Friday, July 08, 2005

The timing of the London attack (Updated)

The theory proposed yesterday by The Impolitic, that the bombing in London was actually a "CIA black-ops job," could potentially get everybody's hair in a really big frizz—the left, that The Impolitic would put such an extreme idea out there, and the right, that the liberal loonies are now officially outside the solar system. The theory:
Goddess forgive my cynicism, and God rest the dead in London, but my gut reaction when I heard the news was, what a perfect CIA black-ops job. You have to admit the timing is pretty bloody convenient. Bush's approval rating is at an all time low, support for the occupation diminishes daily, the press is zealously covering the Plame case again, which suddenly promises to implicate members of the White House inner circle in treasonous acts and two days ago, 250,000 people peaceably assembled in London to demonstrate against US policy. Blair is having his own problems with the Downing Street Minutes and diminishing popular support at home.

Think about what both Bush and Blair stand to gain here. If I was a terrorist smart enough to bomb a subway system, I wouldn't do something so stupid as to time it so it would help my opponents get out of the hot seats of their own making. On the other hand, if I was a CIA agent pretending to be Al-Qaeda - I certainly would.
You can just picture the summer-blockbuster version of that scenario, can't you? The ominous score, the dramatic low-key lighting in the subway, the grim face of the actor playing the President revealing his distaste for doing what has to be done for the greater good, the quickening intercutting as we approach the point of the detonation, the software-generated fireball, the cloud of flying debris controlled by particle-generation software. Who would play the CIA operatives costumed as al-Qaeda operatives costumed as London commuters? Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor? Trust me: as you read this, that project is being pitched to someone in Hollywood.

But I'm with you. After considering the hypothesis, I've decided that it couldn't have been our operatives. That would indicate a level of insanity that really isn't evident when Rummy & Friends speak to the press. The possibility exists, of course. Every government, even the Clinton administration, includes nut cases somewhere within its structure who would go to any extreme if they received orders to do so. The possibility exists, but those in charge are rational enough to realize that the implementation of a plan like that would be counterproductive to achieving their objectives.


The Impolitic is right: the timing is a giveaway. And so a counter-hypothesis I would like to propose is that the bombing was passively allowed to happen.

I remember a long time ago encountering a conspiracy theory that FDR knew about the planned bombing of Pearl Harbor and allowed it to happen to create a justification for entering the war. FDR's direct collusion is unlikely, but it may be that every conspiracy theory has a tiny kernel of truth at the center, however distorted it eventually becomes. Even if FDR's administration actually did receive intelligence that an attack was imminent or underway (this has probably been documented and/or disproved numerous times since then), it's very unlikely that FDR himself would have made the decision to do nothing. However, someone within the structure could have taken it upon himself to delay the information so that America's entrance into the war would be inevitable.

Similarly, it's not difficult to imagine that somewhere in the Byzantine connections between the governments of the U.S. and Britain, a small window of opportunity was quietly allowed to open in a specific location such that the destruction would be limited but the emotional impact would be optimized.

Why then? Why there? I feel it's just too coincidental. The Plame story is turning into a second smoking gun because it's becoming more widely known that Plame's role in the CIA at the time of her outing was much more significant than we'd been told before. This post appeared on the Daily Kos on June 30:
All the attention has focused on Plame as victim, the CIA operative whose safety has been threatened and career compromised by being "outed." But most folks ignore her then-current role, as analyst at the CIA WMD desk.

Since the CIA was shooting down reasons for war as fast as Chalabi could make them up, the Bushies (paticularly Cheney and Rumsfeld) set up the Office of Special Plans at DOD to "stovepipe" the good stuff and package it for public and international consumption. There were reports of "war" within the intelligence community between the CIA regulars and the prowar DOD. Plame was a top CIA WMD analyst. She was one of the generals on the other side.

So when Patrick Fitzgerald shows up to investigate the outing of a CIA operative, the White House folks have a problem. They can hardly explain that they inadvertently outed an agent because they wanted to link Wilson to a faction at CIA that thought there were no WMD.

What was their Grand Jury testimony?
And then Karl Rove was "outed" on July 4, and the next day Matt Cooper agreed to testify regarding the identity of the source who leaked Plame's CIA status to him. It could be that the Bush administration felt it was becoming increasingly important to distract the public's attention from those developments and to reignite Britain's support for the war on terror. And so, a quiet, cryptic message could have made its way to the London cell that security at such-and-such station was going to be light.

Implausible? Of course not. Unlikely? I hope so.

However 2.

But then again, Osama himself could chuckle as he posts a comment in response to the above like "You writers are all alike. It occurred on that particular day simply because the detonator caps that were on back-order for us for three months at our online supplier were finally delivered. If they'd been in stock, the incident would've occurred in April, before the dems on the House Intelligence Committee wrote to Gonzalez about why no charges had been brought as a result of the Plame investigation. No connection, except in your imagination."


The Impolitic on July 9 took note of my "really big frizz" comment above and on July 11 posted an article entitled "Bombs in London - Theory Vindicated" which points to an article on Prison Planet entitled "London Underground Bombing 'Exercises' Took Place at Same Time as Real Attack," with the subtitle "Culpability cover scenario echoes 9/11 wargames."

Watson and Jones of Prison Planet make a plausible case that it was hardly coincidental that war games or emergency exercises were taking place at exactly the same time and place as the attack on 9/11 and the recent London attack on 7/7. If their source material is credible and verifiable, it's pretty scary. The black-ops scenario isn't nearly as unlikely as I thought.

However, my skepticometer pegs when I study their website design and see that they have books and videos to sell. These guys are career conspiracy theorists. That, of course, doesn't make what they say untrue. It just means caveat lector.

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