Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Political Dynamic of the Recent Terror Plot

Somebody is going to ask this question, so we'll put it out there: Why do the British seem more effective than the U.S. in foiling terror plots? That may be more perception than reality, but in this multi-media day and age perception is everything. It may not be a practical question given the size of Britain compared to the size of the continental United States. But, remember how quick the Brits nabbed the suspects in the London Underground bombing? And, now - once again - it seems the Brits are on the ball. After World War II and the IRA, the British don't mess around.

Perception is everything: across the Atlantic, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security just doesn't give you the feeling that we're all that secure. It's like a massive bureaucratic elephant bumbling around in the dark. And there is very little impression of transparency - we say impression because we understand that the government can't give out too much information without tipping off a terror cell, but there has got to be a way to better prepare and inform folks. Especially after Katrina, the Administration almost always looks like a deer caught in headlights.

In addition, we're catching the convenient political timing of this action. Foiled terror plot after joint U.S./U.K. operation on the heels of Vice President Cheney's (and others) disturbing remarks concerning the geopolitical implications of Lieberman's Connecticut primary loss. Awfully bizarre - but, we should expect Republicans to use all fear-mongering tools at their disposal in a last ditch bid to keep their Congressional majority.