism" or an "attempted Christmas bombing over Michigan" (respectively). It was attempted mass murder, yes. But it was an actual act of terrorism: the weapon was a bomb; it was used; and it injured people.

23 sandbox  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 5:21:07am

IMO the head of the Dept. of Homeland Security should project a tough cop or an assertive law enforcement image. Janet N has to step it up if she is going to continue in that position.

24 charlz  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 5:32:12am

re: #13 Dave Brown

Thanks for that. That's the most cogent summary of our situation today that I've seen.

25 nightlight  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 6:00:54am

Two things that Napolitano said that I haven't seen discussed much. Why did CNN know the bomb was in underwear before Napolitano did? Also, the shoe bomber was not in 2006 but in 2001.


KAYE: And that's what I wanted to ask you about because as CNN has learned, this suspect had enough explosives to blow a local in the airplane, bring that airplane down. How is it that eight years after 9/11 this guy was allegedly able to bring these high explosives on board in his underwear?

NAPOLITANO: Well, your experts must know more than ours do at this point in time who are ascertaining exactly what the material was, where it was on the plane and what effect it would have had had it been detonated. But that doesn't excuse the fact that it was on the plane.

And with all of the procedures we now have in place, now we've instituted new procedures moving forward, and we were able immediately upon the passengers apprehending this individual, to institute procedures for even for the planes that were already in the air so that moving forward, we could provide additional safety in the air environment. But we need to go back now, and the president has asked us to, to do a thorough review. These are procedures that have been in place since the shoe bomber in 2006, what needs to be updated, improved, upgraded to see that this doesn't happen again.

26 nightlight  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 6:03:20am

I meant to bold the "where it was on the plane" remark.

NAPOLITANO: Well, your experts must know more than ours do at this point in time who are ascertaining exactly what the material was, where it was on the plane and what effect it would have had had it been detonated. But that doesn't excuse the fact that it was on the plane.

27 theliel  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 6:06:20am

The bloggers and hosts of fox news will feel bad when:
1) they stop being paid gobs of money. For a group that champions "free market" and "meritocracy" many of those recieving 'wingnut welfare' are nothing more than well-connected hacks/children of fomer important people

2) They pay a social cost. No matter how outragous they act everyone else in their 'profession' defends them, and they are still invited to all the best dinners, social events etc. Until they are actively shunned for being lying fuckwits and pay a social and economic price...there's no reason for them not to continue to be lying hacks.

They get status and cash out of it, why would you stop doing something that's so terribly easy AND generates immense rewards?

28 SixDegrees  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 6:16:26am

re: #25 nightlight

Why did CNN know the bomb was in underwear before Napolitano did?

Because the media run with what they have, immediately and without any sort of verification, while the head of an enormous security agency is stuck waiting for actual, verified facts to reach their desk.

Prediction: had Napolitano possessed the level of detail demanded here, she would be accused of micromanaging her agency and interfering with field agent's work.

See some of my earlier posts for actual reasons to berate Napolitano. This doesn't qualify. It's actually the way things are expected to work.

29 SixDegrees  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 6:20:07am

re: #27 theliel

The bloggers and hosts of fox news will feel bad when:
...

...their ratings drop. So far, there isn't even a hint of that happening. I'm fairly sure they lead in the ratings when it comes to cable news networks.

For what it's worth, they've found a formula that works.

30 Nightlight  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 6:24:30am

re: #28 SixDegrees

Because the media run with what they have, immediately and without any sort of verification, while the head of an enormous security agency is stuck waiting for actual, verified facts to reach their desk.

Prediction: had Napolitano possessed the level of detail demanded here, she would be accused of micromanaging her agency and interfering with field agent's work.

See some of my earlier posts for actual reasons to berate Napolitano. This doesn't qualify. It's actually the way things are expected to work.

Thanks for the explanation; it does make sense. I was watching her interview and it just hit me as strange that all the news reports were already out there as far as the PETN and underwear.

31 PowerFlip  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 6:35:23am

What is the problem again?

If a person does not like the content on Fox News, don't turn to that channel.
If a person does not like certain blogs, don't click the mouse.
If people stop listening, then they will have no reason to talk!

