View From The Middle
I t was a blast in the face, all right. A downright snub, if you will, that news of the recent bomb plot that was arranged by Al Qaeda in Yemen, was found out by NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly “through the grapevine.”
Through the grapevine?
Mr. Kelly is a nice guy, by all reports. He isn’t looking to make waves when it comes to being passed over when there is a particular news item that can be of interest, generally speaking, to the public. Things like special events in and around city hall or parades or even demonstrations that might appear to be not too much trouble, he might find relatively trivial; the kind of thing that should — and will — be handled by his deputies or associates. In other words, Kelly doesn’t have to be informed of every little thing that happens, police enforcement-wise or not.
But information on a terrorist threat that is absolutely succinct, but with wide-ranging tentacles that could affect anyone and, yes, everyone — coming to the commissioner of the New York Police Department, the largest police force in the nation, by word of mouth a week late? And at that, it was information that shouldn’t have been released to the public at all!
As I said, Kelly’s a nice guy, so he wasn’t offended from a personal standpoint. People were saying that FBI Director Robert Mueller purposely kept the info about the possibility of another underwear bombing in the works under wraps (pardon the pun!) for about a week before advising their New York. counterparts, but Mueller revealed last week that it was unintentional, which is believable, especially coming from him. He and Kelly have been working hand-in-hand for years and there was no reason for a snub. It was supposedly just a goof.
A goof that, we hope to be assured, will not happen again. Kelly let it be known in no uncertain words: “We can’t be treated like just any other city,” noting that we are the biggest terrorist target in the country, if not the world.
Another side of this scary scenario is how we came to know about the secret bomb plot and, even more distressing, is the fact that we knew at all.......It should have been a secret all along, with the public not becoming aware until it was completely over — if then!
It was like a spy thriller, really. A Saudi-British intelligence counterspy who had infiltrated the Al Qaeda camp in Yemen discovered the plot was not only working, but was imminent. The “bomb” was to have no metal parts, and could therefore be secreted through airport security areas and onto a plane without being detected — at least by conventional means. The spy got word to the authorities, however, and the plot was nixed. Bad guys were arrested and brows were wiped with a “whew!” Good job, right?
Wrong! While we can be thankful to God that the plot did not go through, and an airliner flying to New York was not bombed to smithereens, someone on this side of the Atlantic decided it might be a good idea to make some political hay of the whole situation and, since the information had been leaked anyway, decided to intimate that we had staged a “CIA coup,” and three cheers for our side!
As they say online: “OMG!”
It appears the CIA had NOTHING to do with it. We don’t know what happened to the counterspy, but you can bet your life — or someone else’s — that other spies and counterspies will be few and even farther between from now on.
So, thanks to some blatant blithering, blathering, self-promoting idiot who just wanted to get his name mentioned and make political points, both we and our allies, have lost a good chance to have our own infiltering espionage forces sleeping with the enemy in the future.
We can be thankful that cooler heads prevailed (so far) in that local case between the FBI and the NYPD, although Mr. Kelly is still fuming a little. But what about the counterspy and that case? Do we just let it slip? Does Congress get into an investigation? Not a heck of a lot could be said at this point without blowing somebody’s cover.
Or maybe it’s time to call on the FBI and the CIA to do some clandestine maneuvers by searching for loudmouths right here on the home front.