"I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."
Voltaire

32 mikhailtheplumber  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 7:19:56am

Actually, Charles, it makes sense to parrot it for them. They weaken the POTUS and, if called up on it, they can always say they were quoting someone else.
They see not using their brains as an advantage here.

33 kitemonkey  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 7:20:44am

They have no shame whatsoever when it comes to accurate reporting.

34 mich-again  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 7:35:39am
“A full investigation has been launched into this attempted act of terrorism, and we will not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable.”

I don't believe that for one second. When the trail leads to a radical Imam in London, there will be nothing done, period. Sure if we can find some training camp in Yemen to blow up we'll fire away a few missiles, but we won't go after anyone in the UK or Germany.

35 mich-again  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 7:37:26am

re: #3 Gus 802

We will continue to use every element of our national power to disrupt, to dismantle and defeat the violent extremists who threaten us, whether they are from Afghanistan or Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia, or anywhere where they are plotting attacks against the U.S. homeland.

Notice he left out the UK.

36 RexMundi  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 7:37:31am

re: #29 SixDegrees

...their ratings drop. So far, there isn't even a hint of that happening. I'm fairly sure they lead in the ratings when it comes to cable news networks.

For what it's worth, they've found a formula that works.

And I can't figure out how or why Fox has such high ratings. It honestly baffles and amazes me.

37 mich-again  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 7:40:44am

re: #36 RexMundi

And I can't figure out how or why Fox has such high ratings. It honestly baffles and amazes me.

Its pretty simple actually. There are a dozen channels fighting over the Leftish viewers and there is one channel who caters to the rightish.

38 Mich-again  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 7:49:44am

Here is what he said.

"The American people should be assured that we will do everything in our power to keep you and your family safe and secure during this busy holiday season," Obama said. "This incident, like several that have preceded it demonstrates that an alert and courageous citizenry are far more resilient than an isolated extremist."

Apologize for it all you like, but it is a stupid thing to say. Other passengers being "resilient" didn't stop the plane from going down. Give the credit where its due, to incompetent bomb making.

39 Mich-again  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:02:37am

Another statement in the speech that points out either the president or his speechwriters don't really understand things so well.

Along with all free nations, the United States stands with those who seek their universal rights. We call upon the Iranian government to abide by the international obligations that it has to respect the rights of its own people.

The Iranian "government" is not the problem in Iran. Its the Supreme Leader and his band of theocrats who yield the real power and they aren't part of the government. The government leaders are totally subservient to the guys who wear the black turbans. Obama calling out for the Iranian government to abide by international obligations and to respect human rights is like talking to your cat.

40 S'latch  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:07:47am

Well, he is isolated NOW. Apparently at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, where he is being treated for burns.

41 Right Handed Neutrino  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:20:08am

re: #39 Mich-again

Another statement in the speech that points out either the president or his speechwriters don't really understand things so well.

The Iranian "government" is not the problem in Iran. Its the Supreme Leader and his band of theocrats who yield the real power and they aren't part of the government. The government leaders are totally subservient to the guys who wear the black turbans. Obama calling out for the Iranian government to abide by international obligations and to respect human rights is like talking to your cat.


Wikipedia seems to include the office of Supreme Leader in the Iranian Government:
[Link: en.wikipedia.org...]

42 Obdicut  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:21:15am

re: #41 Right Handed Neutrino

Wikipedia seems to include the office of Supreme Leader in the Iranian Government:
[Link: en.wikipedia.org...]

Probably because he is part of the government.

43 Right Handed Neutrino  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:23:41am

re: #42 Obdicut

Well that makes sense.

44 gamark  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:31:12am

re: #39 Mich-again

The thing that I didn't like about that statement is that it suggests that Obama believes that "universal rights" are a subject of "international obligations" rather than "natural rights" being something inalieanble and something all people are born with. I would like to think that Obama believes people would have rights even in the absence of international agreements, but I'm not so sure that is the case.

45 Nightlight  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:33:01am

re: #38 Mich-again

I don't think it was a stupid thing to say. If that fire wasn't put out by other passengers, wouldn't it have not ignited the explosive?

Also, when the shoe bomber did this, didn't the Bush administration also credit the passengers this way?

46 Mich-again  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:34:32am

re: #41 Right Handed Neutrino

True in that theocracies and dictatorships are forms of government. But since when has the "government" in the Islamic Republic of Iran ever shown any concern or regard whatsoever for international obligations or respect for the rights of her citizens? So far their record is 0 instances in 30 years. But I guess we should still toss out empty meaningless statements like President Obama did to make people feel better.

47 Mich-again  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:38:35am

re: #45 Nightlight

Also, when the shoe bomber did this, didn't the Bush administration also credit the passengers this way?

Of course the brave passengers who acted in self-defense and put out the fire are heroes. But its silly to think or say "that an alert and courageous citizenry are far more resilient than an isolated extremist." Not when the "isolated extremist" has a bomb that will work. 250 alert, courageous and resilient citizens would be powerless in the face of a bomb on an airplane that works like it was intended to.

We got lucky this time. Thats not a plan.

48 Cineaste  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:38:47am

re: #14 Olsonist

I really hate FOX. Really. But when I'm at the gym and NFL on FOX is on I'm kind of surprised and waiting for the veiled political slant. It finally dawned on me that the NFL would terminate their contract in a heartbeat if FOX politicized football. MNF gets a pass with Olberman and Miller but it's probably written into the FOX contract.
That's my guess.

FWIW Olbermann was a host of SportsCenter on ESPN for five years before moving to MSNBC and I think he's done a good job of keeping his politics out of his sports commentary. If he didn't, he should be kicked off the broadcast without delay. If the NFL becomes part of the partisan game then I'm gonna' get seriously pissed!

49 Mich-again  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:41:38am

To me the stupidest thing is to charge the terrorist with trying to destroy the plane but leave out the part about how he tried to murder 250 people. Its like the airplane itself was the target of the attack, not the people on board the airplane. As it stands now, the perp faces a maximum sentence of 20 years. Thats BS. Hopefully more charges are coming later.

50 Ericus58  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:42:00am

re: #45 Nightlight

I don't think it was a stupid thing to say. If that fire wasn't put out by other passengers, wouldn't it have not ignited the explosive

If the explosives require an 'initiation' phase in order to detonate, then they will just ignite and burn rather than explode.

The process is not as cut and dry as one might think.

51 LotharBot  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:44:18am

re: #18 SixDegrees

Full transcript: [Link: voices.washingtonpost.com...]

The word "isolated" seems out of place and unnecessary. An alert and courageous citizenry is more resilient than the extremists attacking us, whether isolated or not. When a few extremists get together, our citizens do too ("let's roll"). When they make organized attacks, we send our alert and courageous citizenry (in uniform) into their countries to disrupt their organizations and support structure. We are more resilient than them, isolated or not.

Obama's (speechwriter's) inclusion of the word "isolated" is puzzling; it serves no purpose that I can see except as bait for fauxtrage.

52 Mich-again  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:45:04am

re: #48 Cineaste

Would you have said the same thing about Father Coughlin in the '30's. Word is he really enjoyed football too.

53 Spare O'Lake  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:50:43am

I agree that he didn't mean that the terrorist acted alone.
So what the heck DID he mean?

54 Obdicut  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:52:01am

re: #46 Mich-again

So in other words, you really are criticizing Obama for even opening his mouth on the subject. It's just talk, after all.
re: #53 Spare O'Lake

I agree that he didn't mean that the terrorist acted alone.
So what the heck DID he mean?

He meant that the terrorist was alone and isolated in the cabin, which was true.

55 Mich-again  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:52:36am

re: #44 gamark

I would like to think that Obama believes people would have rights even in the absence of international agreements, but I'm not so sure that is the case.

Probably the most common misunderstanding about the civil rights in the USA is that the government "granted" her citizens those rights. I think this bit from the DoI explains it best..

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
56 Mich-again  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:53:18am

re: #54 Obdicut

So in other words, you really are criticizing Obama for even opening his mouth on the subject. It's just talk, after all.

Nice Strawman. Is that all you got?

57 acacia  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:55:00am

Again, I don't see the controversy here - either way. The Fox News link posted above has the very same quote - "we will not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable," near the beginning of the article. Fox isn't trying to "trick" anyone. The president said exactly what was reported. Rove's point - and a good one - is that the terrorist is being treated as a common criminal and not an enemy combatant and that is hurting our ability to combat this threat. Reasonable people can differ on how to deal with this incident but I don't see any trickery here.

58 Blueheron  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:55:08am

re: #13 Dave Brown

Here is a cogent and biting statement of the obvious:

"Flying High: Why are we so bad at detecting the guilty and so good at collective punishment of the innocent?"
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, Dec. 28, 2009, at 12:03 PM ET
[Link: www.slate.com...]

Unfortunately, our leaders still don't understand Occam's razor ("entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem" or "entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity"); the simplest explanation tends to be the best one.

Thanks once again for attempting to remind them, Chris:

"It's getting to the point where the twin news stories more or less write themselves. No sooner is the fanatical and homicidal Muslim arrested than it turns out that he (it won't be long until it is also she) has been known to the authorities for a long time. But somehow the watch list, the tipoff, the many worried reports from colleagues and relatives, the placing of the name on a "central repository of information" don't prevent the suspect from boarding a plane, changing planes, or bringing whatever he cares to bring onto a plane. This is now a tradition that stretches back to several of the murderers who boarded civilian aircraft on Sept. 11, 2001, having called attention to themselves by either a) being on watch lists already or b) weird behavior at heartland American flight schools. They didn't even bother to change their names.."

"Why do we fail to detect or defeat the guilty, and why do we do so well at collective punishment of the innocent? The answer to the first question is: Because we can't—or won't. The answer to the second question is: Because we can. The fault here is not just with our endlessly incompetent security services, who give the benefit of the doubt to people who should have been arrested long ago or at least had their visas and travel rights revoked. It is also with a public opinion that sheepishly bleats to be made to "feel safe." The demand to satisfy that sad illusion can be met with relative ease if you pay enough people to stand around and stare significantly at the citizens' toothpaste..."

"What nobody in authority thinks us grown-up enough to be told is this: We had better get used to being the civilians who are under a relentless and planned assault from the pledged supporters of a wicked theocratic ideology. These people will kill themselves to attack hotels, weddings, buses, subways, cinemas, and trains. They consider Jews, Christians, Hindus, women, homosexuals, and dissident Muslims (to give only the main instances) to be divinely mandated slaughter victims. Our civil aviation is only the most psychologically frightening symbol of a plethora of potential targets. The future murderers will generally not be from refugee camps or slums (though they are being indoctrinated every day in our prisons); they will frequently be from educated backgrounds, and they will often not be from overseas at all. They are already in our suburbs and even in our military. We can expect to take casualties. The battle will go on for the rest of our lives. Those who plan our destruction know what they want, and they are prepared to kill and die for it. Those who don't get the point prefer to whine about "endless war," accidentally speaking the truth about something of which the attempted Christmas bombing over Michigan was only a foretaste. While we fumble with bureaucracy and euphemism, they are flying high."

A friend of mine fears that we the people won't wake up until a nuclear blast takes out one of our cities.
He is right in that we can not keep our muscles tensed at all times so we tend to relax and drift back into pre 9/11 slumber.
I don't know what the answer is but I do think about terrorism and us every day. I wonder how many lizards do the same thing? I suspect most do try to be informed otherwise why be here?

59 Nightlight  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:55:32am

re: #47 Mich-again

Of course the brave passengers who acted in self-defense and put out the fire are heroes. But its silly to think or say "that an alert and courageous citizenry are far more resilient than an isolated extremist." Not when the "isolated extremist" has a bomb that will work. 250 alert, courageous and resilient citizens would be powerless in the face of a bomb on an airplane that works like it was intended to.

We got lucky this time. Thats not a plan.

I was responding to you saying:

Apologize for it all you like, but it is a stupid thing to say. Other passengers being "resilient" didn't stop the plane from going down. Give the credit where its due, to incompetent bomb making.

I don't believe incompetent bomb completely explains how these people survived.

60 Mich-again  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:57:16am

re: #59 Nightlight

I don't believe incompetent bomb completely explains how these people survived.

Really? How do you theorize they might have survived if the bomb detonated as intended?

61 Obdicut  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:57:41am

re: #56 Mich-again

Nice Strawman. Is that all you got?

How is that a strawman? You first claimed Obama didn't know what was up, because he was addressing Iran's government and they're not the real problem.

The Iranian "government" is not the problem in Iran. Its the Supreme Leader and his band of theocrats who yield the real power and they aren't part of the government

Since they definitely are part of the government, this showed that you were the one who didn't know what he was talking about, not Obama.

You then immediately switched to criticizing Obama for:

But I guess we should still toss out empty meaningless statements like President Obama did to make people feel better.

Which looks exactly to me like criticizing him for speaking at all. Your actual criticism was unfounded and exactly wrong, and you immediately just re-criticized him in a broader brush, not even acknowledging that you'd said something completely wrong.

62 Blueheron  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 8:59:33am

re: #27 theliel

The bloggers and hosts of fox news will feel bad when:
1) they stop being paid gobs of money. For a group that champions "free market" and "meritocracy" many of those recieving 'wingnut welfare' are nothing more than well-connected hacks/children of fomer important people

2) They pay a social cost. No matter how outragous they act everyone else in their 'profession' defends them, and they are still invited to all the best dinners, social events etc. Until they are actively shunned for being lying fuckwits and pay a social and economic price...there's no reason for them not to continue to be lying hacks.

They get status and cash out of it, why would you stop doing something that's so terribly easy AND generates immense rewards?

Frankly the other networks are just as bad at times. I watch FOX NEWS and turn off the commentary.

63 Nightlight  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:01:39am

re: #60 Mich-again

Really? How do you theorize they might have survived if the bomb detonated as intended?

The point I was making was that the shoe bomber also had PETN and tried to ignite it. I do think the passengers played a role. As far as what Obama said about them being "far more resilient than an isolated extremist", yes I totally agree that this was stupid. But to say that the credit goes to incompetent bomb making is just not the total story here.

64 Mich-again  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:02:23am

re: #61 Obdicut

Calling on the true leaders of the Islamic Republic to abide by international obligations and respect the rights of her citizens is just as useless when Obama does it as when GWB did it or when the UN diplomats or other world leaders do it. Its senseless.

65 Cineaste  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:02:48am

re: #27 theliel

The bloggers and hosts of fox news will feel bad when:
1) they stop being paid gobs of money. For a group that champions "free market" and "meritocracy" many of those recieving 'wingnut welfare' are nothing more than well-connected hacks/children of fomer important people

2) They pay a social cost. No matter how outragous they act everyone else in their 'profession' defends them, and they are still invited to all the best dinners, social events etc. Until they are actively shunned for being lying fuckwits and pay a social and economic price...there's no reason for them not to continue to be lying hacks.

They get status and cash out of it, why would you stop doing something that's so terribly easy AND generates immense rewards?

I think one thing that most people don't really comprehend is how small, in absolute AND relative terms, their audiences are. Let's look at some numbers:

O'Reilly is top of the hill and pulls in 3.3 million viewers
Fox News' primetime lineup averages 2.2 million viewers
American Idol gets around 24 million viewers
Lost gets around 12 million viewers
Monday Night Football on ESPN gets around 12 million viewers
Number of Registered Republicans is about 55 million.
Number of Evangelical Christians in America is about 80 million.
April 15 Tea Party Rallies Nationwide had about 300,000 attendees.
The Tea Party March had something around 50,000 attendees.

Let's assume the overwhelming majority of Tea Partiers watch Fox (I think this is a safe assumption). If I'm running Fox news then I look at those numbers and say: "hey, if 1% of Republicans who don't watch Fox start to self-identify as Tea Partiers then my viewership would grow by 25%. If 1% of Evangelicals who dont' watch Fox start to self-identify as Tea Partiers then my viewership would grow by 35%."

It's a no brainer. Logic and honesty goes out the window and you boost your ratings by playing the numbers.

66 Blueheron  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:04:01am

re: #34 mich-again

I don't believe that for one second. When the trail leads to a radical Imam in London, there will be nothing done, period. Sure if we can find some training camp in Yemen to blow up we'll fire away a few missiles, but we won't go after anyone in the UK or Germany.


The Brits I know are painfully aware as they often tell me 'our biggest industry right now is the exporting of terrorists.:/ ' //
The good is their intelligence services are alert and do pursue these characters.

67 Mich-again  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:05:06am

re: #63 Nightlight

The point I was making was that the shoe bomber also had PETN and tried to ignite it. I do think the passengers played a role.

They did. but again, we were lucky the thing didn't work as intended in that instance as well. Its not much of a plan to hope the bombs keep not working.

68 Obdicut  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:05:08am

re: #64 Mich-again

Great. The fact that the criticism is coming from someone who didn't know that the Supreme Leader is part of Iran's government definitely gives it a lot of weight.
/

How you missed that a guy called "Supreme Leader" was part of the government, I have no idea.

69 Cineaste  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:07:04am

re: #52 Mich-again

Would you have said the same thing about Father Coughlin in the '30's. Word is he really enjoyed football too.

That's a silly argument. I'm not defending Olbermann's politics but he legitimately had a long history of being a non-partisan sports broadcaster for the dominant sports network. He has not shown, to my knowledge, that he lets his political views come onto his football broadcasts. Father Coughlin's only credentials as a broadcaster were his religious/social ideals. Why would he be a good candidate to comment on Football? Olbermann isn't a football commentator because he "enjoyed" football, it's because he was objectively viewed as an expert for a long time before he was ever known as a political commentator.

70 Cineaste  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:09:19am

re: #55 Mich-again

Miranda had nothing to do with unalienable rights. There are numerous rights which are created by government. Admittedly, the government serves the people so should only create rights which we enable it to.

71 Right Handed Neutrino  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:10:58am

re: #64 Mich-again

I don't think anyone really expected Obama's statement to magically solve the situation all by itself, but it's, well, a statement of what he stands for and his view of the situation. Not all that important I suppose, but it had to be made. I'm sure he would have been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism, most of it justified, if he hadn't said anything at all.

72 Mich-again  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:11:31am

re: #66 Blueheron

The good is their intelligence services are alert and do pursue these characters.

I wish them all the luck in pursuing the terrorists in their midst. I know they mean well and have done a lot already. But going back to what the President said..

We will continue to use every element of our national power to disrupt, to dismantle and defeat the violent extremists who threaten us,

I challenge that statement because when the trail leads to a Mosque in London, we most certainly will NOT use every element of our national power to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat them.

73 Cineaste  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:12:16am

re: #62 Blueheron

Frankly the other networks are just as bad at times. I watch FOX NEWS and turn off the commentary.

So that leaves you with about 12 minutes per day of actual viewing?

///

74 Mich-again  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:12:30am

re: #70 Cineaste

Miranda had nothing to do with unalienable rights.

Really? Nothing?

75 Blueheron  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:12:40am

re: #51 LotharBot

Full transcript: [Link: voices.washingtonpost.com...]

The word "isolated" seems out of place and unnecessary. An alert and courageous citizenry is more resilient than the extremists attacking us, whether isolated or not. When a few extremists get together, our citizens do too ("let's roll"). When they make organized attacks, we send our alert and courageous citizenry (in uniform) into their countries to disrupt their organizations and support structure. We are more resilient than them, isolated or not.

Obama's (speechwriter's) inclusion of the word "isolated" is puzzling; it serves no purpose that I can see except as bait for fauxtrage.


Absolutely spot on.

76 Blueheron  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:13:35am

re: #53 Spare O'Lake

I agree that he didn't mean that the terrorist acted alone.
So what the heck DID he mean?


Maybe he meant acting alone at the moment?

77 Obdicut  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:14:02am

re: #72 Mich-again

I challenge that statement because when the trail leads to a Mosque in London, we most certainly will NOT use every element of our national power to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat them.

Well, we're not going to use them all at once, on the same target. We're not going to charm-offensive-bombing-campaign-snipe-from-a-mile-away-diplomatic-pressure-freeze-funding-corrupt-through-vice-arrest-on-civil-charges-wiretap-and-work-with-allies for every target.

In that case, we'd have to use ye olde diplomacy, to get the Brits to take care of it.

78 Mich-again  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:19:23am

re: #77 Obdicut

In that case, we'd have to use ye olde diplomacy, to get the Brits to take care of it.

I agree with that. And I trust the Brits are already working on that.

One common meme I would like to see tossed on the scrap heap is that terrorists are bred because they come from desperate destitute upbringing. Low income is not a prerequisite. Rich kids from wealthy powerful families do just fine as terrorists.

79 Mich-again  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:22:26am

re: #69 Cineaste

Olbermann isn't a football commentator because he "enjoyed" football, it's because he was objectively viewed as an expert for a long time before he was ever known as a political commentator.

I watched Olberman and his sidekick Craig Kilborn all those years on ESPN and Olby wasn't an "expert" at football. He was skilled at delivering punchlines during the highlights.

80 Blueheron  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:30:45am

re: #77 Obdicut

Well, we're not going to use them all at once, on the same target. We're not going to charm-offensive-bombing-campaign-snipe-from-a-mile -away-diplomatic-pressure-freeze-funding-corrupt-t hrough-vice-arrest-on-civil-charges-wiretap-and-wo rk-with-allies for every target.

In that case, we'd have to use ye olde diplomacy, to get the Brits to take care of it.

And they would. The Brits are good allies.

81 SixDegrees  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:44:45am

re: #36 RexMundi

And I can't figure out how or why Fox has such high ratings. It honestly baffles and amazes me.

I stopped watching television news a couple of decades ago, no matter who was broadcasting it.

82 gamark  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:55:41am

re: #70 Cineaste

Miranda had nothing to do with unalienable rights. There are numerous rights which are created by government.

Miranda is a Supreme Court ruling. Miranda does not grant any rights. It rules that police must inform suspects of certain rights that they have in certain situations. People had those rights before Miranda and people will retain those right even if Miranda were to be overturned.

Certainly governments can grant rights. One example would be the US granting a right to citizenship to all people born in the US. But there are a class of rights (inalienable) which all people are bestowed with at birth. Governments may violate or fail to recognize those rights, but that does not mean the rights do not exist.

83 Charles Johnson  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 9:58:52am

re: #53 Spare O'Lake

I agree that he didn't mean that the terrorist acted alone.
So what the heck DID he mean?

Well, if you stop trying to find something evil in it, his statement is amazingly clear: the terrorist was "isolated" on the plane, as in, he was the only terrorist on the plane.

84 Nightlight  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 10:30:42am

re: #83 Charles

Well, if you stop trying to find something evil in it, his statement is amazingly clear: the terrorist was "isolated" on the plane, as in, he was the only terrorist on the plane.

This incident, like several that have preceded it, demonstrates that an alert and courageous citizenry are far more resilient one terrorist on a plane.

I don't like the sounds of that statement either.

85 acacia  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 10:47:27am

re: #83 Charles

I don't think that it's all that clear. I think he meant it was an isolated incident. While I'm not "outraged" at his use of the term, there is no denying that the administration is not looking at the threat in terms of "war" but rather in terms of "crime." Electing to try KSM in federal court is all you need to know on the mindset. I think using the term "isolated" gives us a glimpse of this mindset even though he obviously didn't mean the terrorist acted alone.

86 RexMundi  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 10:51:23am

re: #37 mich-again

Its pretty simple actually. There are a dozen channels fighting over the Leftish viewers and there is one channel who caters to the rightish.

I never thought of it that way, good answer...

87 Nightlight  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 10:51:53am

re: #85 acacia

I don't think that it's all that clear. I think he meant it was an isolated incident.

Wasn't this a teleprompter reading?

88 RexMundi  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 11:02:59am

re: #78 Mich-again


One common meme I would like to see tossed on the scrap heap is that terrorists are bred because they come from desperate destitute upbringing. Low income is not a prerequisite. Rich kids from wealthy powerful families do just fine as terrorists.

Agreed. There are plenty of people that support and cause terrorism that have an ability to compartmentalize their minds in such a way that they can have a post-graduate degree from a Western university yet still believe and act out horrific notions based on their religion/politics.

89 RazorMan1988  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 11:27:21am

Charles, parsing the speech? He also said allegedly. So you support Obama's change to a law enforcement matter terrorist attacks.

90 wrenchwench  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 11:31:21am

re: #89 RazorMan1988

RazorMan1988

(Logged in)
Registered since: Aug 29, 2007 at 6:44 pm
No. of comments posted: 1
No. of links posted: 0

Welcome, "hatchling".

91 huggy77  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 11:35:12am

re: #85 acacia

But treating terrorism as crime and terrorists as criminals worked so well in the past... oh wait.. it did not..

He was the lone terrorist on the plane, so he as isolated, lol

It will come out that he had backing of some sort - he just did not wake up one day and decide to put explosives down his pants.

92 Obdicut  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 11:38:27am

re: #89 RazorMan1988

I support the English language, and your post was a terrorist offensive against it.

93 wrenchwench  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 11:41:45am

re: #92 Obdicut

I support the English language, and your post was a terrorist offensive against it.

Then you won't want to look at this one.

94 LittleBenny  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 11:52:44am

Meh...

President Obama screwed up with his statement, plain and simple. Maybe it's a Freud-ian slip of the tongue, but methinks that one should not use words like "isolated" and "extremist" when speaking of a terrorist (or his/her plot). Just not a good idea anymore...there is nothing isolated about Islamic terrorism.

Barry Rubin had a really good read on that statement over at [Link: rubinreports.blogspot.com...]

95 Charles Johnson  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 12:19:05pm

re: #94 LittleBenny

Meh...

President Obama screwed up with his statement, plain and simple. Maybe it's a Freud-ian slip of the tongue, but methinks that one should not use words like "isolated" and "extremist" when speaking of a terrorist (or his/her plot). Just not a good idea anymore...there is nothing isolated about Islamic terrorism.

Barry Rubin had a really good read on that statement over at [Link: rubinreports.blogspot.com...]

He only "screwed up" if you deliberately ignore everything else he said, to focus on those two words. It's incredibly obvious that Obama is well aware that Abdulmutallab was not acting alone.

96 Charles Johnson  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 12:20:54pm

re: #91 huggy77

But treating terrorism as crime and terrorists as criminals worked so well in the past... oh wait.. it did not..

Oh wait -- it did. See: the first World Trade Center Bombing, Zacarias Moussaoui, etc.

97 Spare O'Lake  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 5:54:05pm

re: #83 Charles

Well, if you stop trying to find something evil in it, his statement is amazingly clear: the terrorist was "isolated" on the plane, as in, he was the only terrorist on the plane.

Eureka...I just had an epiphany!
Obama meant that the terrorist was "isolated" on the plane, as in, he was VEWY, VEWY, WONEWY.
MOUAHAHAHAHA.

98 avspatti  Wed, Dec 30, 2009 9:54:08am

Sounds to me that Obama was the one being contradictory. Either the guy was an isolated underpants bomber or he had help. Which is it?

99 judeoscope  Wed, Dec 30, 2009 2:32:22pm

Well Obama's Homeland Security Secretary also opines that there was no evidence of a wider plot. So could it be that Obama's statement means exactly what critics are blasting him for?

I fully share Jeffrey Goldberg's (not an Obama basher) view that the US GVT just does not understand how al-Qaeda's ideology has colonized the minds of tens of thousands of Muslims and that a terrorist act need not be planned by al-Qaeda leaders in this age of self-radicalization and internet-based terrorist-training to be al-Qaeda inspired.

100 Charles Johnson  Wed, Dec 30, 2009 4:03:23pm

re: #99 judeoscope

Well Obama's Homeland Security Secretary also opines that there was no evidence of a wider plot. So could it be that Obama's statement means exactly what critics are blasting him for?

Is there really something difficult to understand about this statement?

"...we will not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable.”

Saying that Obama believes the NW 253 terrorist acted alone is flat out wrong, and it's nothing but pure Obama Derangement Syndrome.


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